How to Become an Entrepreneur in North Dakota

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What is Entrepreneurship?


Are you considering enrolling in an entrepreneurship degree program in North Dakota? This major can lead to a wide variety of employment opportunities, but is particularly helpful for those who want to start their own businesses. Notably, the knowledge and skills obtained can be applied to work within almost any industry. As a result, graduates tend to have comparatively good job prospects.

Most people who possess degrees in entrepreneurship seek to create and manage their own businesses. Earning potential for self-employed business owners can be quite high but salaries ultimately depend on the industry and company success. According to PayScale, hourly rates for self-employed professionals range from $11.40 to $81.74. The average base salary for small business owners is $63,658, which is more than the annual mean wage of $53,380 in North Dakota as of May 2021.

Entrepreneurship is a relatively broad term, but most entrepreneurs are people who create new businesses. As these professionals can choose to establish companies in almost any industry, opportunities are expansive. While private business owners must follow all local, state, and national laws and regulations, they typically have significant freedom and control over their chosen ventures.

Many entrepreneurs prefer to manage their own businesses; however, some hire others to handle the daily responsibilities for them. While employing a manager can be helpful, those who perform duties themselves have more active roles and often save money. As the level of involvement varies, the responsibilities of entrepreneurs differ significantly. The most involved business owners usually oversee all operations, direct production, assist with personnel management, develop company-wide policies, handle customer service issues, and review financial activities. Less involved entrepreneurs, on the other hand, may simply review progress reports and approve budgets.


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Online Entrepreneurship Education in North Dakota


Outlook for entrepreneurs is also generally promising. Prospective business owners must choose their ventures carefully, however, as some types of companies fair better than others. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the most profitable sectors are healthcare and social assistance. Building and construction businesses, on the other hand, possess the lowest rates of survival in the nation.

Professional and business services is the sixth highest ranking industry in North Dakota, accounting for $3.3 billion in revenue each year. Entrepreneurs have a lot of freedom and opportunities, however, as new businesses can be formed in any of the state’s top sectors. Some particularly promising options include mining, real estate, wholesale, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Starting and managing a business is not for everyone. Investing significant time and resources into establishing a new company can be risky. In fact, many businesses fail within only a few years. As a result, entrepreneurs must assess their abilities and the viability of their ideas carefully. The most successful business owners possess strong work ethics.

They also often possess skills in:

  • Business Management
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Customer Service
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Problem-Solving

Entrepreneurs often enjoy a significant amount of freedom. The biggest perk is having personal and professional independence and autonomy in creating a company. Business owners can choose the type of work they perform, where they are located, who they work with, and even how much money they earn. Running businesses can, however, be stressful. In many cases, income is linked directly to performance and success. This is particularly problematic when ventures struggle or suddenly fail. For most, nevertheless, the potential benefits outweigh any drawbacks.

Many colleges and universities throughout the nation offer business and entrepreneurship degrees. Online programs make it easy to attend classes and complete coursework from nearly anywhere with internet access. While prospective students may be tempted to enroll in one of these distance learning options, those who intend to find work or start businesses in North Dakota should give preference to institutions in the state. These colleges and universities are more familiar with North Dakota business laws and regulations, as well as general employer expectations throughout the region. Local schools also often have established relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can make it easier for current students to obtain internships and graduates to find employment.

While those who plan to start businesses in North Dakota do not necessarily need to earn degrees in entrepreneurship, graduates often obtain the knowledge and skills required to be more successful. Individuals with some amount of higher education are also likely to have better employment and salary prospects.

Not all colleges and universities in North Dakota offer entrepreneurship as a major. As a result, it may be necessary for students to enroll in business degrees that offer concentrations in entrepreneurship and related subjects instead. Some other common options include product feasibility, funding, or E-commerce.

Entrepreneurship and business degrees are typically available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Each has benefits and drawbacks. As a result, prospective students should consider their ultimate career goals carefully prior to making a final selection.

Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Associate degree programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Program specifics vary, but most require students to take both general and major-specific classes. Topics tend to be covered in broad terms, with emphasis placed on the subjects that are most likely to be useful when starting a business. Those enrolled can expect to take a selection of math, English, and economics courses, as well as accounting, marketing, business law, and business ethics classes. It’s also common for instructors to require the use of various software programs that may be used when creating spreadsheets, presentations, and written documents.

This is an ideal degree for individuals seeking to gain the minimum skills needed to open, manage, and grow businesses quickly. It’s also typically sufficient to qualify graduates for employment as retail managers, office managers, general sales managers, business analysts, and business consultants.

Alternatively, those with associate degrees can choose to continue their education. Academic credits earned can be transferred to other institutions and applied toward bachelor’s degrees. Most colleges and universities will accept between 60 and 90 credits from accredited schools, which means it’s possible to enter programs as juniors rather than freshmen. This is a particularly good option for students seeking to save money. Associate degrees are most frequently offered by community colleges, which charge lower tuition rates than traditional four-year institutions.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

Bachelor’s degree programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, which takes full-time students four years to complete. While curriculums vary, most incorporate both general and major-specific classes. Common topics covered include low-risk startups, entrepreneurial finance, and consulting. In most cases, students should also expect to receive instruction intended to help develop skills in leadership, organization, and problem-solving.

This degree is a good option for individuals planning to start and manage their own businesses. Graduates typically possess the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as private business owners. They also tend to become professionally independent with strong work ethics, which can make it easier to find employment in many other industries. In fact, much of the information covered in entrepreneurship and business degrees is applicable in most workplaces.

