So, You Want to Start a Business: 4 Ways an Entrepreneurship Degree Can Help
It takes more than great ideas to establish your own business. Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy shows that roughly 20 percent of new companies fail within the first year, only half make it to the five-year mark, and about a third survive 10 years or longer. Thus, prospective entrepreneurs need to enter the situation with open eyes and a solid notion of what they are about to embark upon.
Completing a collegiate program in entrepreneurship can assist with turning your dreams into reality. Here’s how:
Develop a knowledge base
Getting your company off the ground involves creating a feasible business plan and obtaining the financial resources to carry it through. Who do you approach? How do you convince backers of your idea’s potential? Learning answers to these questions before hitting the ground provides a definite advantage.
Likewise, realize that running a company involves a multitude of actions. Entrepreneurship classes teach about critical aspects of business such as marketing, looking at legal and ethical concerns, logistics, accounting, and human resources.
Hone your skills
From employees and vendors to backers and fellow business owners, people who run companies interact with a variety of people. Classes that strengthen abilities such as communication, leadership, decision-making, and teamwork prove valuable out in the “real world.”
Test the waters
Entrepreneur contests, class projects to develop viable product ideas, and internships at thriving organizations allow future business owners to get their feet wet. Mistakes get made in a “safe” environment, and the hands-on experience sets people up for later success.
Build a network and support system
Classmates, professors, guest speakers, and others encountered during one’s college experience can be excellent sources of inspiration, knowledge, and support. Bounce ideas off of them. Take them up on offers to introduce you to influential people. Be part of a passionate, creative crowd that generates the motivation you’ll need to forge ahead.
Choosing your program
Budding entrepreneurs come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have a good deal of previous experience in the business world. Others are Millennials or Gen Zers with more ambition than training. Fortunately, entrepreneurship programs exist for people of all ages and stages. The trick is to find one that works well with your needs.
Southern New Hampshire University, for instance, offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. The general business classes provide an understanding of fundamentals, while the concentration courses aid in grasping matters directly pertaining to creating your own company.
Individuals with an undergraduate degree under their belt and/or several years of actual experience in business may find something like Capella University’s Self-Designed Master of Business Administration a better fit. Such a program allows customization of classes in order to fill in gaps and tailor learning to the mastery of certain skills.
Modern students possess educational choices ranging from campus programs to online-only to hybrid learning. The flexibility allows working adults to continue fulfilling their current professional and personal obligations while preparing for their next big career move – which just might be becoming one’s own boss!
By Beth Hering