How to Become an Entrepreneur in Michigan

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What is Entrepreneurship?


Strictly speaking, an entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business. An entrepreneur may start a business and operate it, working to be sure that it is successful, or they may start a business, build it up, and sell it for a profit.

Another definition of the word states that an entrepreneur is someone who “uses resources to put into action inventive ideas for new ventures which have been carefully thought through.” Either way, they take risks and put new ideas, products, and services into the market.

Entrepreneurs may choose to start a business because it is a long-term goal or it may be due to lack of employment. No matter the reason, the main quality of an entrepreneur is the ability to see where there is a lack or something missing in an industry and to find the perfect thing to fill that gap. They may do this using their own unique knowledge of the industry or they may excel at putting together qualified teams to tackle new and old issues.


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Online Entrepreneurship Education in Michigan


Entrepreneurs are vital in Michigan, just as they are in every state. Entrepreneurial business owners, no matter the size of their business, add to the revenues paid to the state and can improve the whole economy.

For example, a small business that appraises homes for sale can offer professional support to real estate companies or benefit the finance and insurance industry. The real estate, rental, and leasing industry brings in $63.3 billion to the state each year. An appraiser is a vital part of this industry.

General contractors often own small companies. By contracting or subcontracting with larger companies involved in building homes and businesses, these small entrepreneurs grow bigger - and they also help Michigan’s economy. Entrepreneurs may also be found in the wholesale and retail trades, filling a need for residents in their towns and cities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 123,150 business professionals work in the state. But according to some sources, there are around 765,000 small businesses in the state. Not all of these entrepreneurs have grown their business to the size where they need to bring on employees, but some of them will in the coming years. Whether they earned an entrepreneurship degree in Michigan or not, their efforts help not only their businesses, but also the state economy as a whole. The annual mean wage for businesspeople in Michigan is $88,830.

According to the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs can be found in fields such as automotive, technology, aviation, renewable energy, the food and beverage industry, and aeronautics. Construction and data or IT are also popular industries where entrepreneurs can begin businesses.

The entrepreneurial growth is all but hidden beneath the wide shadow cast by the big three and the state’s “Motor City” moniker. However, underneath these two huge presences, growth is still taking place.

Michigan is aware of the impact that entrepreneurs and their businesses on the state’s finances. No matter if a business employs less than 10 workers or 500, they are valuable to the economy of the state. By creating employment, they offer the chance for financial independence to their workers. Even better, business owners invest in their communities and spend locally.

Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Students looking for community colleges offering associate business entrepreneurship degrees will get everything they need to complete their college educations, graduate, and launch successful careers. They may choose to work for someone else’s company at first, gaining valuable experience. But, once they begin working in a business environment, they can gain the skills and experience they need to begin their own business.

Students graduating from entrepreneurship degree programs may choose to begin working on starting their own company after graduation, or they may decide to transfer to a four-year university where they can add to the foundation of knowledge they now have.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

Students who want to become an entrepreneur in Michigan can choose an entrepreneurship major for their undergraduate program, though the majority of their core classes will focus on business. In one of these programs, they will gain a broad knowledge of a variety of areas of business including computer information systems, accounting, marketing, finance, and management. Entrepreneurship students can benefit from each of these areas of business because of how they relate to their futures as entrepreneurs.

Students should also learn how to develop a business plan, obtain capital resources, carry out marketing research, manage the cash flow of their business, and understand all legal issues related to their endeavors. Should students decide to work for another employer first, this can help them gain a clear understanding of all business processes. Then, when they are ready to start their own business, they will have the knowledge and experience they need.

Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)

These programs develop a deeper understanding of business as a whole and management theories and techniques. Coursework may include both academic courses and business incubator programs, depending on what program you choose. These can offer students the opportunity to apply their new skills to their own start-up ventures.

In an incubator program, mentoring and seed funding may be provided if the venture is considered viable. If the student’s venture is not considered viable, you may still have the chance to work with a start-up venture, in which you can put your accumulated knowledge into practice.

