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What is Entrepreneurship?

The world needs creative thinkers and innovators. There might not be a need for a new mousetrap, but that doesn’t mean people can’t think about creating one. And when there is a need for a new technology or a new way to complete a task, you want people who can look at what we have and what we need and find a way to bridge the divide. These people are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs find needs and create ways to fill them. They are big picture visionaries who can also see the details. They are critical thinkers, thought leaders, and subject matter experts. If you need someone to help you take an identified need and turn it into a solution, an entrepreneur is what you are seeking.

Although entrepreneurs are big picture people, once they see the picture, have created the solution, and guided the execution of the plan and the implementation of the rollout, they are often ready to move on to the next project. Most entrepreneurs aren’t interested in the daily operations of an organization past the implementation of their idea. This is neither a condemnation nor criticism, in fact it is their ability to disengage and disassociate from an organization that makes them so effective. They may not get personally involved with a company past overseeing the new product or idea rollout. They do their jobs, and they move on. If you can relate to getting excited about finding and launching new ideas but the idea of the daily business grind bores you, you just might be an entrepreneur in the making.

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Entrepreneurship Education in Georgia

Considering all the industries that are found in Georgia, there are plenty of opportunities to make your mark as an entrepreneur. Whether you want to work in entertainment, real estate, finance or another area, good ideas are always needed and welcome.

Entrepreneurs are often self-employed and are called in as consultants to help a business solve a problem or create a new process. They might work independently or have a team that works with them. Entrepreneurs love to solve problems. If they work solo, they will come into a project, gather the information needed, and then they may create a team to help with the situation. Entrepreneurs are excellent short-term managers, and they tend to appreciate the talents and expertise of others; this makes it easier for them to recruit a team to help them implement their concept. Unlike some leaders, entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to admit that they don’t have the complete answer and will instead search high and low for the person who does. As long as all the information is gathered to create the solution that solves the problem, an entrepreneur welcomes any and all input.

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Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Associate Entrepreneurship Degree

As with most associate degrees, an associate’s in entrepreneurship takes two years to complete. Some community colleges opt to offer a certificate program instead.

The programs consist of classes that help people who want to start businesses, so they tend to study practical concepts including the following:

  • Accounting / Bookkeeping
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Business Law
  • Sociology
  • Business Math
  • Business Statistics

This degree will often be enough to get an entry-level position in many companies and is also a good foundation for someone who wants to start their own business. But, if a person wants to work in management with an existing company, more education is often required.

Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

At the four-year college level, entrepreneurship is generally included in the business department, which has its pros and cons. Although being an entrepreneur is obviously a business-related concept, it’s not just business majors who are entrepreneurs. Musicians, scientists, and teachers can be entrepreneurs. That said, there are a lot of courses that revolve around the running of a business included in entrepreneur programs.

Along with the courses listed in the associate degree section, students may also take:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Quantitative Business Analysis
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Ethics
  • Economics
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Cost Accounting

For those just starting out in their careers, this degree could get them into a lower-level management position, especially if their have prior work experience. And for those who are already operating their own businesses, this degree adds credibility if they ever need to find capital.

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)

Entrepreneurship is generally included as a specialization for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). If it is a standalone program, it includes most of the courses offered in an MBA program, but may add some special classes that might or might not be included in a regular MBA program.

Some of these classes could include:

  • Portfolio and Marketing Kit Creation and Presentation
  • How to Find and Speak with Investors
  • Creating Entrepreneurial Teams
  • Relationship Building
  • Business Grant and Plan Writing
  • Idea Generation

A graduate degree takes from 18 months to three years to complete, depending on the program. With this degree, positions in upper management become available, as do teaching opportunities at colleges and technical schools. And this degree does give a business owner more credibility in the industry.

PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

A PhD is considered a terminal degree because it is the highest degree you can achieve in an industry. Doctorate degrees can take seven or more years to complete, depending on the program and a detailed report of paper solving a problem in an industry (called a dissertation) is often required. A program for entrepreneurship is very detailed and customized for each person, so there isn’t a set curriculum, but included courses are meant to set the student up as a subject matter expert at the completion of the program. PhDs are also valuable for educators, as they are often sought after to take teaching and research positions at colleges and universities or gain tenure within an existing position. For those who strive to be entrepreneurs, a doctorate sets them up as an expert and makes creating teams to fix problems and fill needs that much easier.

