Interior of Leatherby Center
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Ethics

» The Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics


The Center was endowed by Ralph W. Leatherby in 1995. Ralph, the founding Director of the Center, was an Orange County businessman and the patriarch of the philanthropic Leatherby family. He served as a trustee at Chapman College in the 1980s following a term as chairman of the Advisory Board of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics. Ralph was born in 1925 in a small farm town in Iowa and served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army infantry. He founded the Leatherby Insurance Company in Fullerton, and later UniCare Insurance, which was at one time the largest insurance firm in the county.

The Opportunity

Small businesses are the economic engine of the Nation’s economy. Chapman University’s multi-disciplinary academic programs play a crucial part in equipping students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and the community to contribute to the economy and, complementing the academics, the Center provides the essential practicum to complete their education, training and experience.


The Argyros School of Business & Economics - Leatherby Center serves a central hub for Chapman University’s collective entrepreneurial expertise and supports its community to address tomorrow’s challenges today.


We make real what matters, our expertise in business strategy, financial analysis and new product-service commercialization allow us to develop our students, enrich faculty and connect alumni with idea generation.


The Center supports our entrepreneurs by providing services and support at no cost to the participants,including: 24/7 collaborative space, administrative support, office supplies, and internet.


Get Involved

If you are interested in getting involved with the Leatherby Center, please don't hesitate to reach out. Learn about the multiple ways to get involved by visiting our various program pages.
Launch Here, Launch Now

Launch Labs

The Launch Labs incubator is a structured program guiding entrepreneurs from idea to business plan. To be considered for this program, please complete the application.

Apply Now


Smartups and The Sunflower Model

Entrepreneur Rob Ryan has provided his book to Chapman students to read and welcomes any feedback and questions over at the Argyros School blog.