Alternatively, graduates can choose to pursue further education by enrolling in master’s degree programs. Every colleges and university is different, but most require applicants to have bachelor’s degrees in related subjects, as well as minimum grade point averages (GPAs) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test scores.

Rankings for Online Entrepreneurship Bachelor Programs

Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)

Master’s degree programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of between 30 and 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Program specifics vary from institution to institution but most seek to provide current professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to grow and develop existing businesses. Instruction often relates to financial management and strategic marketing management, with opportunities to select concentrations. While graduates typically apply what they learn to pre-existing businesses, this type of degree may also qualify them for more advanced jobs in the business field.

Alternatively, those interested in entrepreneurship can choose to enroll in Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. As one of the most popular degrees in the United States, MBAs often help students develop and hone skills in strategy, marketing, global business, and supply chain management. Many of these programs also offer concentrations in startups and business development, which can prove particularly useful when opening and/or growing companies. Notably, graduates tend to have very good prospects. Not only do they often qualify for senior-level and management positions, but those with MBAs also tend to stand out during interviews and earn more money.

Rankings for Online Entrepreneurship Master Programs

Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

Doctorate and PhD programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours, which take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Curriculums can vary significantly, but most programs focus on various research methods, economics, and multivariate data analysis. Students can expect to spend the first few years attending classes before performing extensive self-guided research that culminates in the defense of dissertations.

This type of degree is rarely necessary for entrepreneurs because many of the topics covered are not relevant to establishing and managing businesses. Still, doctorate PhD programs can be beneficial. Graduates often possess the knowledge and skills needed to apply for positions as directors of operations and chief operating officers for larger corporations. They are also qualified to conduct business research and/or instruct at the postsecondary levels.

Become an Entrepreneur in North Dakota


The first step to becoming an entrepreneur in North Dakota is identifying your ultimate professional goals. Determining whether or not you want to create and manage your own business, or if you are more interested in finding employment in the field will have a huge impact on how you proceed. These factors can help you select the most appropriate academic degree program and will ensure you obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful.

Once you have earned the appropriate degree, you may also benefit from pursuing one or more professional certifications. There are many credentials related to business that can help you advance your career. While there are no credentials specifically required for entrepreneurs, many business owners choose to obtain certifications that are applicable to their industries.

Some prominent options include:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)
  • Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
  • Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

If you plan to open your own business in North Dakota, you will need to meet a variety of state regulations. Fortunately, the state provides most of the information you will need regarding business planning, licensing, sales tax requirements, insurance, and other requirements. All businesses and their names must be registered. Business structures range from informal sole proprietorships to complex corporations. While the Secretary of State’s staff is unable to provide legal advice, the advantages and disadvantages of each business type are provided. Licenses are not required for all companies, but may be obtained from the Attorney General or Secretary of State. All business owners will, however, need to acquire Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and, if applicable, sales and use tax will need to be paid via that North Dakota Sales Tax Taxpayer Access Point (TAP).

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates


Those who graduate from entrepreneurship degree programs in North Dakota will have many employment opportunities to consider. While many strive to start their own businesses, there are a wide variety of suitable jobs available as well.

  • Business Owner
    Small business owners take on the many responsibilities associated with establishing, maintaining, and growing their own businesses. While some prefer to take less active roles in the process by delegating tasks to others, many prefer to work themselves. Roles vary, but most small business owners oversee daily operations, direct production, supervise personnel, develop new policies, and direct financial activities. According to PayScale, small business owners make an average base salary of $63,000 per year.
  • Business Analyst
    Business analysts are responsible for ensuring that company departments are functioning properly. These professionals often perform employee assessments, process requests, and make sure that worker needs are sufficiently met. In some cases, they may also create, implement, and evaluate business metrics. According to PayScale, business analysts make an average base salary of $61,850 per year.
  • Business Consultant
    Business consultants are responsible for creating profitable business models for their clients. They utilize various strategies to improve customer outreach and/or identify potential vendors for new product purchases. These professionals often start this process by assessing current procedures before providing company stakeholders with a list of suggestions. Business consultants may also help identify and execute changes to company infrastructures. According to PayScale, business consultants make an average base salary of $75,100 per year.
  • General Sales Manager
    General sales managers are responsible for overseeing company sales departments. These professionals often perform a wide variety of tasks including hiring and training employees, assisting sales teams, ensuring targets are met, compiling revenue data, and presenting relevant information to upper management. They may also take on general marketing duties. According to PayScale, general sales managers make an average base salary of $65,700 per year.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers are responsible for the creation and oversight of advertising campaigns. Assignments vary, with these professionals being accountable for single products or entire product lines; in some cases, they may manage whole brands or even companies. In order to ensure campaign success, they must constantly monitor their program performance and often coordinate with product managers. Marketing managers also spend time conducting market research studies. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,300 per year.
  • Office Manager
    Office managers are responsible for overseeing specific sections of companies for their employers. This often entails managing office activities, projects, and employees to ensure operations run smoothly. These professionals must also be exceptional communicators and problem-solvers, as it is often their job to provide updates to high-level executives. Additionally, office managers frequently implement new policies and complete additional tasks as directed. According to PayScale, office managers make an average hourly rate of $18.28, which is an estimated base salary of $49,300 per year.
  • Web Developer
    Web developers are responsible for building websites. They often write code to create web pages, as well as access databases. These professionals may also need to create, modify, and integrate software in order to enhance productivity, marketability, and/or efficiency. Additionally, web developers test new software to ensure it is suitable before company-wide installation. According to PayScale, web developers make an average base salary of $60,100 per year.
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