Best Online Associate in Entrepreneurship Programs

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Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleAssociatein Entrepreneurship2017
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Do you often find yourself daydreaming about managing your own franchise or company? You can make your dreams a reality in as little as two years with an online associates degree in entrepreneurship. The degree provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to start a business or pursue a managerial role in a variety of industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the entrepreneurial field to grow by 8% over the next 10 years. Students can hone their natural ability to operate a business by enrolling in an online entrepreneurship degree program.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Macomb Community College 65.18 38% Warren, MI

Macomb, located in Warren, Michigan, ranks in the top 2 percent nationally among community colleges for granting associate degrees. The school has nearly 200 degree and certificate programs and offers more than 300 classes in online or hybrid formats, including several online degree completion options. Online classes are usually accelerated, with students completing courses in eight-weeks.

The associate of business administration in entrepreneurship and small business program, offered completely online, provides comprehensive knowledge of business venture through a variety of courses, including accounting, marketing, business law, and consumer behavior. Students must choose one of three mandatory courses for this particular program: financial record keeping, accounting for entrepreneurs, or principles of accounting. At least 15-credits must be earned through Macomb. The degree takes 62-credits to earn, which can be completed in five-semesters. Credits earned in in the program may be transferred to four-year colleges and universities in Michigan.

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2 Catawba Valley Community College 63.04 45% Hickory, NC

Catawba Valley is located in Hickory, North Carolina. The college’s affordable tuition, “open door” policy, and flexible evening and online classes attract a diverse enrollment of 4,600 students. CVCC offers a variety of distance learning classes, including four-week semester intersession courses taught completely online. Its associate of applied science in entrepreneurship program, part of the School of Business, Industry, and Technology, is the only degree offered online.

Catawba Valley’s online entrepreneurship degree focuses on key principles of entrepreneurship and developing acute “entrepreneurial vision and desire.” The program is designed for existing and prospective business owners. Courses include innovation and creativity, marketing, and business funding. The program takes two-years and 64 credits to complete. As part of the college’s Emerging Entrepreneurs club, students can also visit campus to partake in a “Shark Tank Competition” for pitching and developing their ideas.

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3 Minnesota State Community and Technical College 62.50 54% Fergus Falls, MN

Minnesota State has campuses in Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, and Wadena, including an online campus. Minnesota State’s goal is to offer affordable, flexible, and innovative paths to education. More than 20 online programs and 300 courses are offered. The school enrolls more than 2,200 students.

Although 46 percent of online Minnesota State students visit campus for one or more courses, the associate of applied science in business entrepreneurship is available fully online with no on-campus requirements. The college’s online associate degree in entrepreneurship requires 60 credits to complete; the curriculum encompasses 48 required courses, including business, math, macroeconomics, and opportunity analysis. The rest of the credits are obtained through completing restricted elective. Students may be required to complete developmental courses in reading, writing, and math. Tuition is the same for residents and nonresidents. Graduates demonstrate management skills, critical thinking, and effective communication methods.

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4 Great Basin College 60.71 25% Elko, NV

Great Basin specializes in associate and baccalaureate degrees in career and technical education areas. The school is located in Elko, Nevada. 3,800 students are currently enrolled in the school’s online programs.

The college’s fully online associate of applied sciences degree programs entail two-years of concentrated study. There are 10 AAS programs available, including the associate of applied science in entrepreneurship. This program teaches real-world business management skills and awareness of legal, financial, and organizational issues. The 60.5-credit, two-year curriculum has three delivery levels: individualized assistance in determining a venture, a “virtual small business world” where students try out ideas, and the opportunity to work with a small business manager. The online entrepreneurship degree is designed to prepare students to pursue a bachelor of science with a management in technology emphasis at GBC. Students earn a certificate of achievement after one year in their field.

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5 Craven Community College 60.36 41% New Bern, NC

Located in New Bern, North Carolina, Craven serves over 3,200 students. Associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates at CCC are offered in fully online or hybrid formats.

The associate in applied science in entrepreneurship requires students to earn 69 credits. Full-time students can earn their degree in about five semesters. Students can also study the program part time. Courses include principles of managerial accounting, personal finance, business ethics, and database concepts. They must also complete eight-credits of electives. Students can utilize assistance from the writing lab, Curriculum Pathways resource, and Smarthinking (an online tutoring platform). Graduates are prepared for careers in real estate, healthcare services, amusement and recreation services, and computer services. They will also have the knowledge to make educated business decision. An entrepreneurship diploma and certificate are available. Students must maintain a GPA and 2.0 and complete at least 18 credits at Craven. The school offers one of the best online associate degrees in entrepreneurship.

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6 Forsyth Technical Community College 59.29 31% Winston Salem, NC

Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina, serving over 35,000 students in Winston-Salem. The college offers more than 60, two-year AAS degrees; 29 are available fully online. Student resources include access to more than 24,000 online periodicals from the library collection.

