Through Distance Education, Unity College has created an avenue in which students from all over the world can learn from experts who are also located all over the world. 

The College’s latest online instructor, however, just happens to be one of Maine’s most well-known entrepreneurs. Roxanne Quimby, the founder and former CEO of Burt’s Bees, will lend her knowledge of entrepreneurship to Unity College business students and anyone interested in learning about starting a business, beginning this fall in a course titled Creating a Healthy Hive: Starting Your Own Sustainable Business. The five-week course will cover topics ranging from creating your vision for a green business to data-driven decision making and financial planning. 

Inspired by the back-to-the-land movement, Quimby relocated to a hand-built cabin in the woods of Maine to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle removed from amenities like electricity and running water. The lessons Quimby learned shaped her vision of simply packaged, hand-made personal care products created from the fruits of the earth. 

“In my years of developing Burt’s Bees into one of the fastest growing brands in its sector — and even before that, studying and working as an artist — I learned so much even beyond building a successful business, and I’m excited to pass down that information and those stories to entrepreneurs,” said Quimby, a Massachusetts native who founded Burt’s Bees after moving to Maine, where she still resides. “I hope it inspires those students who are looking to start their own business with sustainability and the environment at its core.”

“When you think of iconic Maine businesspeople, Roxanne Quimby is one of the first that comes to mind,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and anecdotal lessons that she’s learned from her years of experience, and I think our students will absorb all of that and apply it to their own entrepreneurial journeys.”

Students can engage in the course in three different ways, taking all five topics without credit for $700, ideal for adult learners seeking knowledge but not pursuing additional degrees; all five topics for three college credits, which costs $1,410; or choosing a topic and weekly module that a learner is particularly interested in for $150 with no credit. Each option gives students access to course content, a live Q&A with Quimby, and exclusive podcasts with her as well. The course is part of the core curriculum for Unity College’s online Bachelor of Sustainable Business Management program.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to gain first-hand knowledge of how to run a business from someone who created one of the best-known brands in the country,” said Unity College Chief Distance Education Officer Dr. Amy Arnett. “No matter what phase of your career you might be in — whether you’re just considering starting a business, looking to expand your business to the next level, or even if you want to get an insider’s look at how brands and markets work as an employer, you’re going to come out of this course with a new perspective and a leg up on the competition.” 

The course runs August 26 through September 29, with registration open until Wednesday, August 28. Sarah Lozanova, who has worked as a consultant helping corporations become more sustainable, will join Quimby as an instructor for the course.