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Become an Entrepreneur in Georgia

The simplest approach to become an entrepreneur in Georgia, or any place quite frankly, is to look for solutions to problems on a regular basis. Entrepreneurs by nature are generally not interested in being involved in the daily operations of a business; they would much rather go into an already established business or industry, identify a problem, solve it, and move on to the next adventure. Being able to identify the needs not being met, and then provide solutions, is one of the first skills an aspiring entrepreneur must hone. Learning as much as possible about an industry is one way to attain this skill, either by gaining a formal education in the industry and/or working in said industry for a period of time.

Many entrepreneurs have their own consulting firms and travel to client sites to help them with their issues. The entrepreneur might have an in-house team, or they might assemble a team of experts after they’ve identified the client’s problem. Just as entrepreneurs are experts at identifying issues and coming up with solutions, they are equally as capable of finding the right people to help them. They are excellent collaborators. However, they may not be adept in operating a business, so they may therefore have a staff that runs the office, which allows them to do the work they were meant to do, and which interests them most.

Most of an entrepreneur’s skills come naturally to them, but a formal education can fill in any gaps that might exist. Most entrepreneurial education programs are in the business arena, so getting a degree in business with a specialization in entrepreneurship is pretty common. But entrepreneurs can have degrees in a variety of fields. Much of the time, an entrepreneur’s education is in the field where thy like to consult the most, but this isn’t a requirement. As long as they have the knowledge to understand the industry, they can usually identify its needs and operate accordingly.

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates

Entrepreneurs aren’t always the best employees, but if a business is willing to let an entrepreneur be themselves, they are true assets to an organization. And, although being an employee isn’t always the most comfortable situation for an entrepreneur, working in the industry in which they want to be trailblazers for new products and services is mandatory, for both the experience as well as developing a reputation as someone who gets results. Below are a few career ideas for budding entrepreneurs that will allow for creativity and offer some space, while also allowing the entrepreneur to gain the industry experience they need to eventually venture out on their own.

  • Business Owner:
    Entrepreneurs are often self-employed. They don’t always make good employees because they prefer to do things how they want to do them, and that can often conflict with how an organization wants things done. So, owning their own business makes more sense for many of these independent thinkers. However, many entrepreneurs don’t run their own businesses either; they hire office managers to handle the day-to-day operations and they concentrate on the company’s mission, which is to find solutions for their clients. But their vision combined with business savvy and their ability to build teams often helps them build successful businesses.
  • Public Relations Manager
    A public relations manager is in charge of projecting a company’s mission statement, message, and vision to the public. They write press releases, hold press conferences, and are the voice of an organization. They must have excellent writing and speaking skills and be comfortable speaking with a variety of people, from CEOs to regular everyday people. The manager might have a team of PR reps that work for them, or they might do the work themselves.

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  • Advertising:
    People who work in advertising are good at finding ways to communicate with people in new and unique ways. This is an area in which entrepreneurs are experts. They have the ability to find ways to present something in new and innovative ways. They also know how to find out where the needs are, and who would benefit from a product or service the most.
  • Appraiser:
    An entrepreneur might work as an appraiser because it gives them the opportunity to hone their valuation skills. Appraisers examine things using various tools and techniques to determine the value of an item or property. Appraisers can work in art, real estate, and banking, to name a few areas. Being able to research and attach a value to something is a good skill to have because it can help you determine if a product or service is a good value and worthy of investment, or if there is a market for this product or service.
  • Marketing/Research Analyst:
    Marketing and research analysts take marketing information and interpret the data so that it can be used by a company. When a company is putting together a marketing and advertising plan, the analyst looks for commonalities in the data, as well as areas where marketing might either be lacking on not as effective as it could be. A company takes this information and uses it to improve their marketing materials and their overall reach to potential clients.
  • Product/Product Development Manager:
    A product development manager oversees the creation of new products. New products are created to solve a problem and fill a need, and this is another area where entrepreneurs shine. Not only are they adept at identifying gaps in services and products, but they also have the skill set to create a team and produce the goods and services needed to fulfill those needs.

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