Students in an MBA programspend time resolving real-life business problems and have opportunities to participate in internships. This can help by providing real experiential learning.

Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

A PhD in Business Administration or another entrepreneurship-related field can also be found in the state. In these programs, PhD students prepare to become scholars. By the time they graduate, students at this level will be prepared to teach or join research in the field.

Students at this level might be expected to mentor their peers, participate in professional development seminars, and more. Class cohorts are often kept quite small in order to help the mentorship process develop between students and faculty advisors. Areas of specialization include Operations Management, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior, International Business, Marketing and Strategy, and Entrepreneurship.

The first two years are spent on coursework, which helps students prepare their research topics. As they move into their specializations, each student dives more deeply into their specialty research.

Become an Entrepreneur in Michigan


It’s important to note that there are no blanket state requirements for those who wish to begin a business in terms of licensure. However, if you wish to begin a business, you will need to register your business with the state and with taxation agencies. You may also need to consider licensure or certification if you wish to start a business in an industry which requires it. For example, most states require licensure to work as a cosmetologist, so you may need to ensure that your workers have appropriate licensure or insurance if you plan to open a spa, salon, construction company, or other small business.

There are also entrepreneurship certifications and courses for those who wish to shore up their credentials on that front. Here are just some of the options.

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business - Certiport

    This certification is sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Intuit. It gives small-business owners the knowledge and materials they need to be business leaders. This program offers business owners validation of their familiarity and understanding of core business principles. This includes what essentials they need to start and successfully maintain their business.

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset and Leadership

    This program teaches entrepreneurial leadership skills that business owners need as they work to take their organization to a higher level. These skills include engaging stakeholders, strategic focus, key measurements, and moving innovation up.

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    In this course, professionals learn how to identify entrepreneurial ideas and how to use entrepreneurial mindset, behavior, and motivation. They learn to analyze their industry status, condition, macroeconomic change, and competition.

    During the program, business owners work to create innovative business models and design value propositions, assemble and lead a carefully chosen team, focus on those big ideas that engage customers, and create a financial model to minimize risks and maximize their success.

Potential Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates


  • Business Owner

    The responsibilities of a small-business owner vary from person to person and business to business. However, an entrepreneurial business may require the owner to fill many shoes when they first start. This is because, at the outset, a small business may have limited resources. The owner may have to focus on many areas: marketing and sales, compliance and legal responsibilities, planning and strategy, and finance and accounting. If it continues to grow, the owner may only make the big decisions, or they could even bring in a manager so they don’t have to worry about day-to-day operations.

  • Social Media Manager

    A social media manager is responsible for running an organization’s public social media accounts. These are used to interact with clients, maintain good PR, and bring more potential customers into the business. They post advertising campaigns and create high-quality content that needs to be original.

    Social media managers should have a large amount of marketing experience and be able to back up their expertise as they create and share technical documents applying to various advertising campaigns.

  • Marketing Manager

    A talented marketing manager works to promote businesses, products, brands, and services. They are responsible for developing strategies for pricing and marketing, overseeing marketing staff, generating new business leads, analyzing trends, and managing the marketing department’s budget.

    They may also prepare forecasts after analyzing market trends; coordinate an organization’s marketing strategies by working with the public relations, sales, financial and production departments; prepare and present quarterly and annual reports to the organization’s senior management; and promote brands at trade shows and large industry-related events.

  • Sales Manager

    A sales manager leads their team to meet sales targets. They may hire and train new team members as well as establishing quotas, developing processes to drive sales, evaluating performance, and travelling to various locations if necessary.

    These managers will need to have accumulated years of sales experience before they move up into a management position. The most skilled sales managers are excellent leaders and have strong analytical and top customer service skills.

  • Management Analyst

    Management analysts create operations and procedures manuals. These help managers of a company to operate more efficiently and effectively. This professional carries out organizational studies, design systems and procedures, and conduct work simplification and measurement studies so that a business can work more efficiently. They usually work as consultants and might work for a firm or run their own consulting agency.

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