Being a successful entrepreneur of a small startup usually means wearing a lot of hats and handling several roles because you probably don’t have enough employees to cover all the areas you need.
And if you’ve just launched a company and lack the experience of running a business, taking up online business courses is one of the best options available for you to improve your knowledge and skills.
Past are the days when you had to take evening classes and pay tuition in order to complete your education. Nowadays, it’s so much easier and cheaper (even free) to learn crucial aspects that will help you run your startup like a pro, by taking up free online business courses from the comfort of your home.
So we compiled a list of 10 websites that offer online business courses where entrepreneurs can learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and more.
1. MIT Open Courseware
These are your regular courses held at MIT and provided free of charge on their website for reading, whenever you have the time. Also, they have created an entrepreneurship page that is constantly updated with a selection of the entrepreneurship-related courses offered at MIT that may prove beneficial to new venture owners.
They have courses such as “New Enterprises”, “Entrepreneurial Marketing”, “Early State Capital” and many others arranged in 6 topics related to Finance, Law, Leadership, Marketing and Planning, Operations and Strategy.
2. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot has an awesome free certification program that provides lots of courses. For example they offer inbound marketing courses such as lead nurturing, landing pages and website optimization. All these skills are essential for all entrepreneurs when they have to grow both their online presence and their company.
If you’re interested in knowing the ins and outs of search-engine optimization so as to make sure that your site is as visible as possible, go ahead and benefit from the extraordinary resources provided by Moz, the SEO leader of the present. In addition to having the free Moz Academy, they also hold webinars (both live and recorded), and plenty of entry courses for beginners on SEO, social media and link building.
edX is a free site that provides entrepreneurs with over 600 courses on a variety of subjects, 76 of them on topics related to Business and management such as “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?” offered in partnership with MIT or “Knowledge Management and Big Data in Business”, offered by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. What makes edX more attractive for entrepreneurs is the fact that they provide not only business courses, but also ones that have real applications to different industries, whether it’s big data or environmental conservation.
Similar to MIT’s Open Courseware, Coursera has over 120 education partners that offer free courses to around 14 million users. One of the advantages of using Coursera for your professional development is that it has a great network of partners that provides entrepreneurs and business owners with a huge selection of online courses and a lot of those are extremely specific courses that are ideal for particular niches, like “R Programming” from John Hopkins University or “Technology Commercialization, Part 1: Setting up your Idea Filtering System” offered by Rochester University.
The fact that YouTube is nowadays a larger than life search engine shouldn’t come to much surprise for the vast majority of users. Youtube has a video library on almost anything, whether it’s TED talks, presentations on how to build a business or online courses from different universities which have Youtube channels such as Stanford or Yale.
7. Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is a treasure filled with information about companies located in the U.S., and is also an important funding provider for small companies based in the U.S. The SBA has a wide range of online courses, whether you’re looking for tips on how to start a business, manage a venture, financing advice, marketing essentials and even government contracting. This is a one of the best resources out there, especially if you’re strapped for time.
The award winning online education platform created by Unesco focuses on helping adults develop addition skills either for their existing jobs or in order to find employment. They have over 750 online courses published on a large variety of topics, from Accounting to Yoga. The courses are offered in partnership with some of the most well-known names on the internet today, including Amazon, Google or Microsoft.
The Saylor Foundation holds tuition-free courses and also works closely with accredited universities and colleges to offer affordable credentials. The courses they provide are quite similar to what you’d expect to see when trying to get your bachelor’s degree ranging from Art History to Business Administration.
Udemy has more than 30,000 online courses on virtually anything, from practical business skills to meditation. Some online courses are free while others are paid, all you have to do is type in the search engine the skill you want to master and you’ll receive all the courses suiting your need. After that, you can select further if you opt for paid or free, the difficulty level or the language of the course.