We offer lots of business ideas as well as advice and resources for running a business on this website.  Once a business is up and running, you have to keep it up and running – and growing. If you want to do that, you might want to add continuing education to your to do list,

Below are several free educational resources for business owners.

  1. Interviews with entrepreneurs.  Khan Academy offers free video content of interviews with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.  Hear from Elon Musk, Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry and many more. Check out Linda Jeschofnig, Co-founder of Hands-On Labs on ‘Creating a Poof and Not a Giant Kaboom.’
  2. Free entrepreneurship courses.  At Edx.org, free online courses are offered from Harvard, MIT and other top business schools.  Courses include topics such as business administration, social responsibility, negotiations and much more.  Their Social Entrepreneurship courses include Conscious Capitalism, Impact Planning for Social Enterprises and Feeding a Hungry Planet.
  3. At the National Urban League Entrepreneurship center, career fairs, free webinars, local affiliate groups and more offer support to African Americans to achieve economic self-reliance, entrepreneurship and community development.  There are local affiliate offices in most areas of the US. To date, the National Urban League has counseled, mentored and trained over 60,000 businesses since 2006.  Look for the Advancing Black Entrepreneurs webinar series.
  4. NFTE, or Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, offers free resources for entrepreneurs.  Printable resources include posters on the entrepreneurial mindset, the 5Ps of marketing, return on investment and more.  Interactive resources featured are opportunity recognition, collaboration models, flexibility versus adaptability and other topics for business owners.  Use the burn rate calculator to input your initial cash balance, your current or projected cash flow, expenses and outflow over time to determine your break even point and burn rate.
  5. The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers resources for those thinking about or applying for patents and trademarks.  There you can learn about the types of intellectual property protection, finding help in applying for a patent, trademarks versus copyrights, what patents protect and preparing for the patent application process.
  6. Quora.com is an online community of questions and answers on a variety of curated topics.  You can select feeds on startups, business ideas, social media marketing, e-commerce, advertising and more.  This site also allows you to interact with leaders in business by commenting on their posts and even asking them direct questions.  This site is designed for ages 13 years and up.
  7. InfoBooks.org offers 25 free entrepreneur books online.  Topics include digital entrepreneurship, transforming an idea to a product, fundamentals of entrepreneurship, business failure and evolution and more.  Check out the illustrated presentation Entrepreneurship Skills for case studies and short activities that explain various concepts.
  8. RisingInnovator.com features videos on young entrepreneurs’ inventions, services and unique marketing strategies.  Check out how Betcha Can’t inventors approach mistakes and perseverance.
  9. Entrepreneurs on Fire offers a free podcast course designed to teach how to create and launch a podcast.  The nine-section course’s topics begin with your podcast topic, discuss equipment, naming your podcast, your audience and more.
  10. Coursera offers free courses for the entrepreneur.  Topics facilitated by respected professors and business professionals include creating a marketing brand kit, Facebook social media marketing, search engine optimization and more.  Check out the project-centered course How to Create a Website in a Weekend.

Whatever topic or course you begin with, you won’t end there.  A successful entrepreneur never stops learning, networking, and doing.  Let us know what resources have most benefited you and your project, or reach out to Ask an Innovator with your questions.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

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