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Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies Culinary Entrepreneurship
An instructor smiles at three Culinary Entrepreneurship students inside The Tastemarket in downtown Calgary.

Culinary Entrepreneurship

Closed for Fall 2019

Length: 1 Year
Credential: Post-Diploma Certificate
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Prepare yourself for the exciting world of entrepreneurship as you immerse yourself in the day-to-day operations of a real-life business.  Learn about your tolerance to risk, your ability to manage and your ability to lead. Graduates can look forward to career opportunities in management or as independent business owners.  

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Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $10,185
Year 1 (International): $15,342

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on a two-step process: review of your supporting documentation (current resumé and two letters of reference) and an interview, if requested.  

When can you apply?

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019.
Term Program start
Fall 2019 Sept. 3, 2019 

Discover your taste for business

If you've considered venturing into the world of entrepreneurialism, the Culinary Entrepreneurship program just might be the missing ingredient needed to take the next step in your career.

In this one-of-a-kind program, you and your fellow entrepreneurs will manage The Tastemarket — a 9,000 sq. ft. eatery specifically designed to help you develop and market your products, engage with paying customers in real-time and fully immerse yourself in the day-to-day operations of entrepreneurialism.

Program Details

Program Description

Whether you're an entrepreneur at heart or you want to increase your business acumen, the Culinary Entrepreneurship post-diploma will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to turn an idea into reality. An intensive year-long certificate program, you'll learn first-hand all about the world of entrepreneurialism as you manage an actual, real-life hospitality enterprise.

The experiential learning from a live classroom environment will provide you with the skillset required to operate a business, provide creative solutions and drive product development — skillsets that are increasingly sought after in a globalized, competitive environment.

While managing a business, your learning will be complemented with online courses and professional mentorship from industry experts. Your studies will cover everything from business operations, facilities, and business regulations to finance, human resource management, sales and marketing.

Upon completion of this post-diploma certificate, you will be able to make informed decisions about your tolerance to risk, your ability to manage and your ability to lead. Further, you will be able to determine if you are suited to entrepreneurship, whether or not you are ready to become an entrepreneur, or if you should use your entrepreneurial mindset to enhance your position within an organization.

World-Class Experiential Learning Environment

An integral part of your learning experience will be SAIT's new state-of-the-art facility designed to foster culinary excellence, creative exchange and innovation. The Tastemarket by SAIT will provide you with a flexible platform to test new ideas and gain valuable experience as you rotate through different business roles in each of the four zones: charcuterie and wine bar, flatbread station, patisserie and a line featuring daily student creations.

Student Awards

Three $5,000 entrance awards are available to qualifying students.

Your Career

Graduates of the program can look forward to career opportunities in management within the hospitality industry or as independent business owners.

Student Success

Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.

Keep in mind hospitality industry hours can range from early morning to late in the evening and often include holidays and weekends.

The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate, so for the greatest level of success, you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience. You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.

The intensive nature of the program requires students to have well developed time management skills.


Graduates of the program will receive a post-diploma certificate in Culinary Entrepreneurship.

Transfer Options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date. 
  • Fall 2018 start: applications open Oct. 18, 2017.
  • Fall 2019 start: applications open Oct. 3, 2018.

Admission requirements

Completion of the following diplomas or work experience:

  • Completion of a Professional Cooking Diploma or Baking and Pastry Arts Diploma or equivalent, or, 
  • Completion of Journeyman Cook or Baker certification, or,  
  • Three to five years of work experience in the Hospitality or Food industry with approval from the program Academic Chair.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
  • SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Competitive entry: seven-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines. 

Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted to be included in selection.  

In the selection process, applicants will be assessed on the following criteria and seats will be offered accordingly. 

  • Current resumé
  • Two letters of reference

Resumé and reference letters will be reviewed and successful applicants will be invited to attend an interview with representatives of the Culinary Entrepreneurship program. Offers of admission will be determined based on the resumé, references and interview. 

Step 4: Apply to Culinary Entrepreneurship and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Submit your resumé and letters of reference. 

  • Applicants who fail to submit a resumé and letters of reference will be excluded from selection.

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications.

We recommend you add culinary@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.


Program Outline

View additional Culinary Entrepreneurship program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

Semester 1

Course Code Course Name Credit
APST-400 Technology for Business 3.0
FDBS-400 Food Service Retail Management 3.0
FNCE-400 Applied Finance I 3.0
LDSH 400 Applied Entrepreneurship I 3.0
LDSH-401 Applied Leadership I 3.0
MGMT-404 Managing Business Operations I 3.0
MKTG-403 Applied Sales and Marketing I 3.0
PHYF-401 Facilities 3.0
Semester 1 Total: 24.0


Semester 2

Course Code Course Name Credit
FNCE-401 Applied Finance II 3.0
HRMT-401 Applied Human Resources 3.0
LDSH-402 Applied Entrepreneurship II 3.0
LDSH-403 Applied Leadership II 3.0
MGMT-406 Managing Business Operations II 3.0
MKTG-404 Applied Sales and Marketing II 3.0
OPMT-400 Supports and Regulations 3.0
Semester 2 Total: 21.0
Program Total: 45.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2018/19 total
1 $9,200 $462 $523 $10,185

International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2018/19 total
1 $14,358 $462 $523 $15,342


Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $302 You may be eligible to purchase the UPass.

SAIT Students' Association Fees

Health Plan: $110 
Dental Plan: $125
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and Supplies*

  • Books and supplies cost approximately $500. 
  • Membership to the SAIT wellness centre — including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetball courts and weight room is available at a discounted rate.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.


School of Hospitality and Tourism

Inspiring Stories

With her career sights set on opening a Filipino restaurant in the increasingly diverse Calgary food scene, Marion enrolled in the Culinary Entrepreneurship post-diploma program. Working part-time at a local restaurant, Marion has a good grasp of what's required to run a business from the perspective of daily operations, but as she explains that's only half the picture.

"Being able to see the bigger picture, plan for the worst case scenario and learn from your mistakes along the way, are equally important — and this program has certainly given me a behind-the-scenes look of all that goes into running a business."

Originally from Jamaica, Shane travelled to Canada at 21 years of age and quickly found employment in the dynamic hospitality sector working for big-name resorts like Fairmont Lake Louise, Delta Lodge Kananaskis and the Grey Eagle Casino and Resort. After several years working as a server, banquet manager and restaurant supervisor, Shane decided to pursue the path to entrepreneurialism.

"One day I'd like to own my own café and gaming centre. I saw this one-year program as a stepping stone to realizing my dream and that's really exciting."

Marion Pugeda
Culinary Entrepreneurship | 2017

"I enrolled in the Culinary Entrepreneurship program to learn more about the business landscape, policies and procedures — basically everything that goes into opening a successful venture from the ground up."

Shane Spence
Culinary Entrepreneurship | 2017

"I've learned a lot including how to find investors, where to seek out legal advice and even how to navigate the permitting process — it's been an eye-opening experience."

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