Starting a new business is a daunting task that requires extensive preparation, knowledge of the market, significant capital and more. It helps if you know the different steps involved in starting a new business, scaling it, finding investors and clients, managing the books, and everything in between.
Here is a list of free online entrepreneurship resources from world-class educational institutions and the most famous and successful entrepreneurs of our generation.
Most of these courses are available as video lectures and can be completed within a week to gain a solid understanding of entrepreneurial thinking, challenges and solutions.
This is a two-part lecture hosted on YouTube, each part lasting one hour and 30 minutes. While not a proper course followed by certification, it is a good lecture for beginners and provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the right tools to improve the fundamentals of startups. It’s totally free and it only takes you about three hours to complete the course.
Although it is ten years old, the information shared in these two presentations still contains valuable insights. It is part of Harvard’s i-labs Lecture series with sessions on Startup Secrets hosted by Michael J Jumpa serial entrepreneur with two decades of investing, mentoring and teaching experience.
This series focuses on discontinuous and disruptive changes that new companies can bring about to beat their competitors. There is also information on the type of startup companies to invest in, which provides further insight into the type of startup ideas to pursue and work on.
This course is hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open Courseware Portal and is offered each January during the Independent Activities Period (IAP). It comprises a total of six sessions spread over two weeks. Each session lasts three hours and covers topics such as Introduction to business plans, Refinement and presentation of your venture idea, Marketing and SalesEtc.
This is a free course with content hosted online in the form of YouTube videos and Downloadable Notes. The current course content and lecture series are from the 2014 IAP sessions, presented by Joseph Hadzima, Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Attendees can interact and exchange ideas with MIT students and researchers who will later attend MIT $100,000 Entrepreneurship Contest.
freeCodeCamp started as a free online resource to teach people to code. The free online learning sessions cover a wide range of topics, including the basics of entrepreneurship. This is a 5 hour and ~47 minute video tutorial course hosted on YouTube. It aims to cover topics generally covered by university courses such as build relationships, Avoid burnout, Who to seek advice from, luck, ethicsEtc.
Chris Haroun, Founder and Managing Partner at LinkedIn, teaches this course, bringing his wealth of experience as a venture capitalist, financial analyst, and more. If you are looking for practical, real-world examples of starting a business and want to go from freelancer to entrepreneur, this is the course for you.
Hosted by the Polsky On Demand Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation under the aegis of the University of Chicago, these courses aim to provide free lessons and workshops on entrepreneurship. Polsky on Demand offers 100+ hours of digital content covering every topic from founding a startup to scaling and maintenance.
You must subscribe to their newsletters to gain access to course material and mentoring programs. These are the two entrepreneurship courses that you can access for free:
- Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (E2) includes beginner basics like Start your business with low-cost/free solutions, Fundraising for your startupEtc.
- Polish Entrepreneurial Outlook 2021 focuses on entrepreneurship in different sectors like media and entertainment, cybersecurity, healthcare, etc. You can explore the Polish on request Website to learn about additional courses to help you in your entrepreneurial endeavors.
This course is organized by the United States small business administration. It has six sessions divided into broad topics such as planning, launch, management, marketing, etc. Each topic has multiple objectives ranging from 25 to 70 that you must complete in order to pass the sessions. Each session is divided into goals like How to write a business plan, Introduction to pricing, Find and win investorsEtc.
All destinations have a corresponding short video lesson. Most of these lessons are only a minute or two long, with some goals hitting the 10 minute mark. At the end of each session, samples of the documents discussed are also available for download.
If you want to learn entrepreneurship through the lens of successful entrepreneurs, this is the course for you. It boasts names like Sam Altman and Dustin Moskovitz, president of Y Combinator and co-founder of Facebook, Asana and Good Ventures respectively.
The most interesting aspect of this course is that the full course transcript and notes explaining every aspect of the course are available genius. So if you can’t follow the content or terminology, you can rely on the annotations provided by Genius to break down the topic into the simplest terms.
Course sessions cover unique topics such as Talk to users, How to become a great founder, Do things that don’t scaleand so on besides normal stuff like growth, sales and marketingetc. The hands-on approach makes it the ideal course for people who want to start their own business alongside a full-time job.
Sign up for an entrepreneurship course today
All of the courses listed above offer unique insights into topics ranging from turning an idea into a business opportunity, to properly selling it to investors for funding, from scaling to managing it as a successful business, and everything in between, without costing you a penny.
Taking initiative is a hallmark of a savvy businessman, so enroll in one of these courses today to absorb the traits of successful entrepreneurs.
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