Free online courses for web entrepreneurs

This article is contributed by Katheryn Rivas.

Most web entrepreneurs set out on their own to start an online business, but there’s nothing wrong with a little help along the way. Aside from the conventional wisdom you might hear from seasoned industry veterans and web entrepreneurs, there’s actually a lot to learn about business online.

Specifically, a budding entrepreneur could profit from the many free online courses in business and financial management that abound on the Internet. Here I’m not talking about “business courses” that amount to nothing more than a brief PowerPoint presentation on leadership. There are a number of well-respected colleges and universities that offer free (!) online courses in some seriously complex subjects. With a free business education at your fingertips, what do you have to lose in trying them out? The best that could happen is that you become a savvier entrepreneur.

business course online

University of California at Irvine – Fundamentals of Business Analysis

This first class on my list comes from UC Irvine’s impressive business school. The class is “Fundamentals of Business Analysis,” which focuses on teaching the basics of development and growth from the perspective of a business analyst. The class has several in depth study guides and lesson plans on vital parts of everyday business, including management, project development, flowcharting, and preparations for a career in business analysis. This online course will teach you how to design an effective business model, how to hire a talented and competent team, and how to execute your unique vision. This is definitely a great class for beginning entrepreneurs who want to know the nuts and bolts of business.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The second class on my list comes from the open courseware program at MIT, a free offering of their classes from one of the best colleges in America. The “Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship” graduate course is taught by Professor Fiona Murray, who offers a wealth of course materials aimed at preparing an entrepreneur for doing business on the web. This is an ideal course for bloggers, web marketers, and small business owners, because Professor Murray targets people who want to make a difference on the web. Her course gives students the knowledge necessary to thinking differently about the web. She wants to create a generation of doers with a passion to innovate on the web. It’s a challenging course, but one well worth your time if you want a business perspective on the web.

Yale University – Financial Markets

The final course on the list is from Yale University – as in the Ivy League school – so you know that the content is quality. It’s a class called “Financial Markets” taught by Professor Robert Shiller which tackles the fundamentals of finance, risk management, and the institutions that govern the financial markets that are so critical to a business’s success. You’ll learn about monetary policy, financial technologies, investments, and much more in Professor’s Shiller’s course. One of the best things about his class is that most lessons are accompanied by a detailed video lecture from Professor Shiller himself as he teaches the lesson to actual Yale students. Listening to an actual person describe these complex subjects is a great advantage on this course, and it’s not one that you should pass up on. Do yourself a favor and learn more about finance so you can manage your business with more competence!

Author Bio: Katheryn Rivas is a freelance writer and resident blogger at online universities, a site dedicated to distance higher education. She welcomes your comments at

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