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31 Best Online Business Courses for Entrepreneurs in 2024

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What are the best online business courses? 

After all, the right business course will help you become a successful entrepreneur in far less time than through trial and error.

And here are the best online business courses, whether you want to learn how to build a business, market one, or sell more.

Want to learn more? Read on!

We’ll look at the best…

Are online business courses worth it?

You’re ready to start a successful business.

But you might be wondering if it’s even worth taking an online business course. Can’t you learn how to start a business on your own? 

Yes, you can. 

However, building a business is tough. You can spend years figuring out a strategy to find new clients, manage finances, and create efficient systems. And the reality is that about 20% of businesses fail in the first year. 

While I started several successful businesses, I always invested in learning what I didn’t know from more experienced people. In fact, I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on business courses, coaches, and consultants early on. 

However, I wish there would have been an exact blueprint on how to start a business and leave your 9-5. At the time, there weren’t any courses out there like that, so I had to learn pretty much alone. (In the end, I created my own courses to help new entrepreneurs which we’ll talk about later!)

Ultimately, an online business program would’ve saved me so much time because online business courses are a fast track through the lessons you need to learn as an entrepreneur. 

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More than anything, my philosophy is that courses and/or business coaches are a necessary part of being an entrepreneur. You need to spend money to make money. 

But to do so, you need to know what to invest in. Let’s take a look. 

Which business course is the best? 

I’ve done my fair share of bad investments. 

Early on, I invested in a business coach who, whenever I asked for help troubleshooting, said things like “You don’t want it enough” or “This should be working.” That mistake cost me $18,000.

So make sure the course you go for is the right one for you. 

Here are other mistakes I’ve made along the way: 

That said, my philosophy is this: 

If I learn one new thing or get one insight from a course, that’s enough. It usually justifies the price. 

Before you enroll in a course, ask yourself: 

#1) “Who sells the course?”

Look at reviews and reputation when choosing an online course. 

You can either learn from someone who has done what you want to achieve. For instance, my own course, Employee to Entrepreneur, helps people turn their skills into profitable coaching businesses and builds on my experience building businesses over the past 10 years, plus helping thousands of students start their coaching businesses. 

Or you can enroll in a university-level course. In that case, look at how credible the university is. 

#2) “What am I looking to learn?” 

If you’re in a 9-to-5, you need to learn a different set of skills than someone who has started a business before. If you’re looking for a roadmap to business success, make sure the course covers all areas you need to know to get started.

If you’re looking for specific skills, choose specialized courses like business financing or marketing courses for beginners.

And make sure the program you choose works for the type of business you want to build. Creating a successful coaching business and a thriving e-commerce business are totally different strategies. 

#3) “What type of course do I learn from?” 

Do you want a course that’s live online or a self-paced course? Do you want an in-depth certification program or a short 6-week business intensive? Think about what works best for your schedule and your goals. 

Now you know how to choose the right course for you. Let’s take a look at the top online business courses out there. 

Best online business courses for entrepreneurs in 2023

If you want to learn the basics of entrepreneurship, these courses are for you. They range from quick overviews of business fundamentals to super in-depth courses that help you build a business from scratch. 

Note: I can’t vouch for the courses, except for my own. These recommendations are based on their excellent reviews and the reputation of the universities that offer them. 

With that said, let’s dive in. 

Employee to Entrepreneur

LuisaZhou.com

Employee to Entrepreneur is the ultimate online business course for people who want to leave their full-time jobs. I designed this course to be the perfect roadmap to business success and financial freedom. This course is ideal for service-based businesses like coaching (which is the business model I recommend for new entrepreneurs). You’ll learn what you need to set up a business, sell profitable packages, and find your first paying clients

Employee to Entrepreneur Course Page

Freedom Decoded 

LuisaZhou.com

Have you tried becoming an entrepreneur before but ended up working way more than you did in your full-time job? It’s a common mistake that I want to help you avoid. Freedom Decoded is a mini course that will teach you how to run a business efficiently. Work smarter, not harder with the foolproof tips and tools I give you in this course. Achieve true financial freedom by decoding how to create systems that work for you. 

Creating a six-figure business can be easier than you think. Get on the waitlist to learn more! 

Ultimate Course Launch

LuisaZhou.com

Ultimate Course Launch is my business course for you who wants to launch an online course. However, this course is not for complete newbies. I recommend that you first start a coaching business or similar and then move on to Ultimate Course Launch unless you already have an audience or have built a business before. 

Ultimate Course Launch Course Page

Entrepreneur Essentials

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business school has many great online business courses for entrepreneurs, but this is the best one for mastering the fundamentals. You learn everything from identifying a great business idea to finding funding (if you want to). It’s a live online course that’s ideal if you want to start a startup or large business. 

Pricing: $1,750 for four weeks

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Small Business Management Basics for Entrepreneurs

University of Calgary 

The Professional Certificate for entrepreneurship at the University of Calgary is a crash course for becoming an entrepreneur. It’s divided into three courses that teach you how to start a business and basic business knowledge, marketing, PR, and branding. Finally, you learn about growing a small business. In other words, it covers all the basics. 

