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What is Entrepreneurship?

The term entrepreneur is used for those who develop ideas for new businesses; they often also start those businesses. Some of them find wild success and end up heading huge companies that they continue to run for years. Others, repeat entrepreneurs, will start a business, build it until it is successful, then sell that business for a profit and start all over again. In South Dakota, an entrepreneur may open a business focused on one of the top industries in the state such as healthcare; insurance; finance; real estate, leasing, and rental; etc. Or they could find success in a smaller niche and bring that industry to the forefront.

If an entrepreneur finds success in one of the top industries in the state, they will get a part of that industries market. To get an idea of what that could look like, consider this. The finance and insurance industry brought in $8.1 billion in a recent year throughout the state. Educational services, healthcare, and social assistance earned $5.4 billion. If an entrepreneur focuses on healthcare or educational services and starts a successful company, that could be a very lucrative opportunity.

As mentioned before, an entrepreneur develops and starts new businesses, often taking on all of the risks while creating jobs and income for any employees they hire. They’re usually active in daily operations as the company gets off the ground. In fact, they may work many more than 40 hours each week and wear many hats in order to keep costs down. For example, many entrepreneurs keep their own accounting books at the beginning of a venture. They may also build their own websites, package and distribute their own product, and more. Even so, this intense devotion to their business is what allows them to eventually enjoy the successes of their business.

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Online Entrepreneurship Education in South Dakota

As the entrepreneurial venture continues, it may grow, becoming a small business. Depending on the decisions the entrepreneur (now business owner) makes, this can grow even further, hiring more employees and eventually maintaining workers in a variety of departments, such as human resources or accounting workers.

Excellent examples of entrepreneurial startups include Shopify, Uber, and Wayfair. These companies grew, in some cases, because the founders realized there was demand for a certain service, and in other cases, because they were able to convince investors that they had the perfect idea to fill a niche in the market. This is how entrepreneurship works.

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Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Online students at the community college level may want to earn a degree which allows them to engage and improve their entrepreneurship skills. At a community college, students who plan on earning an entrepreneurship degree in South Dakota can learn the skills they need to open their own businesses, and the ones that can help that business to thrive. In the time it takes to earn this degree - two years - some students are ready to actively start their business and others take that time to learn more about their field or industry of interest.

A business degree is not the same as an entrepreneurship degree, though, at this level, either one could give you the information you need to get started. In an entrepreneurship program, the main focus is on innovation, but students still learn the foundational business skills they need: management, accounting, marketing, and technology. However, many of these core courses would also be included in a business program, and then you could transfer credits to a bachelor’s entrepreneurship program by transferring credits. Many bachelor’s degree programs will accept between 60 and 90 credits from accredited institutions. You could even earn your associate degree from a school with a transfer agreement already in place, allowing you to save money on your first two years of a bachelor’s degree. However, if you already have a plan for your business and no plan to earn a bachelor’s, you may have the knowledge and skills you need to launch your business right after graduation.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

At a four-year university, students majoring in entrepreneurial studies will learn many of the same things they would learn in a business degree. But, again, there is an extra focus on innovation, thinking like an entrepreneur, and management skills than there would be in a general business degree. Some of these programs may also offer electives in various business-related fields that will help you hold your business together without hiring specialists while you work to get it off the ground and build up a customer base.

Students are able to take advantage of these many opportunities in the classroom and excellent opportunities outside the classroom. These might include extracurricular activities, clubs you can join, and more. This way, you not only develop the mindset needed for creative thinking and innovation, but you also develop a network that can help you find other like-minded businesspeople and those who can help you find success down the road.

Some students enrolled in these programs may have already started their own small businesses and are looking for the skills to help it grow larger; others have plans to start a new business or are just interested in entrepreneurship in general. Some graduates will never start their own businesses, but will work in consulting, manage an organization, or focus on innovation within an existing business.

Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)

Online graduate students interested in both innovation and management may choose to earn a Master of Science in entrepreneurship or to earn an MBA, which will provide excellent, in-depth skills in business and the option to also add a concentration in entrepreneurship. Students may choose to enter one of these programs right after graduating with their bachelor’s degree or they may choose to work for one to three years first.

Online courses in these programs emphasize finance and raising capital, human resources and recruitment, business law, branding, product development innovation, leadership, professional development, and more.

Students who earn master of business administration (MBA) degrees are able to hone their leadership skills to meet their career goals. These programs provide a wide range of opportunities for students and graduates in terms of promotions, higher salaries, and more. Upper-level business classes offered by these programs offer emphasis on data analysis, decision-making and social responsibility. Some programs also offer personalized courses, allowing students to benefit from one-on-one attention and advising.

Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

Online doctoral programs in entrepreneurship tend to focus in on a much more in-depth topic than other online undergraduate or graduate degrees. For instance, there are degrees that focus on strategic management and entrepreneurship, while others are more interested in innovation, enacting change, and more. Scholars might focus on how both new and established firms create value for their customers or might focus on the research side of the equation. Researchers from several disciplines join together to study questions surrounding this field. This might include the study of international business, organizational theory, non-market strategy, technology and innovation, and other subjects which may impact businesses.

Online students in these programs gain access to faculty expertise and learn through coursework, faculty collaboration, research seminars, weekly PhD workshops, and teaching opportunities. Most of those earning a PhD have the opportunity to create individualized programs of study, which are tailored to their research interests. This readies them for academic placements at the best research universities around the world, allowing them to spend their careers carrying out high-level research, teaching, working in consulting, or doing whatever else they want after earning the highest degree in their field.

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Become an Entrepreneur in South Dakota

There is no specific road to entrepreneurship. Some people start businesses right out of high school and eventually find success. Others have an idea what they want to do, but they go to school anyway and gain knowledge surrounding their field or industry of interest before starting a business right out of school. Others don’t go to school for entrepreneurship, but they earn a specialized degree in a field that interests them and then work in that field for years before moving into an entrepreneurial role.

These are all good ways to get into entrepreneurship. If you have the entrepreneurial mindset, no one needs to tell you what is best for your business plans. However, there are a few things that could help you if you want to start a business without an advanced degree or with an advanced degree in computer science or another field outside of business. For one, you might have some gaps in your knowledge when it comes to business best practices, concepts, and other realities. You might not know how to write a business plan, attract investors, or take care of your own bookkeeping. However, there is a way to fill those knowledge gaps so you can get on with the work of starting your business.

One of the ways to do this is with certifications. These might be offered by schools or they might be offered by vendors as a way to ensure that people know how to properly use their product, such as Quickbooks. There are also entrepreneurship-focused certifications for those who focused on gaining an education in a specific field rather than focusing on a business education. No matter what type of knowledge they’re looking for, taking certificate courses can help entrepreneurs find that vital nugget of information that may help them take their small business to the next level.

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates

  • Business Owner
    Business owners or entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to make their business a success. They may handle payroll if their bookkeeper is out sick or they may pick up mail or make sales calls. In short, their workdays never look the same. This professional’s daily duties also depend on the industry in which their business operates and the type of business it is. Their responsibilities may include customer service, accounting, staffing, sales and marketing, planning/strategy, and daily operations.
  • Public Relations Manager

    A public relations manager develops and implements the media strategy and public relations efforts for an organization. Their goal is to build the good reputation of the organization and make sure that media coverage will be effective in notifying the public about the organization and its services and products.

    They oversee or write media releases and social media content, develop and grow relationships, and handle crisis response when something goes wrong within or for the organization.

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  • Appraiser
    Appraisers may own their own consulting business where they work for a variety of clients. This professional carries out formal appraisals of real estate (property or commercial) before any significant transition takes place. This may be a sale, for insurance purposes, taxation, development, or it may be required before a mortgage can be completed. They also evaluate properties for market value and property ratings, may make on-site visits, interview clients, and inspect property.
  • Web Developer
    This professional designs and builds websites. They may be more responsible for the front end, or appearance of the site, or they may also handle site speed and traffic, which is back-end development.
  • Social Media Manager

    Social media managers are responsible for developing the online presence of their clients. They also develop brand value, promote the company, and its services or products. They do this with photos, videos, and written posts, as well as infographics and a variety of social media platforms.

    A typical day may include planning and developing campaigns for social media, analyzing current campaigns, developing content that draws people in, engaging with customers on several sites, posting content on several social media accounts, and staying current with the newest social media trends.

  • Marketing Manager
    A marketing manager develops tactics and strategies to boost the public’s knowledge of their organization or its products/services. They deploy marketing campaigns from the creation process to execution and may experiment with different paid and organic channels.
  • Systems Analyst
    It is a system analyst’s responsibility to ensure that the information technology of an organization meets all of its needs, including preparing the system to scale up as the organization grows. This analyst creates tests, develops specifications and requirements for the system, helps developers and programmers create new software as needed, and more.
  • Management Analyst
    This professional may also be referred to as a management consultant. Their role is to examine and improve the efficiency of an organization. They discuss these options, which are designed to increase profitability lowering costs and increasing revenues, with top executives and managers. They may also discuss how to get all stakeholders on board and how to implement large changes.
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