Entrepreneurship Courses

Best Entrepreneurship/ Start Up Courses ranked by FinTech Innovators (2021)

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

Entrepreneurship CoursesThe vast majority of the workforce is employed in salaried or part time jobs. Salaries jobs obviously have a certain appeal to them – stability, relative safety, division of roles and responsibilities, employer benefits etc. But for those of us who want to be our own boss and create something from scratch, entrepreneurship opens a whole lot of new pathways.

Succeeding as an entrepreneur is still pretty hard, but it has definitely got a bit easier with so many resources available to us these days. For example, I can go online and hire a coder to work on my FinTech app in a matter of hours. Or perhaps benefit from government funding programs, private incubator programs, mentorship opportunities and online courses.

There are all these great tools and opportunities available to entrepreneurs, but most are simply not aware of them or do not know how to use them properly. This list of courses has been handpicked to help would-be entrepreneurs do just that. Help you be better entrepreneurs. A course cannot possibly teach you everything about being an entrepreneur, but it can certainly teach you a lot.

Here are the top courses summarised. Scroll down for detailed reviews.

Best Entrepreneurship/ Start Up CoursesLearn More
1. Entrepreneurship Specialization from WhartonPreview/ Enroll Now
2. Digital Marketing Nanodegree from UdacityPreview/ Enroll Now
3. Professional Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of MarylandPreview/ Enroll Now
4. Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship Specialization from the University of IllinoisPreview/ Enroll Now

1. Entrepreneurship Specialization from Wharton

Why take this course?

  1. Wharton needs no introduction. It is one of the premiere business schools on the planet and entrepreneurship and business is their bread and butter. This course is another fine example of why Wharton has its reputation and offers leaners an unprecedented opportunity to learn from the best. It also presents you with an excellent personal branding opportunity by earning this certification.
  2. The specialisation is divided into several modules/ courses each of which cover a specific aspect of entrepreneurship. The first one is about developing the opportunity. This means turning an idea into a viable business opportunity. By the end, you should be able to test validate and prototype your idea.
  3. The second module is about launch. This is usually a big and chaotic time, and this course helps provide clarity and structure to the launch. You will get access to practical, real-world example about creating a minimum viable product, the lean approach to business, building and managing a team, allocating equity, hiring and management, legal aspects, the art of pitching and even when to quit your day job!
  4. The last two modules focus on growth strategies and financing. While launching is the hardest step, the growth stage is when you build value and create wealth. Rapid customer acquisition and diffusion is the name of the game at this stage and Wharton professors will teach you how to just that. The last financing module covers topics like bootstrapping, debt and equity capital, risk management, angel investors, venture capital crowdfunding etc.
  5. Lastly, you will have a hands-on capstone project where you will be assembling a pitch deck of a new venture with specific deliverables like financials, customer needs, concepting, etc. Your submission will be evaluated using the same criteria that venture capitalists use in evaluating a project. The top scoring projects are even introduced to appropriate VC firms in Wharton’s Entrepreneurship network!

Summary

  • Time to Complete: About 45-50 hours.
  • Available fully online and on-demand. Complete at your own pace form the comfort of your own home.
  • The best entrepreneurship course, the best personal branding opportunity, and an actual shot at pitching to a VC.

Preview Course/ Enroll Now


2. Digital Marketing Nanodegree from Udacity

Why take this course?

  1. Marketing is perhaps the single most important skill to have as an entrepreneur. That has certainly been my experience after consulting 40+ firms launch their projects and a couple of my own. Which is why I have selected this digital marketing course to be a part of this list. This is a skill that you need, even if you don’t think you need it yet.
  2. Digital market is a rather interesting and extremely lucrative field and can make or break any start up or business venture. This course focuses on creating marketing content, social media usage for marketing, search engine optimization, social media advertising, email marketing, Google tools etc. It’s a comprehensive package with all you need to know.
  3. The Nanodegree is divided into several modules starting with marketing fundamentals, creating a content strategy and then moving on to social media, SEO, advertising, and lastly measuring and analysing the impact of your marketing efforts. There are plenty of practical exercises to help you get some hands on experience along the way. For example, you may be asked to create a Google Ads campaign or market your content using social media.
  4. Udacity not only provides excellent content but also additional value in the form of real-world projects, project reviews, feedback, technical mentor support, an excellent student community, and even help with your Resume and LinkedIn profile.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Takes around 3 months.
  • Available fully online and on-demand. Complete at your own pace form the comfort of your own home.
  • An excellent course to master the single most important entrepreneurship skill for this decade.

Preview Course/ Enroll Now


3. Professional Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland

Why take this course?

  1. This is a Professional Certificate program offered by the University of Maryland to offer leaners an in depth and comprehensive guide to modern entrepreneurship. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship and combines psychology, sociology, marketing, strategy and finance into a complete and practical package for both entrepreneurs and corporate innovators.
  2. The overall theme is to combine entrepreneurial thinking with action. This means topics like the entrepreneurial mindset, motivation and behaviour are dissected just as much as opportunity identification and industry macroeconomic analysis. Its about thought as well as implementation.
  3. As far as the course content goes, you will focus on financing aspects, marketing aspects, and creating a viable business model. This means creating a value proposition, team strategy, market strategy, as well as all the tools needed to achieve this. Financing module focuses on early-stage investments, sources of capital, the funding process, pitching to investors and closing the deal. All you need to know, is pretty much in here.
  4. This is a by-the-book entrepreneurship course that covers everything with incredible detail and clarity and provides you with the confidence to take on any new challenge.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take around 35 hours or so.
  • Available fully online and on-demand on edX – an eLearning platform created by Harvard and MIT.
  • A professional certificate course suitable for both entrepreneurs and corporate innovators looking to make a mark.

Preview Course/ Enroll Now


4. Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship Specialization from the University of Illinois

Why take this course?

  1. This specialization is actually part of the iMBA degree form the University of Illinois, so you are taking the same course as MBA students do. You don’t have to complete the whole MBA program of course and just taking this course and completing it will give you a shareable certificate upon successful completion.
  2. This specialisation is all about identifying and capitalizing on opportunities. Through 6 courses and a capstone project, you will learn to change the rules if the game by creating innovative new value propositions and competing against the best. It is well suited for both start up entrepreneurs and corporate innovators who want to shake things up.
  3. The first few courses focus on building and sustaining innovative organisations and initiatives. This means creating a product strategy by identifying target customers, creating a product offering, reaching your customers, managing innovation, leading product teams, planning and evaluation initiatives etc.
  4. The next few courses focus on creativity and entrepreneurship. This includes things like mapping the creative process, creative collaboration, the ideation process, entrepreneurial team building, securing seed and growth capital, financial forecasting, planning for the future, building a marketing strategy and launching the product. There is also a capstone project to help drive all that you have learned home.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take around 100-120 hours or so.
  • Available fully online and on-demand. Complete at your own pace.
  • This specialisation focuses on the philosophy of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

Preview Course/ Enroll Now

About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.