Pricing: $1,485 for three courses

Business Foundations

University of Pennsylvania 

If you want a foundation of core, practical business skills, this is the course for you. Beyond the business basics of setting up a business, marketing, and growth, you also learn about business financing. The Business Foundations course by the University of Pennsylvania is pretty complete. Try it out for a self-paced course that covers all angles of business success. 

Pricing: $79 per month 

Startup School

Y Combinator 

Y Combinator is known as a startup program for some of the most successful businesses in the world (Dropbox and Airbnb to name a few). So they know a thing or two about startup success, and it’s all in this free, eight-week course. If you’re starting a small business, this course might not be for you. BUT some lessons can apply to all businesses. Instructors include executives at Pixar, Twitch, and Airbnb. 

Pricing: Free

Y Combinator Course Page

Become a Small Business Owner

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn provides a fantastic learning platform for premium members. In their LinkedIn Learning library, you’ll find the “Become a Small Business Owner” course. It’s ten hours of content and eleven self-guided classes. There are modules on building a business plan to filing income taxes, making this a great little crash course on becoming a solopreneur or small business owner. 

Pricing: $39.99 per month or $19.99 per month when paid annually

Business Fundamentals

University of British Columbia 

The Professional Certificate in Business Fundamentals from the University of British Columbia is perfect for entrepreneurs. It’s divided into three courses that teach you how businesses work, how to communicate successfully, and how to nail your marketing and branding strategy. This course is not necessarily a great starting point for you if you want to learn how to build a business from scratch, but if you just want to improve your business skills, it’s a great option. Note that the course isn’t created specifically for entrepreneurs. 

Pricing: $450 for a five-month self-paced course

Business Intensive

Brunchwork

Brunchwork is a business learning platform that Google, Dropbox, and Amazon provide to their employees. So you know the courses must be good! The eight-week Business Intensive course is aimed at taking you from having no business knowledge to building your first website and booking clients. Now, I don’t agree that you need a website to get started (just go out there and start getting clients). But the process they teach you is a solid path to success for traditional businesses. 

Pricing: $1,649 for eight weeks of tuition (you can add two office hours with entrepreneurial experts for an extra $350)

Business Essentials MasterTrack® Certificate

IE Business School 

IE Business School has a different approach to its program than others on this list. It combines peer group learning, self-study, and live online classes to give you an interactive learning experience. There are four courses in the five-month program: Financial Accounting and Reporting, Marketing Management, Foundations of Strategy, and Skills Portfolio. In the final module, you put all your learning into a final coursework project so you can get hands-on experience in dealing with company dilemmas. 

Pricing: $3,600 for five months of tuition

How to Start Your Own Business

Michigan State University

The Michigan State University program is the specialization you need to learn simple entrepreneurial skills. The certificate is made up of four courses. The first focuses on mindset, the second is about creativity and innovation, and the third is about business planning and execution. The final course is centered on building systems for growth. 

Pricing: $49 per month with a free trial

Best online mindset courses

One of the most overlooked things in business is your mindset.

While you can use all the right strategies, you won’t get the results you want unless you truly believe you can get those results. You might think you’re not “cut out to be an entrepreneur” or feel “selling is sleazy.”

Either way, working on your mindset is key. In this video, I talk more about how important mindset is:

Want to rewire your mindset for success? 

Here are the courses that can help. 

The Successful Entrepreneur Mindset Makeover

LuisaZhou.com

If you want business success, you have to learn how to master your mind. That’s what I teach in my course, “The Successful Entrepreneur Mindset Makeover.” In this course, you’ll learn the secrets of successful entrepreneurs, and you’ll build the knowledge, trust, and belief in yourself that you need to succeed. All to help you build financial freedom in your business. 

Developing An Entrepreneurial Mindset: First Step Towards Success

Michigan State University

Michigan State University does a great specialization program on entrepreneurship that I talked about earlier. But what if you just want help mastering your mindset? Take the entrepreneurial mindset class to learn how the most successful entrepreneurs think. Can you explain your business idea and make it a reality? Can you discover new ways to make revenue? This mini course is for you.

Pricing: $49 per month with a free trial

Best online business strategy courses

Few things are as important for business success as your strategy.

But how do you choose and execute a great strategy? 

That’s what these courses teach you. 

Business Strategy from Wharton – Competitive Advantage

Wharton Business School 

To take your business to market, it helps to understand the strategy and how to get ahead. The Business Strategy course by the Wharton Business School is about achieving a competitive edge with your company. It uses a lot of corporate speak so this is not a course for those new to business!

Pricing: Free (upgrades for $199)

Work Smarter, Not Harder

University of California, Irvine

A key part of the entrepreneurial mindset is how to work efficiently because, without the right systems, your business suffers. This course by the University of California, Irvine, is all about being more productive in your home and business life. You’ll also learn how to create an effective plan to achieve your business goals.   

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for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Pricing: $39 per month with a free trial

Business Strategy

University of Virginia

To understand business strategy, you need to learn about competitive analysis, industry trends, and reviewing internal processes. This is what the Business Strategy, a specialization program at the University of Virginia, will teach you. Go through five courses and a hands-on project to earn your certificate.

