Guest Post by Sarah Rawson
Entrepreneurs are often passionate about their work and their companies. Their passion is a large part of what allows them to maintain brutal work schedules of ten and twelve hour days. Entrepreneurs also often sacrifice other aspects of their lives such as vacations or personal relationships. . At the same time entrepreneurs seek to position their products and services as indispensable, and better than anything their competition has to offer.
While many entrepreneurs begin on a shoestring and are self-taught, more and more entrepreneurs seek formal education and training. In recognition of this development, several prestigious programs in the United States and in other countries have developed coursework that specifically addresses the needs and interests of entrepreneurs. Many of these courses reflect entrepreneurial values such as sacrifice and hard work. Other courses are designed to allow entrepreneurs to face the challenges of a global economy.
Finances and Entrepreneurs
Raising capital and other financial issues are critical to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Finance courses for entrepreneurs emphasize skills such as reading financial statements, understanding principles behind setting prices for merchandise or services and managing cash flow. Many finance classes emphasize hands on training with spreadsheets and other financial tools, a familiar approach for many entrepreneurs. Final projects for finance classes often involve developing financial projections that students can use for their own businesses.
Entrepreneurial Work and Life
Courses that address entrepreneurial work and life issues recognize the fact that many entrepreneurs consciously and willingly sacrifice many aspects of a so-called normal life to get their businesses off the ground. Common features of these courses include self assessment exercises, assignments to frame visions for how entrepreneurs develop their businesses and dealing with unexpected events. At the end of an entrepreneurial work and life class, students should have a better understanding of what they consider success in their work and in their lives.
Social Media Marketing
While some especially savvy entrepreneurs recognize the value of social media. However, many entrepreneurs are not well acquainted with how platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Students in social media marketing courses build on a foundation of conventional marketing coursework. They combine the theoretical knowledge of marketing with hands on social media exercises Courses in social media marketing focus on consumer needs and buying behavior. Courses also emphasize how an effective social media campaign can build “buzz” and word of mouth promotion. Students frequently complete social media marketing campaigns as their final projects for entrepreneurial social media marketing courses.
Entrepreneurs and Globalization
Globalization is often considered to be a modern development. In truth, global capitalism has been around for as long as there have been capitalists. Courses targeted to entrepreneurs highlight the development of globalization during various periods of history.
In particular, the nineteenth century economic environment was highly globalized, powered by innovations such as gasoline powered internal combustion engines and the Industrial Revolution that dominated the Western Hemisphere. However, globalization retreated during the Great Depression and World War 2, only to come back with a vengeance, at least in the West. After the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, as well as Brazil, China and India strove to catch up.
For Further Reading
- The Center for Leadership Education, Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering: Courses
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, University of California at Berkeley Extension: Finances for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, University of California at Berkeley Extension: Professional Certificates
- HarvardBusinessSchool: Building Business in the Context of a Life
- HarvardBusinessSchool: Entrepreneurship Courses
- HarvardBusinessSchool: Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism
- Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Teachings of the Dalai Lama
- Seven Lessons Every Young Entrepreneur Can Learn from “Shark Tank”
- Three Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Practicing Yoga
Author Bio: Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. Sarah is a freelance writer and is also studying for her MBA Degree online. Her articles appear on various higher education blogs.
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