Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an entrepreneur? To start new ventures, build and grow them, be your own boss, create good jobs for other people, make money, and change the world for the better? Do you dream about becoming an entrepreneur but worry that it may be too difficult, require more resources than you have, or involve too much responsibility? Do you fear you don’t have what it takes, or that you might fail not just once, but over and over again?

In this course, developed at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and taught by Saras Sarasvathy (Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration), you will learn how effectual entrepreneurship helps overcome four obstacles people commonly face when they think about becoming an entrepreneur. We will not be going into the nitty gritty details of starting a new venture. Instead, we will explore the lived experiences of entrepreneurs around the world–people who have built for-profit, non-profit, and other kinds of ventures. You will learn from these expert entrepreneurs how to think and act effectually, co-create new possibilities from things already within your control, and tackle uncertainty without having to predict the future.


  • Lessons from expert entrepreneurs
  • Real-life examples of new venture creation
  • A deep understanding of uncertainty


  • Idea Generation
  • Cocreation
  • Effectual Reasoning
  • Persuasive communication
  • Failure management