What is Entrepreneurship?
New ideas are the way the world evolves. New products, services, and processes have made the world a better and more comfortable place. Inventors have been in existence since fire and the wheel and, although some things seem to be nearly impossible to improve upon, there are still people dedicated to making things easier and faster.
Inventors also go by a new name, one that was coined in the last couple of decades: entrepreneur. These people are all about coming up with new and innovative ways to do things; but there’s a twist. Many entrepreneurs don’t really want to be business owners. They’re idea people. They would rather help other businesses create new products for their business (while getting at least partial credit for the ideas) than come up with one or a couple of ideas and run a business making those products. If they have a business, it’s as a consultant, and even in that case, they are likely to have someone else running the business.
Many people think entrepreneurs are people who start businesses and take risks. However, this is also a business owner; the difference between a regular business owner and an entrepreneur is that entrepreneurs are visionaries. They don’t tend to start a business and run it for 30 years; they create ideas and solutions for businesses repeatedly. Many entrepreneurs aren’t interested in running a business and dealing with the minutia of day-to-day operations. They want to create methods and solutions for other businesses or create new businesses and make a profit by selling that idea (their business) to someone else who will run it and continue to make a profit with it. Entrepreneurs exist in every industry and work with companies and business owners of all sizes to help them create goods and services that match what their customers need.
Online Entrepreneurship Education in Maine
In the state of Maine, business, healthcare, and education are some of the largest industries. Entrepreneurs exist in all of those industries. Of course, entrepreneurs can be found in every industry in existence, so if you are a person who loves to identify gaps in an industry and create the products or services to fills those gaps, there is a place for you in the state of Maine. And, although most entrepreneurs have a natural ability when it comes to finding and fixing issues, the rest of the world still equates education with credibility, so attaining at least a minimum education in a field of interest is suggested. If you think you’re an entrepreneur in the making, we have provided some information about the profession below. Program options, how to break into the industry, and some jobs an entrepreneur can work while they are building their reputation as credible entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to earn an education at a variety of levels from the best schools. As with most things, the more education a person has, the more credible they are considered. However, successful entrepreneurs have proven track records that may or may not be related to their educational level. Some entrepreneurs have degrees in business, while others are educated in their expert industry. Below are some of the degree levels an entrepreneur might pursue.
Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)
An associate degree in entrepreneurship provides the baseline for an education in business. This is a good place for business owners to gain some business skills and write a business or marketing plan.
Courses in an associate degree program in Maine might include:
- Business Law
Associate degrees generally take two years to complete and can help those who do not already own a business to develop the foundation needed to start a one of their own.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)
A bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship is where many people who own businesses land educationally. It’s more education than a two-year degree but stops short of graduate level courses. For many entrepreneurs, this is enough education to gain credibility.
Bachelor’s degrees usually take 4-6 years to complete, and students will study the following.
- Managerial and Cost Accounting
- Business Ethics
- Business Statistics
- Corporate Finance
- Quantitative Business Analysis
This is not an exhaustive list of courses, obviously, but they are the courses that entrepreneurs will find particularly helpful when running their business.
Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)
For an entrepreneur, a master’s in business administration, aka an MBA, is great for providing status and credibility. Entrepreneurs are generally naturally business savvy and a graduate degree serves to back up what they already know. Additionally, even the most brilliant entrepreneurs can have knowledge gaps, and graduate courses can correct that issue. Some schools offer an online MBA specialization in entrepreneurship, with courses that are specific to the needs of entrepreneurs. Graduate programs usually require one to three years of study, and either a comprehensive examination or capstone project is required to complete the program.
Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
Most entrepreneurs are interested in knowing everything they can about their chosen industries, but past that, higher education may bore them. Many entrepreneurs were college students who became bored with school and dropped out to begin their first enterprise. However, for those who want to be considered subject matter experts in the academic realm or who are looking to take the step into academia, attaining a doctorate degree is something they might consider. The degree takes 5 to 7 years and to successfully complete and a dissertation is usually required to be written and successfully defended for graduation from the program.
Become an Entrepreneur in Maine
Becoming an entrepreneur is a combination of knowledge, reputation, and business savvy. Entrepreneurs are considered experts in their field, whatever that might be. Many consider entrepreneurs and business owners as one and the same. However, this is not always true. A business owner might be an entrepreneur or they might not. For example, a person who owns a fast-food franchise is a business owner, but that does not automatically make them an entrepreneur. But a business owner who opens a fast-food restaurant that meets a need that is not met by other restaurants has the entrepreneurial spirit. Innovation is the biggest difference between a regular business owner and an entrepreneur.
So, how does one become an entrepreneur? It starts with an idea. Entrepreneurs look for opportunities to fill needs that aren’t being met. They generate ideas by studying an industry and comparing what the industry offers with what those who use the industry need. Once a need is identified, entrepreneurs go to work to find a solution. Sometimes the entrepreneur creates the solution himself, other times entrepreneurs will put together a team to create the solution.
Once a person has completed several projects like the above, they will gain a reputation as an expert and solutions person. Once that reputation has been established, a person can officially call themselves an entrepreneur. People will seek them out to help them solve issues with their business. When this happens, an entrepreneur can become a consultant for that business, do the comparison, and make suggestions that will help the business create the solutions they need.
Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates
- Business Owner
Many entrepreneurs do start their own businesses. Sometimes they focus on one solution to a problem they have discovered, other times they create think tanks that solve problems for other companies. An entrepreneur business owner often delegates the daily business tasks to a manager or team which frees them to do what they are best at, identifying issues and finding solutions.
One of an entrepreneur’s best skills is their ability to determine values. As an appraiser, examining objects and determining their value is helpful for a variety of industries. Real estate, fine art, and other business interests often need people to evaluate assets and provide their value. And since every industry needs appraisers, regardless of a person’s chosen industry, work as an appraiser will always be available.
- Social Media Manager
Entrepreneurs tend to have a gift for gab, especially when it comes to their area of expertise. Because of this, they can make excellent hype people and enthusiastic sellers. One area where they shine is on social media. Having an entrepreneur as a social media manager means your posts will always be relevant and full of information and calls to action. They will relentlessly search for information that will make a business stand out from the rest and they will engage with your customers and visitors to your page which ultimately could drive sales.
- Investment and Acquisition
Successful entrepreneurs will often branch out into investment and acquisition positions. After they have launched several successful businesses, entrepreneurs might choose to use some of their income or working capital to assist in funding other small businesses ventures. This could come in the form of angel investing or partial ownership of the business, or the entrepreneur might want to be involved in the launching of the business, either in a formal or advisory role. In acquisitions, entrepreneurs have a special way of knowing when an established business will enhance another existing business and will use their leverage and capital to make the pairing happen.
- Product/Product Development Manager
Product creation and development are in the center of an entrepreneur’s wheelhouse. They enjoy creating new products and services and growing the idea into a viable business. Product development managers are involved in all aspects of the development stage, from the concept to choosing materials and how product will be marketed to the public. They work closely with manufacturers to ensure the end product matches the original vision and make adjustments as necessary. Once the product is created and ready for distribution, the manager oversees this step as well, making sure the products land in the right hands. Product managers might also conduct surveys with customers to find out if any changes are necessary and that the proper target market is being reached.