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What is Entrepreneurship?
Louisiana, with its plentiful natural resources, is well suited to the entrepreneurial spirit. Prospective students who wish to become an entrepreneur in Louisiana may be well served by attending a college or university in the state, even if they already have an idea of what kind of business they want to start. For example, this state has the highest concentration of oil refineries in the U.S. An entrepreneur with preexisting knowledge of oil and gas extraction may become a major producer of these fuels.
Manufacturing is the top industry in this state, followed by real estate, rental, and leasing and professional and business services close behind. For entrepreneurs who want to focus on construction and contracting, this industry falls within the top 10.
Louisiana is already home to almost 350,000 small businesses. The state also has 221,300+ self-employed individuals, including those who have incorporated their own companies.
So, where can aspiring entrepreneurs find an opportunity to open a business? Here are just a few options:
- Real Estate
- Digital Marketing
Louisiana has several programs to help current and new entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors. These include the Farmer Training Program, the Side Hustle initiative, Makers, and a development program for regional farmers markets. The state also has partnerships with some organizations, such as the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce and three coaching partners to work directly with entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur is an individual who may have a dream for a new business, product, or service. They may go to school, enrolling in an associate degree program or a college of business, where they can take classes in general education, business, and opt into an entrepreneurship program when they are ready. In a business or entrepreneurship degree, or even an internship, they can gain real-world experience.
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Entrepreneurship Education in Louisiana
Once they have graduated, the overall process of establishing their own business is entrepreneurship. These business owners, with their entrepreneurial spirit leading the way, hold a vital role in their city and state’s economies. By using their skills and initiative, they may be able to anticipate needs within their communities. Once they know what the need is, they strive to develop and bring new ideas, products, or services to the local market.
Starting a new business can be risky but, if an entrepreneur makes the right moves and decisions, they can generate wealth and growth for themselves and within their community. Someone with entrepreneurial drive and a marketable idea can start right away or they can gain skills and knowledge by enrolling in a business degree program that focuses on entrepreneurship.
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Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)
Students looking for a quick intro to business and management may be interested in an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship. Depending on their career goals, students can earn their degree and then take the business skills they learned and launch an entrepreneurial endeavor. This degree program offers general education and the work skills necessary to go out into the world and succeed.
If students need to find work in between graduation and beginning their business, they will have the skills for general business positions, which can help them gain real-world experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)
With a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, students can gain the skills to help them gain positions and earn experience in their chosen industry. This degree program will give students a more in-depth knowledge of business than an associate degree, and it can help them focus in on an industry. For example, they might take computer science classes or courses that deal with manufacturing in order to understand these subjects better before they head out to start their own business. They can also gain skills and knowledge that will help them obtain the money they need to turn their idea into a business. These programs focus on business development, management, and funding strategies, among other things.
Graduates of these types of programs may find career opportunities in finance, franchising, business ownership, general business, innovation, international business, and more.
Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)
Students planning to earn a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship degree in Louisiana may be looking to hone their skills and gain even more in-depth knowledge needed to find market opportunities in a specific industry. This can help them shape and refine their business ideas and can give them more credibility when they go looking for investors. These programs teach students how to assess financial feasibility, build a professional support team, design strong business models, and launch their new venture. They’ll also get an overview of modern employment law. Students who are interested in international business might want to look for programs that offer study abroad opportunities, which can help them learn more about issues that confront small, medium, and multinational companies.
Graduates of these degree programs will be prepared to work in advanced roles in organizations such as operations manager, director of innovation, business development manager, franchise owner, or business owner/CEO.
PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
Professionals interested in gaining more education in entrepreneurship may want to explore available doctoral programs. At this level, degrees are geared for students who are passionate about both new discovery and research. Students can research whatever most interests them in entrepreneurship, such as how IT impacts business and society or something specific within their own chosen industry.
What you study has a lot to do with your own interests and the program you choose, but if you did choose a program focused on IT and technology, you might delve into the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and deep learning and how they have influenced organizations to change how they operate. You might study the influence of software on many areas of society, including the influence of Google and Facebook on advertising.
PhD graduates may be able to find positions in academia or in industries looking for experts.
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Become an Entrepreneur in Louisiana
The most important thing to have in order to become an entrepreneur in Louisiana is an idea. Many people start businesses without a formal education, but you can’t start one if you have no plans. However, even those who start their own businesses without education often return to school to gain some helpful skills, such as accounting or management techniques. Students learn how to write business plans, find financing for their ideas, and oversee their staff.
While there are no specific educational requirements for entrepreneurs in Louisiana, you will want to make sure that you follow all pertinent laws when it comes to starting your own business. You’ll need to make the state aware of your business plans, make sure the name of your business is available, and register as a corporation or sole proprietor or other appropriate business type for tax purposes.
Also, if you are looking for new skills or credibility without earning a whole degree, you might want to consider earning a certificate covering what you need or entrepreneurship as a whole. You can look for certificates from professional associations or associations for entrepreneurs, such as the following.
- Louisiana Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (LEED) Center
This organization serves the state of Louisiana in offering support to businesses, entrepreneurs, economic development agencies, and rural and underserved minority populations that may not be connected to the economic resources they need for success. Its mission is to “strengthen and diversify the economy” using relationship-based entrepreneurship and economic development programming.
- Southern University Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA)
SUSLA put its micro-enterprise business incubation program into operation in January of 2004. Aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs, it offers an environment where participants can learn the skills they need to guide their businesses to success. Participants learn these skills while still operating their businesses.
Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates
- Business Owner
In a small business, the owner may not hold any service-related roles. Their role is strategic; they keep their attention on the whole picture, define the vision, and set the roadmap. Their responsibilities may include designing the business, making sure they can meet projected outcomes, review and approve communications for the stakeholders, and much more
- Public Relations Manager
The public relations manager is responsible for the strategic communication process, which is intended to build beneficial relationships between organizations and their customers. They preserve the organization’s reputation, whether a crisis is ongoing or not. They may also manage the content that creates the organization’s public “face” and try to create more demand for the organization’s products or services. The public relations manager may also advise their organization about how they are able to influence public policy or even pending laws.
- Web Developer
The web developer designs and builds websites. They are responsible for the appearance of the website and its technical properties, such as the amount of traffic it can handle and how fast it is. Web designers who have the capability of developing both the front end and back end are called full-stack developers.
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- Social Media Manager
Social media managers are responsible for running their company’s public social media accounts. They use these to interact with clients or customers. One of the biggest goals for social media managers is to use their platforms to increase sales. They may help run advertising campaigns and drive engagement with high quality content that is original.
- Marketing Manager
The marketing manager conducts market research so that they have a clear understanding of what their organization’s customers are looking for. This research helps them to identify new market opportunities, which helps the organization to create a market niche for the services or products it offers. Marketing managers also study the organization’s competitors in order to develop better products and marketing techniques.
- Sales Manager
Sales managers run a sales team and offer guidance, training, and mentorship to the team. They also establish sales quotas and goals, create sales plans, assign sales territories, and develop their team.
This manager tracks sales goals and results, reporting when needed. They continuously train salespeople, motivate each member of the staff, counsel them on sales, ensure each member knows about the products they sell, and may work to generate new sales leads.
- Advertising Firm Director
An advertising agency owner spends much of their time developing new business. To do this, they connect with, educate, and help other business owners who need the ad agency’s services. The agency owner also spends some time mentoring their advertising team members, studying agency forecasts, and planning the budget so the agency can meet its objectives.