How to Become an Entrepreneur in Kentucky

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What is Entrepreneurship?


Kentucky is a state with a vibrant economy. Once known primarily for horses and bourbon, Kentucky now is home to a vibrant manufacturing sector, a strong real estate industry, and business services, among other industries. The state's manufacturing is primarily concerned with food and beverages which makes sense given Kentucky's vibrant agricultural community. Much of their beverage manufacturing is concerned with the state's world-famous liquors. The state is even in the top 25 states in terms of its manufacturing strength.

In fact, of the state's top ten industries, none of them fall out of the top 30 for the United States. Their top ranked industry is the transportation and warehousing industry, which is #23 nationwide. This means that Kentucky is surely in need of highly skilled supply chain management experts.

To meet the demands of Kentucky's thriving economy, its colleges and universities need to continually produce world-class business professionals. Kentucky is home to many prestigious business schools that train students in the most current business theories and technologies. These programs are staffed with faculty members who are veterans of the Kentucky business climate. They understand what it takes to make it in the Bluegrass State. Those who are steeped in academia and not business experience provide value by imparting wisdom from the world's top business scholars. This blend of experience and pure knowledge yields a Kentucky business student who is ready for anything.

Kentucky's colleges and universities also understand that the business community will falter if it's not infused with new ideas and competitive, disruptive business approaches. They thus include entrepreneurial degrees in their curriculum. These programs provide Kentucky's most creative business minds an outlet to explore their business ideas with others who may help them improve and thus create that next game-changing enterprise.


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Entrepreneurship Education in Kentucky


An entrepreneur is a business professional who has decided to take their original, creative ideas and form a business around them. Some may have a wholly new invention that disrupts entire industries, but many have a creative twist on an established business model. For instance, someone may have a good pizza recipe that they combine with a unique restaurant design. Entrepreneurs may be found in any industry.

For that reason, entrepreneurs also have a wide range of working environments. Some operate food trucks where they work with one or two other employees. There are entrepreneurs who have a dynamite software idea. They spend long hours in business offices where they spend hours in meetings with computer programmers, venture capitalists, and other employees. Thus, for someone who wishes to create a specific type of life, the entrepreneurial path is the one for them.

Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Budding entrepreneurs who envision starting a business as soon as possible should consider an associate entrepreneurship degree. The degree will not only provide them with insights into creating a business plan and investor prospects, but they will also pick up skills vital to long-term success. Since any associate degree program includes the core curriculum required by any college, students will have the opportunity to hone their writing, mathematics, and other skills. Even if a community college does not offer an associate entrepreneurship degree, they’ll likely offer other business courses that can help students build the core skills they need to succeed.

Associate entrepreneurship degrees are also cheaper than full bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions. Kentucky's community college system offers college credits at a dramatic discount relative to a four-year college or university. Furthermore, Kentucky's community colleges may offer an online associate degree option to accommodate busy or geographically distant students.

Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

One of the best options for students who know that they want to spend their careers developing their own ideas on their own terms is a bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree. Kentucky's colleges and universities offer plenty of opportunities for future entrepreneurs to build the skills they need for success in the business community. In fact, a full four-year degree program offers students many opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom.

Internship opportunities are more prevalent for bachelor’s degree students than perhaps any other sort of degree program. Entrepreneurship degree students can find businesses that are in their desired industry and find experiential opportunities there. They might even want to pursue internships that help them focus on skills they may be lacking. For instance, a high-tech entrepreneur may want to complete an internship program with a marketing firm so that they can build their knowledge and skills in that area.

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)

While entrepreneurs are not usually beholden to employers who value certain degrees, an advanced degree can help any businessperson succeed. In fact, there are many MBA programs that cater to entrepreneurs. These independent businesspeople need to learn more about how to design a business plan in order to attain a loan, how to assess the marketability of their ideas, and many skills that may not yet be in their wheelhouse.

The degree also provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and meet other business experts. Since some MBA programs have concentrations in multiple disciplines, an entrepreneur may be able to start assembling a team for their project while still in school. After all, one of the primary benefits of an MBA is the network of business professionals that students leave with. After graduating, an entrepreneur may have contacts in banking, finance, and marketing. They may even be successful at recruiting like-minded business professionals to build their idea into a successful enterprise.

PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

Given the proliferation of MBAs and other master’s business degrees, it may be good for those who are serious about their business career or those who are interested in academia to pursue a doctoral business degree. For entrepreneurs, however, this may not always be the best route. Rather, it's more likely that an entrepreneur earns a doctoral degree in a field that is closely related to their core business product or service. That is, a PhD in computer science, mathematics, engineering, or product design may wish to strike out to build their ideas in an entrepreneurial venture.

