For those planning to leave their regular jobs for good to establish a business of their own, here are the top 7 financial courses, from an Inc.com report, that you can take to enhance your career as a full-time business employer. The courses give valuable business tips and most take a hands-on, practical approach in teaching students how to be a successful entrepreneur:
1. Technology Venturing
– A course that entails a search for technologies that were never commercialised at research organisations. Technology venturing is currently offered at the Ohio State University by Michael Camp. Technical majors, law students and M.B.A.’s evaluate three technologies and then consult with industry experts, scientists, and possible customers on which technologies they should concentrate on. After testing technologies and applications, formed teams will usually discover some technologies more commercially viable than what the inventor originally planned. According to Camp, learning entrepreneurship is only 20 percent study. The rest, he said, is attributed to execution.
– A class at Stanford University that builds tolerance for risks, the Launchpad gives students the first two weeks of class to incorporate. After that, it’s up to the students to do everything they can to keep their companies from going under. In the middle of the semester, a trade show is held where “venture capitalists” write fake checks. Launchpad mentor and designer Perry Klebahn stresses that being an entrepreneur does not require a high level of intelligence but a boundless capacity to be able to fail, learn, and move forward.
3. New ventures
– A class in Willamette University is assessing start-up companies as student angels. The class, taught by Rob Wiltbank, has 2 groups of students: those who launch start-ups and those that assess start-ups with angel groups. A total of 10 students join local angel groups for a course that runs for a year. The group will raise $100,000 from their supporters and alumni to spend on their project. The student angels evaluate entrepreneurs from a set of criteria taught by Rob Wiltbank, which include being frugal in the processes, as well as measuring success with milestones and capitalising on sudden developments. Returns will be either be reinvested or used to support companies launched by other members of the class. According to Wiltbank having student angels who invest in their entrepreneur classmates allow them to have a firsthand experience of the happiness and suffering of an entrepreneur.
4. Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship
– A yearlong undergraduate course which allows students to create businesses, Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship is a class in Babson college that teaches a “learn by doing” approach where students are organised into groups of 25-30 to develop and establish actual businesses, which the college sponsors. Groups decide on product ideas and establish companies as they appoint leaders, and assign departments, including HR and IT. For funding, students present their products to a faculty board which can provide up to $3,000 for each team. Students are expected to pay back the amount they will receive from the sales of their product. They will then sell their product or service in spring.
5. Entrepreneurial Selling
– A course designed for teaching students how to acquire customers, use selling skills, manage sales processes, narrate powerful stories, and use tools required for selling, Entrepreneurial Selling is also reported to teach students how to reset expectations to avoid unrealistic service and product expectations from customers. The class utilises role playing to teach students to navigate their way through sales conversations and learn how to get past objections. Taught at the University of Chicago by Craig Wortmann, students are required to build a sales trailer, an attractive message about the business, a story matrix, an anecdote about the company that can be used for a pitch and a forecasting tool that assesses sales opportunities depending on the market and the company’s resources. By the end of the class, students pitch their products to CEOs and venture capitalists brought by Wortmann.
6. Founders’ Dilemmas
– Designed for those who hope to be founders of new ventures, or those who want to be early hires, early advisors, board members in new ventures and potential investors, Founders’ Dilemmas examines the decisions most entrepreneurs encounter especially during the initial stages of setting up the business. Taught at Harvard Business School by Noam Wasserman, students may role-play negotiations over titles, equity splits, and responsibilities.
7. Sustainable Product and Market Development for Subsistent Marketplaces
– A two-course sequence that involves international immersion, this class is taught by Madhu Viswanathan and John Clarke at the University of Illinois and requires students to go through five weeks of poverty simulation where pawnshop visits, and problems of paying the rent are role-played.
While you review the courses mentioned above, and try to decide which one is for you, try looking up tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur too. The more information you have, the better grasp you have of the situation. Who knows? You just might be the next big entrepreneur! So get started on those classes now!