How to Become an Entrepreneur in Florida

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What is Entrepreneurship?


An entrepreneur is generally a business-savvy person who creates a new business. In doing so, they tend to take on the bulk of the risks. Should their business succeed, they may also enjoy the bulk of the rewards. If, for instance, a young business professional decides to open their own coffee shop based on their experience in the industry but with a twist that will help it to be successful with a different demographic or in a different location, then they may be able to sell it to another company for a profit or hire a manager to keep an eye on the store while they move on to their next project.

Entrepreneurs are often seen as innovators. They may or may not take dangerous risks, but they do need to study the businesses that are already succeeding and find unique ways to make inroads to a specific market.

If a business professional wants to become an entrepreneur in Florida, they should definitely consider earning an entrepreneurship degree in Florida as well. Degrees from local colleges or universities can help businesspeople start their careers out with an existing network in local businesses.

Entrepreneurs may also do themselves a favor by gaining an education from a program that offers a business incubator. This is a program offered by some schools which works to speed the success and growth of entrepreneurial companies by helping them out while the student is still in school. They offer support resources including capital, physical space, common services, coaching, and networking connections.


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Entrepreneurship Education in Florida

Florida, of sandy beaches and sunshine, has a thriving economy that may lead entrepreneurs to consider opening their business there. Tourists come to Florida to visit and enjoy the sun, and it may be the perfect place to start your new venture.

Looking at the setup of business and industry in this state, entrepreneurs may believe that starting their own business is one of the best things they could do. Depending on the industry they are interested in, a new entrepreneur can find success through many avenues as long as they gain a solid education from an entrepreneurship or business administration degree.

Students who are considering entrepreneurship degrees in Florida may want to familiarize themselves with the top five industries in the state, just so they know what options they have and what their best chances are for success.

  • Wholesale Trade, $70.8 billion in revenues
  • Retail Trade, $74 billion
  • Educational Services, Healthcare, and Social Assistance, $100 billion
  • Professional and Business Services, $136.6 billion
  • Real Estate and Rental, and Leasing, $172 billion

Florida tracks the share of small businesses within several industries, as well. The main numbers include small business employment and small business employment share within each industry.

  • Accommodations and food services small businesses employ almost 495,000 workers. The percentage of small business employment share is 52.9%.
  • Healthcare and social assistance reports a small business employment of 476,768, and a small business employment share of 43.9%.
  • Construction claims small business employment of 348,136 and an employment share of 87.6%.
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services hold small business employment of a little more than 334,000 and an employment share of 66.9%.
  • Retail trade shows a small business employment of 326.868 and an employment share of 30.0%.
  • Real estate, rental and leasing show a small business employment of 100,978 and an employment share of 61.3%.

Florida is able to boast of 2.5 million small businesses. Of this number, 556,089 are small business employers. Small businesses make up a whopping 99.8% of all businesses statewide within the business community. This means 3.4 million people are employed by small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines small businesses as those with 0 to 20 employees.

This is important because entrepreneurs usually are responsible for starting new, relatively small businesses. At least until they get off the ground or bought out by a larger company.


Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Graduates of an associate entrepreneurship degree from the best entrepreneurship schools in Florida may land positions in administrative services, keep running or start their own businesses, or they may work as office managers. Real-world experience in internships can make them even more attractive to potential employers, though positions are limited in business for someone with a degree at this level.

Eventually, they may find work as either general or office managers if they gain enough experience. Over time, they may become business owners and the chief executive officers of their businesses.

Career opportunities are better for graduates of college degree programs from associate degree-level and up.

Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

Finding and enrolling in bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree programs can help students to take major strides toward their career goals.

Once the student has earned their degree, they should have the qualifications to work in the following positions:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Executive Assistant
  • Business or Retail Operations
  • Banking
  • Financial Analysis and Related Services

These employment settings are representative of the range of opportunity opening up to students and graduates. However, this is also one of the best degree options for those looking to start their own business. Whether you have already taken the first steps toward starting a business, started a small business, or are looking for experience within a certain industry so that you can start your business with experience, this is the way to go. A bachelor’s degree takes longer than an associate, but it will give you all the education you may ever need, will look better on a request for capital to start your business, and more.

Some of the classes students in this major may take include those in entrepreneurship, operations management, consumer behavior and research, entrepreneurial revenue and capital, advertising and sales, and more.

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)

Graduate students working on earning their MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship will have an even easier time gaining the skills they need to launch themselves into self-employment, but there are lots of options. They may decide to helm the entrepreneurial or product research unit of an organization or they may use their entrepreneurial mindset to launch their own companies that they’ve been contemplating for years.

Students in these entrepreneurship programs gain the skills they need to be business leaders and may learn financial accounting, business law, managerial accounting, and additional subjects depending on their specialization and any elective courses they choose to take.

Other courses may include technology ventures, venture creation, electronic commerce, entrepreneurial finance and private equity, among others. Some of these courses may be attractive to risk takers.

PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

PhD programs often do not focus on entrepreneurship but focus more closely on business administration. At this level, one can assume that students already know how to start a business and are looking for greater credibility in entrepreneurship or a deeper understanding of administrating new and existing businesses. This is what a PhD in business at this level can provide. Students seek academic rigor so that, once they graduate, they may begin their own consulting firms. Or they may publish books and articles in well-respected journals. They may also join the guest lecture circuit or, if they have plans to advance in their own firms, they may move up into the executive suite.

