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What is Entrepreneurship?

An entrepreneur is a business professional who has a fiercely independent streak, a creative mind, and boundless courage to take their cutting-edge ideas to market. Among today's billionaires are more than a few entrepreneurs including Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates. These visionaries not only had the insight to create technologies people didn't know they needed but they had the business savvy to build and maintain large enterprises which supported and developed their vision.

Entrepreneurs are found in nearly every industry. From a talented carpenter who starts their own house framing crew to a talented chef who opens up a food cart to showcase their favorite dishes, entrepreneurs are found throughout the small business world. These days, the focus seems to be on entrepreneurs in the tech industry. Start-up firms are found all over the nation where they are furiously trying to create the next disruptive app. Yet even a coder who works at night and over weekends to develop their video game idea is also an entrepreneur.

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Online Entrepreneurship Education in Minnesota

Minnesota may be known for its brutal, cold winters but it's also known for its strong economy. The Gopher State, like many Midwestern states, has an economy led by manufacturing, where it ranks at #17 in the nation. Close behind manufacturing is Minnesota's professional and business services sector, which represents $48.5 billion worth of economic revenue. Other top Minnesota industries include real estate, educational services, healthcare, social assistance, and finance and insurance.

Each of these economic sectors can be fertile ground for an entrepreneur. Though it may seem daunting to launch an independent manufacturing business, there are varying degrees of that sector which can range from small clothing manufacturing plants to fully automated automobile manufacturing facilities. Entrepreneurs naturally are found throughout the real estate industry, as even each realtor can be considered an independent business professional.

To support this fertile entrepreneurial landscape, Minnesota has many terrific colleges and universities that prepare the independent minded business professional for lifelong success. Even those Minnesotan institutions that don't have a specific entrepreneurial business degree program are able to prepare these creative individuals with the core knowledge and skills they need to thrive in business. This includes community colleges and schools that offer convenient online entrepreneurial business degrees.

These Minnesota entrepreneurship degree programs have been staffed with experienced and degreed instructors that meet the highest expectations. Some of these instructors may have experience launching their own business, but many more have experience as bankers, financiers, or workers in the Minnesota economy. Their real-world insights and anecdotes can inform a dry textbook in invaluable ways. They can also tell students how certain business theories play out in the Minnesota business climate. Minnesota laws or tax structures may have particular quirks that students need to be aware of.

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Ultimately, Minnesota is a terrific state in which to launch an entrepreneurial career. Not only can students easily find the resources they need to prepare for success in colleges and universities, but the wider economy will welcome them with open arms. The state's banks are always looking to fund exciting new ventures and the state's consumers are likewise eager for new ideas, products, and services.

Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Since there is no academic barrier to entering the business community as an entrepreneur, an associate degree may be the perfect foundation for success. Over the course of a two-year degree, entrepreneurs complete the core college curriculum alongside their business courses. An associate entrepreneurship degree will impart strategies for creating a business plan, accessing funds, and insights into topics such as finance and management.

An associate-level degree is particularly good for those who wish to start a small business, such as a restaurant or a local retail shop. While their knowledge base may be a bit limited, a two-year diploma will provide them with foundational skills and insights that they can build on. Thus, when they find that they need to understand more about finance, for instance, an online course might be able to enlighten them in ways not possible prior to their associate entrepreneurship degree.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

A bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree may be the best way to launch into an entrepreneurial career. This is because the four years gives budding entrepreneurs more time to develop their business ideas. An online bachelor’s entrepreneurship program also provides the latitude students need to take the courses they need the most. Some may be very strong in terms of finance or management but need additional training in human resources, for instance.

A bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree also opens up the opportunity to complete an internship or two. Real-world experience will be vital to long-term success as an entrepreneur. Not only does an internship provide the opportunity to learn, but students can also network with others and create a rolodex of valuable contacts. They are also likely to meet like-minded business students in the course of their degree. The ensuing conversations and good times may one day form the chemistry needed to launch a terrific, ground-breaking enterprise.

Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)

While most business people pursue an MBA with the goal of reaching the C-suites, an entrepreneur knows they will automatically be the CEO of whatever venture they start. However, an MBA can be very valuable for an entrepreneurial minded individual. Those two years can be very enlightening in terms of core business skills as well as offering a full year to focus on the entrepreneurial approach to business.

Some entrepreneurs may have the knowledge they need for success, but they still enroll in an MBA program. The key reason they do so is to meet top business professionals. The networking in MBA programs is a huge reason to enroll and spend the money on the advanced degree. An entrepreneur can find professionals who have specialized skills they don't. They might try to recruit their classmates once their venture launches. On the other hand, their MBA cohort may offer a special opportunity to find investors.

Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

Most entrepreneurs don't need a PhD in a business field, but there are exceptions. A PhD can be useful when it comes to launching a consulting business, for instance, because businesses value that sort of specialized knowledge and experience. A stunning dissertation in the field of management may be the key to starting a profitable business helping businesses realign their management practices.

On the other hand, a PhD in a STEM subject such as engineering, cryptography, computer science, or even mathematics can help a student form the core of their business. In these cases, the entrepreneur may make a groundbreaking discovery or invent a cutting-edge technology that launches them into the billionaire class. For instance, two of the top players in the cryptocurrency space were PhD students in mathematics. These tech wizards should be sure to take some business courses or be savvy when hiring MBAs to help them organize their business around the new technology.

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Become an Entrepreneur in Minnesota

Minnesota is a terrific state for business. Minneapolis and St. Paul are vibrant urban hubs that are home to financial and other business services. Out in the rural areas, some start-up firms may appreciate the low cost of operations in terms of rent and supplies. Thus, Minnesota is a terrific launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas. Knowing that, it's vital to know how to become an entrepreneurial professional in Minnesota.

One of the first qualifications for an entrepreneur is the creativity and independence that make entrepreneurs stand out in a crowd. Many entrepreneurs are so-called class clowns in school, students who may have high intelligence but also a desire to change things up and see how others respond to their input. Not only do budding entrepreneurs need this sort of maverick spirit but they need ideas to back up their irreverent personalities.

Early in life, entrepreneurs may discover a passion for a particular technology or even business model. Contemporary youngsters may begin to learn how to write code and begin work on video games or other computer applications. Some tech whiz kids start their entrepreneurial lives at this stage in that they can charge adults for their ability to create websites or even write code that saves time and money for an existing business. Such a taste of independence may set a precedence they build on for a lifetime.

When it comes time to choose a college, students should look for a business program that will cater to their needs. Even those who are more intrigued with, say, engineering or computer science should seek out schools with the best business programs possible. Thus, they might pursue a double major, or a minor concentration, with business and their primary passion. Those on this path should look for business programs with the proper credentials.

Accreditation is a key feature of any college search. Students should absolutely look for an institution that maintains accreditation with a CHEA-approved regional accrediting body. However, they can also be on the lookout for business programs with national, program-specific credentials from AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Upon graduation, students from these programs will be well-prepared to dive headlong into their first entrepreneurial venture.

Potential Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates

  • Management Analyst:
    These professionals might work as employees of a larger firm or as consultants with a more entrepreneurial tinge to their career. These business professionals are concerned with assessing and evaluating management practices in their or other firms. For those who work as consultants, an advanced degree such as an MBA is a virtual requirement since clients want to know that they are paying for the very best analysis.
  • Advertising:
    Creative and savvy entrepreneurs may build their own advertising firms or work as freelancers in the field. Those who open their own shop often have loads of contacts in the business world who may need their services as well as full knowledge of how to conduct a business-to-business relationship. Freelancers in the advertising world are typically creative workers who have specialized skills with graphics or copywriting, if not both.
  • Business Owner:
    This is the title all entrepreneurs aspire to. The title is rather simple to acquire as all is needed is a business license from their state and a business bank account. To succeed in this position, owners need to surround themselves with a team who can ensure success. There are also business owners who have only themselves to rely on, such as those who work as independent consultants or freelancers.
  • Public Relations Manager:
    This position typically requires several years of experience in public relations. That experience should include numerous successful PR campaigns of varying type. Often, employers want to see an MBA for a public relations management position. Another option for the entrepreneurial minded is to start an independent PR firm based on experience and academic credentials.
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  • Appraiser:
    These real estate professionals often work as independent entrepreneurs or with small appraisal firms. The duties of an appraiser involve assessing the value of various properties. They do a physical inspection of a property and then compare it with similar properties in the same area or market. Appraisers may also assess other sorts of assets including fine art, jewelry, or exotic automobiles.
  • Web Developer:
    These technology workers specialize in optimizing the back end of websites. They may be confused at times with web designers, but they have little to do with the aesthetics of a website. Rather, their code helps a site load faster, aggregate user data, and access database information, among other attributes.
  • Social Media Manager:
    A social media manager helps to improve their employers or client's social media presence. They can help launch brands using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Tik Tok, among other platforms. Social media managers not only craft strategic posts for their clients but they also respond to consumer comments, both positive and negative.
  • Marketing/Research Analyst:
    This is a hot field these days. The growth and development of the internet has generated tons of data that analysts need for their research. To succeed in this position, analysts need to have strong skills in statistics, coding, and data science. Two key programming languages for these data scientists are R and Python.

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