Pricing: $79 per month with financial aid available

Best online marketing and PR courses

14% of businesses fail because they don’t know how to market their business. You could be the best at what you do–it doesn’t matter if no one knows you exist. If you already have a business that you want to learn to promote, then these business courses are a great fit for you. 

Five Minutes to Famous

Susie-Moore.com

You don’t need an expensive PR team to make your business known because Susie Moore shows you how with her flagship course Five Minutes to Famous. The course helps you build a plan to get into major publications and scoring media opportunities, even if you have no PR experience.

Pricing: $2,997 one-time payment or four payments of $825

Five Minutes to Famous Course Page

Clients Come to Me

LuisaZhou.com

One of the hardest parts of building a business? Finding clients! But what if you had a consistent system that attracts the right clients to you? In my course, Clients Come to Me, you’ll learn the exact blueprint to attract clients and grow your business. I used this system to add multiple six figures in two years to my own business. 

Clients Come to Me Course Page

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

University of Maryland

This four-week self-guided course on digital marketing will help you understand the fundamentals of using digital tools to grow your business. You’ll learn all about how social media platforms operate and how you can use them to build a marketing strategy that works. 

Pricing: $199

Branding: The Creative Journey Specialization

IE Business School

The IE Business School Branding program is aimed at professional brand specialists. BUT it can teach you a lot of excellent things about building a brand if you can’t hire a specialist right now. 

You learn the value of storytelling to sell your business and how to build a brand identity that works. There’s a course on content marketing too so this course is highly valuable. 

Pricing: $39 per month

Social Media Marketing Specialization

Northwestern University

If you’re struggling with social media, take a look at this course. Northwestern University’s Social Media Marketing Specialization is broken up into six courses. You’ll learn how social media operates and how businesses can leverage each platform. That said, it does include a lot of jargon, but you could walk away with a better understanding of how social media platforms work. 

Pricing: $49 per month

Best online business finance courses

Can you read a business balance sheet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone… But as an entrepreneur, the health of your business is on you. These online courses below will help you understand business financing and how to master it. 

Self Made

LuisaZhou.com

Self Made is all about money mindset and mastery. To create a six-figure business and beyond you have to transform your relationship. I give you the tips and tools you need to master your money and become a successful entrepreneur.

Want to learn more? Join the waitlist! 

Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting

MIT

MIT’s Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting course is a free self-guided, written course. Which makes it a great option if you want to get the basics–download it and train yourself to understand business financial concepts. If you want a course with a focus on finance, this is a good supplement to other courses on this list.

Pricing: Free

Leading with Finance

Harvard Business School

As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to make financial decisions for your company. And this six-week course by Harvard Business School is all about giving you the tools to do that effectively and learn the ins and outs of financial performance. You’ll also learn how to read the markets so you can make better decisions in your personal life too. 

Pricing: $1,750 for four weeks

Fundamentals of Business Finance

Goldman Sachs

Sponsored by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women project, this is an online business course for female entrepreneurs who want to learn more about finance. It only takes around four hours to complete and is a self-study course. You’ll learn how to read a balance sheet to read the health of your business–a great option to get a handle on the basics of business finance before you start your entrepreneurial journey.

Pricing: Free

Financial Accounting Fundamentals

University of Virginia 

If you want a mini course on accounting for entrepreneurs, this is one of the best. Use the course to understand your business at a glance. 

Pricing: $49 per month

Introduction to Finance: The Basics

University of Illinois 

“Introduction to Finance: The Basics” by the University of Illinois is a program that gives you the best of both worlds. This four-week course runs through financial statements and concepts around the time value of money, and it’ll help you make investment decisions in your personal and professional life.

Pricing: $79 

Best online sales courses

Selling is one of the most important skills you’ll need as an entrepreneur. Here are the best online sales courses for you. 

Introduction to Negotiation

Yale University

Fundamentally, all sales are negotiations. Become a persuasive negotiator with this expert nine-week course. You’ll learn the art of negotiating well and how to apply your skills in almost any situation. 

Pricing: $49 

Dale Carnegie Sales Training: Winning with Relationship Selling

How do you sell well? That’s what this online course by the training company Dale Carnegie teaches. (Dale Carnegie is the author of best-selling books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which he wrote in 1912.)

Price: $2,195

Pricing Strategy Optimization Specialization

University of Virginia

Selling effectively is one thing. What about nailing your pricing strategy to make the sale? The Pricing Strategy program by the University of Virginia is the most detailed course you’ll find on the topic. It will help you understand how customers view value and pricing techniques you can use in your business. 

Pricing: $79 per month

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

University of Michigan

This seven-week online negotiation course by the University of Michigan is incredibly practical. Instead of just learning abstract negotiation techniques, you learn the step-by-step process of planning and executing a successful deal. It’s a highly rated course that former students rave about. 

Pricing: $49

Over to you!

There you have it! The best online business courses if you want to take the leap and become an entrepreneur. Choose a course that addresses YOUR needs.

Want to learn more about my own business-building course, Employe to Entrepreneur?

Then, get the FREE PDF that teaches you how to build an online business and leave your 9-5:

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About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

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