12 Free Online Entrepreneurial Courses

Entrepreneur Courses That You Can Take Now For Free

Professional online classes are increasingly becoming easier to find and take at little to no cost, and many of these courses are offered by world renowned professors — a resource that would cost a pretty penny in a regular academic environment.

Below you will find our top 12 entrepreneurship classes offered online completely free. But don’t let our top 12 list fool you, or keep you from discovering even more resources, these are just a start. There’s literally hundreds more to choose from, spanning a wide range of topics, most of which are taught by industry leaders with impressive CVs.

Take a minute or two and browse these Massive, Open Online Courses (MOOCS). You won’t be disappointed.

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

Developed for budding entrepreneurs that want to transform great ideas in to great companies, this course focuses on teaching students how to analyze individual parts of a company with a well developed business model, and gauge potential demand of the business’ product and/or service so that entrepreneurs can more accurately determine company worth. The primary goal of the course is to clearly and concisely breakdown the start-up process, and assist entrepreneurs in turning a plan in to a reality.

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The Art and Science of Negotiation

Entrepreneurial Courses

Combining a “hands-on” approach, this course introduces bargaining and negotiation in business, legal, and public settings. It examines communications, ethics, institutional, and strategic influences and how they influence the ability of actors to analyze problems, negotiate agreements, and resolve disputes.

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Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Course MIT

This course discusses the basics every manager needs to organize successful technology-driven innovation in both entrepreneurial and established firms. It begins by examining innovation-based strategies as a source of competitive advantage and then examines how to build organizations that excel at identifying, building and commercializing technological innovations. Major topics include how the innovation process works; creating an organizational environment that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship; designing appropriate innovation processes; organizing to take advantage of internal and external sources of innovation; and structuring entrepreneurial and established organizations for effective innovation. The course examines how entrepreneurs can shape their firms so that they continuously build and commercialize valuable innovations. Many of the examples also focus on how established firms can become more entrepreneurial in their approach to innovation.

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Build. Measure. Learn. Lean Startup SXSW 2012.

Welcome to the exclusive Lean Startup course where you will learn from the world’s leading startup founders and experts, including Dave McClure, Scott Cook, Ash Maurya, Todd Park, and many more.

Build: Lessons learned in agile, continuous development.

Measure: Case studies on pivots & minimum viable product (MVP).

Learn: Best practices in customer development.

Recorded at SXSW Interactive 2012, this course is the only place where you can find all presentations and videos for the entire Lean Startup event!

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21 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Whether you aspire to start your own business or are a serial entrepreneur, this course offers real-world insights that can be put into action. Jason Nazar, CEO of Docstoc, shares important lessons learned over his career, first by working with new companies then on to starting his own successful business. From the early stages of vetting your idea and raising money to hiring the best team and continuing to grow your business, this course offers poignant insights from a real entrepreneur that can be applied to any business.

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How to Build a Startup

Learn the key tools and steps to build a successful start-up (or at least reduce the risk of failure). You’ll learn the key steps of the Customer Development process: how to identify and engage the first customers for your product, and how to gather, evaluate and use their feedback to make your product, marketing and business model far stronger.

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Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur Course

The goal of this class is to give students a broad perspective on entrepreneurship. This class has a roster of acclaimed entrepreneurs and alumni, who are based in a variety of fields, bringing to life entrepreneurial research which is also discussed through-out the semester. Topics include high technology, social entrepreneurship, family entrepreneurship, and corporate entrepreneurship.

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Technology Entrepreneurship

This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. Students will learn the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies. It involves taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, figuring out how to sell and market the idea, and managing rapid growth. To gain practical experience alongside the theory, students form teams and work on start-up projects in those teams.

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Startup Boards: Advanced Entrepreneurship

This is an advanced entrepreneurship class, designed for teams who have already started a company or are seriously thinking about starting a company. Teams are encouraged to take this class together as much of the work will be focused on working with your board to make real progress on the most important issues in your start-up.

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Entrepreneurial Behavior

Online Entrepreneur Classes

This unit will give students the opportunity to consider and reflect on the personal aspects involved in transforming an innovative idea into an entrepreneurial product. Students will also learn how to identify the requirements for building an appropriate entrepreneurial team.

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The Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is the tip of your business spear, and the sharpest spear breaks through the most effectively in conveying the problem and the solutions your company can provide. In a society of 140 characters or less, how do you capture attention meaningfully and authentically? Chris Van Dusen, writer and speaker for entrepreneurs and startups, will help you identify and formulate the most succinct and relevant elevator pitch for your business. Chris Van Dusen is a tech enthusiast, remote-efficiency specialist and entrepreneur. He is the president of i-FFICIENCY, a consultancy he co-founded to help small businesses and startups leverage new technology in the sales process. Chris is also director of business development and new media for Rief Media, a full service marketing and communications firm. He contributes as a writer for Techzulu and other publications and speaks regularly on technology, new media and remote efficiency for business professionals.

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2 Reasons Companies Can Fail

Stanford Entrepreneurial Course

Idealab Founder and CEO Bill Gross offers lessons he has learned from company failures. According to Gross, company failures are often due to two common factors: team issues and running out of funding. He also shares his reasoning on why the most successful entrepreneurs are those with the best execution and the most persistence.

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Have any other awesome entrepreneurial-focused open online courses you would like to share? Send us a tip, or comment below.


About the author

Chase H. Williams

Chase H. Williams is a writer, serial entrepreneur, professional procrastinator, dreamer, explorer and risk taker. He’s been weightless aboard a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn’t quite come back down from the clouds. Visit his website @