A Dollar And A Dream: Education for Entrepreneurs On A Budget

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November 14, 2012 ‐ By C. Cleveland

“A Dollar and A Dream” spotlights low- and no-cost ways to build a better business. The economy may be lagging, but new resources are empowering small business owners like never before. Follow the series to learn how to take your dreams to the next level without breaking the bank.

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  -Nelson Mandela

We’ve all heard soaring quotes about the value of an education. The poetry of these words has never been more practical. Today’s business world requires entrepreneurs to make education a priority.

More than keeping you on the top of your game, learning improves your bottom line. Whether you take a class in calligraphy or small business principles, growing your expertise will save you from spending money on consultants and cleaning up after your own mistakes.

With the ramifications of the student loan crisis looming, students and institutions alike are looking for better ways to signal knowledge and skills to employers. Educational institutions are rethinking the way they teach and experimenting with technology to democratize education. In the future, a resume may display a digital badge, showing the completion of an online course rather than a degree.

The debate on the future of education is nowhere near settled. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and life long learners can take advantage of the benefits coming out of the discussion.  Class is in session with the best minds in the world, and tuition is free.

Online courses lack the intimacy of the classroom. Some websites offer assignments and quizzes to track your learning. But, don’t expect the same experience as an in-classroom course.

Online resources, like those listed below, will you give enough direction to refresh your skills or feed your interest in a new subject. Unlike traditional programs, online study can be easily tailored to your schedule and areas of interest. If you’re really feeling fierce, start a study group within your network to encourage one another and capture that classroom feel.

Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world including Stanford, Princeton, and Emory.

Price: Free

Style: Lecture

Topics: A wide range spanning the humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and many others.

Sample Courses:

30 Second MBA is an ongoing video curriculum, presented by Fast Company, of good advice from successful people in business today.

Price: Free

Style: Short, unfiltered videos

Topics: Business questions ranging from the practical to the philosophical.

Sample Courses:

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