Free Online Courses for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

Sep 27, 2016

Are entrepreneurs born or made? When it comes to entrepreneurial skills, some may come naturally, but some need to be earned, or improved. Here we compiled the best online courses, tailored to the entrepreneurial skills that will be useful when starting your business. The best part is - they are all are free!

In this article, we will help you find courses related to:

  • Essentials of Entrepreneurship & How-to’s

  • Social Enterprise

  • Networking

  • Pricing & Sales

  • Marketing & Social Media

  • Project Management

  • Money & Finance

  • Leadership & Team Management

  • Presentation Skills

Essentials of Entrepreneurship & How-to’s

Courses that take you through the  A-to-Z of establishing a startup. These are very valuable for beginners!

Becoming an Entrepreneur - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This programme will teach you the business skills and startup mindset needed to embark on your entrepreneurial path.

How to Build a Startup -Steve Blank, Entrepreneur

The main idea of this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of feedback from customers.

Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking & Action - University of California, Irvine

This interactive course provides potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge to succeed in an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities - University of Adelaide

Learn how to be a successful entrepreneur by understanding how to evaluate business opportunities and ideas.

Innovation Management - Erasmus University Rotterdam

Guided by world-class academics, you will develop an innovative mindset and expertise in how firms successfully create ideas for marketing new products.

New Business Models - Prof. Dr. Jan Jonker, Nijmegen School of Management

Learn how to build your own sustainable New Business Model, based on your own ideas.

Work Smarter Not Harder: Time Management - University of California, Irvine

You will learn how to develop personal and professional awareness, organisation and commitment, and use the tools, methods and techniques that you have learned in goal setting, prioritisation, scheduling, and delegation to overcome time management challenges and enhance productivity.

Starting A Business: Series by the University of Leeds

This series of courses created by the University of Leeds in the UK will assist you from the idea phase to funding phase of your business.

1: Vision and Opportunity Interested in starting a business? This course will help you define your vision and discover opportunities to make it happen.

2: People and Networks Find out how working with people and exploring networks can help you take your business to the next level.

3: Customers and Competitors Find out how understanding and targeting your market can help your business stand out from the crowd.

4: Business Processes Understand how business works and how performance can be improved so that you can take your business forward and manage growth.

5: Managing Finances Find out how forecasting and managing your finances can lead to a profitable and sustainable business.

6: Funding Your Business Raising funds is important when starting a business; find out which source of funding is most suitable for your business idea.

Social Enterprise

Do you have a solution to a social, cultural, environmental problem? Do you want to impact the world with your startup? Here is where you can start:

Thinking Complexity - Dr. Cameron Guthrie, Toulouse Business School

Join this course for a fun and practical discovery of complexity in the world around us. It uses fascinating examples, methods and exercises to help you understand how to make an impact in the 21st century.

Social Innovation MOOC - EBS Universität

You will learn what social innovations are and understand how they can help solve societal problems. This course also provides an overview of important literature and debates on social innovation.

Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action - Middlesex University London, Jindal Centre, Minca

How do you turn a social enterprise idea into action? In this course, you will identify the problem your idea is trying to solve, design your social enterprise venture model and prepare to take it to market.

Social Enterprise: Business Doing Good - Middlesex University London, Jindal Centre, Minca

This course explores different models of social enterprise as well as the local and global problems that they aim to address.

Social Enterprise: Growing a Sustainable Business - Middlesex University London, Jindal Centre, Minca

Is your social enterprise sustainable? Is it scalable? This course helps you evaluate your model and develop a plan to take it to the next level.

Networking

Don’t be a solopreneur - making the right connections is always important!

Effective Networking - Open University

Learn how to build and sustain your network to enhance your professional relationships and open up career opportunities.

Pricing & Sales

If you’re starting a business, you should take into consideration that the price you charge for your products or services is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Here are some courses that might help you to build your pricing strategy and learn different pricing tactics.

Online Business: Pricing for Success - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

This free online course will help you understand the key aspects of getting your prices and costs right, while aligning pricing to your marketing strategies.

Startup Marketing: If You Had $1 To Spend How Would You Spend It? - Jamie Viggiano, TaskRabbit

In this class, you'll learn how to adapt lean startup strategies to build and implement a marketing strategy for your own business. You will walk away with a lean marketing strategy and some key tactics for your business or brand.

Minimum Viable Product: Validate Your Startup Idea for Less than $1,000 - Michael Karnjanaprakorn, CEO of Skillshare

Whether you're looking to launch a tech startup or open a new restaurant, enrol in this class if you'd like to learn how to validate your ideas quickly.