These days, many computer science and mathematics doctoral candidates venture out to open their own firms. For instance, two of the top cryptocurrency firms, Cardano and Ethereum, are run by people who were working on a PhD in mathematics prior to taking their ideas into the business realm. Their time in academia gave them the time to develop their ideas so that they had a valuable product to work on and launch. Given their outstanding success thus far, it seems clear that doctoral work can be very valuable.

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Become an Entrepreneurial Professional in Kentucky


There are many routes people take on the way to becoming an entrepreneurial business professional in Kentucky. After all, there are no real barriers to entry so long as one has a great idea, plenty of start-up capital, and keen business sense. It's the latter part that is a major sticking point when it comes to pursuing success in business. Even the most brilliant business idea needs a strong business sense behind it. Business history is littered with many brilliant inventions that were absconded from their inventors by those with a sharper sense of business.

In order to be a successful entrepreneurial professional in Kentucky, it's vital to have some core business skills. Chief among these might be mathematics. Business is nothing if not a matter of finance, and finance relies on math. Youngsters who show strong math ability may start considering a business career early on. Those with strong math skills and creative ideas might easily end up on an entrepreneurial path. Since creativity is a key part of entrepreneurial life, any creativity should be encouraged from an early age.

Specifically, entrepreneurship requires that you be able to come up with unique solutions to problems. While many of these ideas may indeed fail, some will succeed. Still other creative ideas may be valid but require additional resources and capital before they can come to fruition.

Naturally, entrepreneurs need to understand business. This is where school is vital. Many entrepreneurs find it easy to conceive of ground-breaking ideas, but they may have no clue about accounting, payroll tax, and marketing. Thus, Kentucky offers many colleges and universities that offer business degrees to help them thrive. Budding entrepreneurs can seek out an entrepreneurial business degree program. However, if that is not an option, they can focus on core skills such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Along the way they should also make sure that their written and oral communication skills are top-notch. After all, they will need to explain their brilliant ideas to investors as well as future employees.

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates


  • Business Owner:
    Every budding entrepreneur dreams of being a business owner. The precise environment and skills needed for this title will depend on each entrepreneur’s dreams. Some may dive into the world of investing and thus need only a spare bedroom and a laptop. Others may work in construction and spend their days managing crews. Further, each business will have its own demands on an owner. Small enterprises demand more hands-on work, while larger organizations need a strong administrative leader.
  • Public Relations Manager:
    The world of public relations helps businesses, politicians, and even celebrities control how they are perceived in the public mind. A public relations manager oversees a team of PR professionals who help create PR strategies for their clients. They also are there to respond when their client does very good or very bad things. PR managers need to be fully in control of their client's public image.
  • Appraiser:
    These professionals are experts at determining the value of things. We usually think of appraisers in real estate. They inspect properties and determine their value in the marketplace. To arrive at their determination, they compare them with comparable items in the same market. Thus, a house will be compared with other houses on the same block or the same neighborhood. Many appraisers work as independent business professionals but there are also small appraisal firms.
  • Web Developer:
    These technology professionals work on websites and with various web applications for their clients or employers. Developers typically work on the back end of websites and leave the user experience parts to the web designers. Developers are in charge of a site's interaction with a database, how it manages cookies, and other technical details. Many web developers work on an independent, freelance basis, though they can also work for tech or marketing firms.
  • Social Media Manager:
    These marketing professionals specialize in managing the social media accounts for clients or employers. They might devise a series of tweets that lead up to a major product launch. They can also interact with the public to help solve problems or provide other helpful information.
  • Marketing Manager:
    After several years of experience in a marketing department, marketing professionals can move up into management. Whether they come from the analytical or creative side of marketing, they will need to oversee employees in both areas. Most marketing managers are in charge of marketing campaigns from start to finish.
  • Sales Manager:
    These professionals are known for their leadership abilities when it comes to motivating a team of sales personnel. Often a sales manager has spent a number of years working on commission where they dealt with the same sort of products. They thus have the sort of knowledge to help new salespeople achieve their sales targets and make the sort of commissions they desire.
  • Business Consultant:
    These professionals are known to do a lot of traveling for work and they can specialize in many different areas. There are business consultants who specialize in credit while others may be technology specialists who help firms upgrade their systems to meet contemporary business standards. Consultants also may work with a management team to help them maximize their firm's bottom line.

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