What is Entrepreneurship?
The world needs creative thinkers and innovators. There might not be a need for a new mousetrap, but that doesn’t mean people can’t think about creating one. And when there is a need for a new technology or a new way to complete a task, you want people who can look at what we have and what we need and find a way to bridge the divide. These people are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs find needs and create ways to fill them. They are big picture visionaries who can also see the details. They are critical thinkers, thought leaders, and subject matter experts. If you need someone to help you take an identified need and turn it into a solution, an entrepreneur is what you are seeking.
Entrepreneurs are visionaries. They have a knack for identifying areas in need of improvement and creating solutions for problems. At times, an entrepreneur is the only one who recognizes the issue or need actually exists. For that reason, they are also considered visionaries.
Entrepreneurs often finance their ideas, mainly because they are often the only ones who see a need and are willing to take on the risk. But, as the reputation of the entrepreneur grows, others are usually more willing to financially contribute. Eventually, the entrepreneur not only finds issues, but companies with issues also seek them out to find solutions for them. This is how some entrepreneurs become reluctant business owners; although entrepreneurs can also hire themselves out to other businesses to help them find solutions to their problems. They are idea people that thrive on implementing their ideas and bringing them to life. Entrepreneurs can be found in every industry. But they do tend to have niches, concentrating on industries that are of the most interest to them.
Online Entrepreneurship Education in Oregon
Although entrepreneurs are big picture people, once they see the picture, create the solution, and guide the execution and implementation of the rollout, they are usually ready to move on to the next project. Most entrepreneurs have little interest in the daily operations of an organization past the implementation stage. This is neither a condemnation or criticism, it is a skill to disengage and disassociate at the end of a project that makes them so effective. There is no personal involvement past overseeing the new product or idea rollout. If you can relate to getting excited about finding and launching new ideas but the idea of the daily business grind bores you, you just might be an entrepreneur in the making.
Considering all the industries that are found in Oregon, there are plenty of opportunities to create a career as an entrepreneur. Whether your interest is in entertainment, real estate, finance, or another area, good ideas are always needed and welcome.
Entrepreneurs have educations at a variety of levels. As with most things, the more education a person has, the more credible they are considered. However, successful entrepreneurs have proven track records, and that may or may not be related to their education level. Some entrepreneurs have online degrees in business, while others are educated in their expert industry. Below are some of the degree levels an entrepreneur can 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 future business owners to gain some business skills and write a business or marketing plan.
Courses in an associate degree program in Oregon might include:
- Strategic Business Planning
- Human Resource Management
- Entrepreneurial Marketing
- Business Law
- Entrepreneurial E-Commerce
Associate degrees generally take two years to complete. Those who do not already own a business could have the foundation needed to start a business 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. But, for many entrepreneurs, this is enough education to gain credibility. Bachelor degrees usually take 4-6 year to complete, and students will study the following.
- Business Plan Preparation
- Business Law II
- Principles of Management
- Small Business Management
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)
Entrepreneurship is often included as a specialization for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). If it is a standalone program, it includes most of the courses offered in an MBA program but will likely also add in some special classes that might or might not be included in a regular MBA program.
Some of these classes include:
- Venture Finance and Due Diligence
- Entrepreneurial Marketing
- Creating Entrepreneurial Teams
- Entrepreneurship and New Ventures
- Business Grant and Plan Writing
- Idea Generation
A graduate degree can take as little as one year to complete, or as many as three years to complete, depending on the program. With this degree, positions in upper management become available, as do teaching opportunities at colleges and technical schools. And it does give a business owner more credibility in the industry.
Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
A PhD is considered a terminal degree because it is the highest degree you can achieve in an industry. Doctorate degrees can take four or more years to complete, depending on the program, and a detailed report of paper solving a problem in an industry (called a dissertation) is often required. A program for entrepreneurship is very detailed and customized for each person, so there isn’t a set curriculum, but included courses are meant to set the student up as a subject matter expert at the completion of the program. PhDs are also valuable to educators, as they are often sought to provide access to higher-level teaching and research positions at colleges and universities. For those who strive to be entrepreneurs, a doctorate sets them up as an expert.
Become an Entrepreneur in Oregon
The simplest approach to become an entrepreneur in Oregon is to look for solutions to problems on a regular basis. Identifying needs not being met and then providing solutions are some of the first skills an aspiring entrepreneur must hone. Learning as much as possible about an industry is one way to start to attain this skill, either by gaining a formal education in the industry and/or working in a particular industry for a period of time.
Many entrepreneurs have their own consulting firms and travel to client sites to help them find solutions to their problems. An entrepreneur might have an in-house team they work with, or they might assemble a team of experts after they’ve identified the client’s problem. Just as entrepreneurs are experts at identifying issues and coming up with solutions, they are equally as capable of finding the right people to help them. They are excellent collaborators.
Most of an entrepreneur’s skills come naturally to them, but a formal education can fill in any gaps that might exist. Most entrepreneurial education programs are in the business area, so getting a degree in business with a specialization in entrepreneurship is pretty common. But entrepreneurs can have degrees in a variety of fields. Much of the time, an entrepreneur’s education is in the field where they prefer to consult the most, but this isn’t a requirement. Provided they have the knowledge to understand the industry, they can usually identify its needs and operate accordingly.
Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates
Entrepreneurs exist in every industry and profession. However, many entrepreneurs work other jobs while they are honing their skills or exploring the right industry for their skills. Below are some examples of careers an aspiring entrepreneur can pursue.
- Business Owner
This one is obvious, but in a unique way. An entrepreneur will often start their own businesses to add to their credibility and build the teams they use to create new and innovative ideas and products. The company can also be a way to finance other business ventures. Most entrepreneurs who have businesses have other people that run the day-to-day operations, such as a partner or office manager.
- Public Relations Manager
Entrepreneurs are generally good with people and have little to no problems sharing information with others. They can also find the positive spin to most situations. This combination often leads to a successful career in public relations. A public relations manager is in charge of a public relations department and makes sure that a company’s public image is also shown in the best light and that its message and brand stay on topic.
Appraisers are skilled at researching and learning about the actual value of items and property. They work in many types of industries such as real estate, art, and financing. Learning how to appraise things in an industry can help a person determine the value of the item and help a business determine if potential business transactions are ideal for the business.
- Social Media Manager
Have the gift of gab? Most entrepreneurs do; it’s how they most often gain the insight and information they need to create the solutions, especially when it comes to their areas 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 drives sales.
- Investment and Acquisition Specialist
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. Just like with their other business ventures, entrepreneurs who venture into investment want to get in and out, generally within one to three years. 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.
- Business Consultant
When entrepreneurs strike out on their own, it’s normally in the consultant capacity. They offer their services to other businesses and individuals who need their assistance. Consultants gather information and use it, along with their own expertise, to make suggestions for their clients. Consultants are excellent communicators and can create solutions for those who need them.
- Product/Product Development Manager
A product development manager oversees the creation of new products. This is one area where entrepreneurs shine the most. New products are created to solve a problem and fill a need. Not only are they adept at identifying gaps in services and products, but they also have the skill set to create a team and produce the goods and services needed to fulfill the needs.