A PhD may also allow graduates to pursue academic research full-time. This research is based on business theories and is meant to answer wider topics which are specific to the discipline.

The DBA is more interested in elevating or evolving business practices. They want to give themselves additional flexibility for career changes in the future. These changes may include academia. Many colleges and universities prefer to have tenured professors who hold doctorate degrees, no matter their discipline.

Become an Entrepreneur in Florida


As with all other states, Florida does not require any specific licensure or certification of those who wish to start a business. They will, of course, be required to register any new business they start with the state and gain a business license if required in their industry.

However, as with most industries, business professionals may do better in their industry if they are willing to gain certifications that prove that they know what they are doing. These certifications can span a huge number of specializations, from computer programming and cyber security to project management. The ones you decide to earn will depend on what industry you are focused on.

Here are some certifications and courses that focus on entrepreneurship.

  • UCLA Extension:
    Online Series in Entrepreneurship - This series contains five courses along with six electives. Each one focuses on an aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation. The entrepreneur will have to have a degree, along with several years of work experience to gain entry.
  • Certiport
    Entrepreneurship and Small Business - This certification is sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Intuit. The certificate course is supposed to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to have the toolkit needed to move ahead.
  • Design for Delight Innovator Certification
    -This course teaches professionals how to understand concepts that are related to small business, entrepreneurship, and small-business design.

The following certifications are offered by universities and massive open online courses (MOOC). Each certification teaches something different to entrepreneurs who sign up.

  • Wharton University of Pennsylvania, Entrepreneurship Specialization – This is a five-course specialization, which gives new business owners a foundation on which to achieve their goals. Because it is tailored to beginners, only those who don’t have any experience starting their own business should attend.
  • University of Maryland: Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business - This four-course specialization teaches professionals about having a vision for opportunities, developing workable business models, connecting with investors, and pitching to likely investors.
  • University of California: Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking & Action - This course takes the entrepreneur beyond processes and obtaining investments. Professionals learn how to find and capitalize on business opportunities. Successful entrepreneurs will put this to good use, relying on their creativity in achieving their goals in a way that works best for them. Entrepreneurs also learn how to figure out the best processes for their business.
  • University of Illinois: Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship - As fast as new developments trend, they may be passe tomorrow or next week. It is in this environment that startups and entrepreneurs may thrive. This is why “innovative creativity” helps entrepreneurs to capitalize on using digital disruption to narrow down business operations and get a concept moving quickly.

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates


A career in entrepreneurship is much more than simply starting a business. There are many types of entrepreneurship opportunities including the builder, opportunist, specialist, innovator, fact finder, and more. For the best chance at success, determine the quality that best suits your strengths, character and personality and then choose an entrepreneurship career path, such as:

  • Public Relations Manager

    A public relations manager is responsible for managing the public’s perception of a company. They may develop a marketing communications plan which includes goals, strategy for media or customer relations, and budget for the PR department.

    This professional may also direct a social media team in audience engagement, using both new and traditional media. Managers make use of existing media relationships and nurture new contacts found within business and industry media.

  • Social Media Manager

    The primary goal of a social media manager is to increase the exposure of their clients or employer using social media platforms. These may include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and others. A manager works with their team to meet the goals of each of their clients. One client may need different marketing strategies to send their brands message using creative methods.

    The social media manager and teamwork as liaisons between their clients’ businesses and social media followers. Social media managers go beyond attracting new customers. They go through the data, deciding with engagement initiatives are the most effective.

  • Investment and Acquisition
    Investment and acquisition work to support mergers and acquisitions of new companies or assets for their business or clients. Acquisitions may sometimes be referred to as mergers, but these actually mean different things. If a company buys another company; this is an acquisition. Two companies combining into a legal entity under one name is a merger.
  • Business Owner

    Business owners operate their company. This company may offer either products or services, which are marketed and sold to customers or clients. The business owner determined whether there was a need for their offerings. This is often the most likely position for an entrepreneur to covet, though they may leave the running of a business’ everyday operations to a manager.

    Business owners offer solutions to business challenges and make a positive contribution to the country’s economy, offering employment opportunities within the private sector.

  • Brand Manager
    A brand manager develops brand strategies and promotes the growth of an organization’s or product’s brand. They help the brand to grow. The brand manager also carries out plans for the brand, using data to increase volume and productivity.
  • Business Consultant
    Business consultants study organizational practices and look for weaknesses. Next, they recommend solutions to improve organizational performance. A business consultant may focus on one specific area (human resources, marketing, engineering, management, or finance). The advice they give is at an expert level.
  • Marketing / Research Analyst
    Marketing analysts work closely with data and they strategize how to work with what they found. They may often know how to make data easier for others to consume and understand, which allows management and executives to make the decisions that need to be made.
  • Product / Product Development Manager
    Product development managers use their expertise to design, develop, and improve new offerings, such as products and services, to be sold to the public or other companies. They should be skilled in market and technological research and they also supervise the design and development processes and projects.

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