Marketing & Social Media

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” - Steve Jobs

Introduction to Marketing - The University of British Columbia

Learn the fundamentals of marketing, including strategies and tools used across industries.

Marketing in a Digital World - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This course examines how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3D printing, are revolutionising the world of marketing by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers.

Reputation Management in a Digital World - Curtin University

Learn how to develop, manage and protect a company’s online reputation through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

The Power of Social Media - University of Southampton

Explore the impact of social media on the world, and learn how to put it to good use in everyday life.

Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

Learn how to create a digital marketing strategy.

Project Management

Being able to scope, budget, schedule, initiate and guide projects through their lifecycles is essential for entrepreneurs. Learn how to run successful projects with your entrepreneurial mindset with these courses.

Introduction to Project Management - University of Adelaide

Learn the principles of project management and how to apply them in your own work and life.

Budgeting and Scheduling Projects - University of California, Irvine

In this course you’ll learn to plan and stick to time/cost constraints in order to ensure the success of your projects.

Project Management: The Basics for Success - University of California, Irvine

This course combines the essential elements of Project Management and Team Leadership into one course. Through class engagement and reflection, you will acquire further understanding of the responsibilities of leadership and become better prepared to apply this knowledge to the project environment.

Initiating and Planning Projects - University of California, Irvine

In this course, you’ll learn the key roles and responsibilities of the project manager and project team.

Money & Finance

Most entrepreneurs don’t know how their finances affect their businesses’ growth. They aim to profit, but then they don’t know what to do with that money. How much should you take for yourself, how much should be reinvested into your business? How do you get investment in your enterprise? With these courses, you’ll get a better understanding how finance and money work in the startup world.

“Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” – Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO O’Reilly Media

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making - The University of Michigan

In this introduction to finance course, you will learn to apply frameworks and smart tools for understanding and making everyday financial decisions.

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals - University of California, Irvine

In this course, gain a basic understanding of finance and accounting concepts to drive your organisation's growth.

The Importance of Money in Business - University of Leeds

Understand the role that money plays in business success and increase your career prospects with this course.

Financial Decision Rules for Project Evaluation Financial Decision Rules for Project Evaluation - University of California, Irvine

Learn how to use decision criteria and rules to evaluate projects based on their impact on business, including payback, NPV and IRR.

New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs - University of Maryland, College Park

This course will demystify key financing concepts to give entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs a guide to secure funding.

Introduction to Venture Capital: How to Get Money for your Startup - The RWTH Aachen University

Learn the secrets of successful startup fundraising from veteran entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

How to Finance and Grow Your Startup – Without VC - University of London, London Business School

This course will introduce, and help you put to use in your startup, the five models through which your customers can fund your business.

Finance Fundamentals: Financial Planning and Budgeting - The Open University

With household budgets feeling the pinch, this course shows how to bring order to your finances and make good financial decisions.

Leadership & Team Management

Being a boss and being a leader are completely different things, especially in startup life. Leadership is a characteristic skill that mostly comes from within, but too many entrepreneurs take it for granted. Here we have compiled courses that may help you improve your leadship ability and your team’s enthusiasm through effective communicating, mobilising, sharing and delegating.

Ethical Leadership: Character, Civility, and Community - Boston University

Explore theoretical and practical elements of ethical leadership with emphasis on leaders’ personal narratives within social and historical contexts.

Management and Leadership: Leading a Team - The Open University

Learn how to develop a business plan and build a team with this program.

Working in Teams: A Practical Guide - The University of Queensland

Learn how to build effective teams, be a great team player and manage team conflict.

Presentation Skills

Being able to present yourself to your customers, to investors or to your peers is crucial. How to effectively communicate and give clear speeches? We got you covered.

English for Business and Entrepreneurship - University of Pennsylvania

This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in learning more about the global business economy. You will learn about topics and language necessary to succeed in the international workplace. You will earn a Statement of Accomplishment (SoA) available directly from UPenn after completion.

Effective Business Presentations with Powerpoint - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

This course is all about presenting the story of the data, using PowerPoint. You'll learn how to structure a presentation to include insights and supporting data.

Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen - University of California, Irvine

This course will give you helpful tips for making effective speeches and delivering them well. You'll learn how to organise a presentation, make it memorable, and how to communicate clearly.

Bonus: creativelive.com Has a wide selection of very useful classes such as branding, launching a product, legal matters, finance and more.

Author: Dilara Yilmaz

Photo Credit: Aleksi Tappura/ Unsplash


 

Do you know of other resources that should be added to this list? Please let us know on ye@yecommunity.com


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