The online associate degree in entrepreneurship program is designed to prepare students for self-employment. Graduates are able to make informed business decisions. The program requires students to earn 72 credits. Classes cover the subjects of business psychology, logistics, public speaking, and quantitative literacy. Students may transfer credits of comparable courses from other post-secondary institutions with a grade point average of 2.0 or above. Demonstrated quantitative, analytical, and critical thinking skills are also primary factors in admissions decisions -- applicants complete a placement test to evaluate readiness for the program.

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7 Cowley County Community College 58.21 55% Arkansas City, KS

Cowley College, located in Arkansas City, Kansas, is comprised of one main campus, two educational centers, and an online college. There are more than 80 associate degrees offered; 30 of these programs can be completed entirely online (during specified time periods throughout the semester). All associate of applied science degrees, including the fully-accredited associate of applied science in entrepreneurship and business leadership, require 62 credits to complete. Courses include principles of macroeconomics, human resource management, principles of management, and business law.

Cowley College’s online associate degree in entrepreneurship is a two-year program focusing on preparation for a future in management, sales, or self-employment. Depending on skill upon entry to the program, students may need to take necessary prerequisite courses. These include classes in accounting, computer applications, and marketing. Students from all 50 states are eligible to apply.

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8 North Hennepin Community College 58.04 47% Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin, one of Minnesota’s largest and most diverse colleges, has been offering online courses since 1997. NHCC offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in a variety of formats. Twenty-two percent of NHCC’s more than 2,000 courses are taught online, with both asynchronous and synchronous options available. Courses are delivered through D2L Brightspace, and NHCC also partners with Atomic Learning to provide quality technology training resources on everything from web browsers to Adobe software.

The associate of applied science in entrepreneurship is one of 11 online degrees available. The program is designed for students looking to manage or buy a small business or franchise. Its curriculum entails business foundation, entrepreneurship, and general education courses, including Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) electives. The online associate degree in entrepreneurship transfers to seven, four-year colleges, including Minnesota State University, the second largest public college in the state.

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9 Hudson Valley Community College 53.04 38% Troy, NY

Hudson Valley, located in Troy, New York, is the second largest post-secondary institution in the capital region of New York State. The college offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs, with 25 of them offered online. The associate of applied science in entrepreneurship can be completed entirely online.

HVCC's online associate degree in entrepreneurship requires students to earn 63 credits. Students are expected to complete an internship; it’s designed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and provide comprehensive skills in finance, management, marketing, and legal issues. Courses include legal issues in entrepreneurship, selling and sales management, general psychology, and public speaking. Students may transfer credits from other institutions, but 50 credits must be earned at Hudson Valley. Out-of-state students pay the same as in-state for courses if studied exclusively online. Hudson Valley also offers an entrepreneurship certificate. Students should be proficient in math.

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10 College of Southern Idaho 50.18 30% Twin Falls, ID

Southern Idaho is a progressive, fast-growing institution situated in Twin Falls. Distance learners may study at one of five off-campus centers, through telecommunication systems, or online. The online degree options are offered within five departments: social science, library and information science, liberal arts, education, and business. The associate of applied science in business management and entrepreneurship is a technical program with a focus on team activity. Coursework takes four semesters to complete. Southern Idaho’s online associate degree in entrepreneurship is not designed to transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in management, customer service, and general business. Some courses are transferable and students can work toward a transfer plan with their advisor. A business management certificate is offered, It’s designed to give students the skills needed to own or operate their business, or work in a managerial position.

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2 years
Credit Hours
30 credits per year
Program Costs
$3,000 to $11,000 per year
Core Courses
Introduction to business, Customer service, Marketing principles, Small business management, and Accounting
Small business entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and business management
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs American Entrepreneurship Foundation
Additional Considerations
Some programs may require an internship or capstone course.

An online entrepreneurship degree is flexible, and graduates are prepared to pursue career paths ranging from service management to business ownership. Whether operating a restaurant franchise or running an online store, successful entrepreneurs are detail-oriented, organized, and have strong business and customer service skills. Problem-solving and interpersonal skills help entrepreneurs establish clients and enhance employee interactions. Service industry managers often work long hours that require physical stamina and endurance. The following are examples of possible entrepreneurship degree jobs.

Food Service Manager: A food service manager operates a restaurant or related food service. Responsibilities include hiring and supervising restaurant employees, managing budgets, ordering supplies, and implementing health standards.

Lodging Manager: Lodging managers operate hotels and other lodging facilities. They ensure that rooms are clean and stocked with supplies. Lodging managers hire and supervise employees and interact with guests.

Real Estate Broker: Real estate brokers assist clients in buying, renting, and selling property. They negotiate offers between buyers and sellers and prepare legal documents.


An online associates degree in entrepreneurship provides the foundation for a four-year degree in business and management, and many programs have degree completion options for students who have earned an associate degree. A bachelor’s degree promotes new employment opportunities and has monetary advantages. BLS data indicate that many bachelor-level management positions have annual earnings of more than $100,000. Below are three degree options that can be obtained as an associate level transfer student.

BS in Business Administration: This flexible degree is available with numerous concentrations ranging from economics to health care planning.

BA in Human Resource Management: Human resource managers ensure that employees receive necessary resources for optimal production and are involved in company recruitment and hiring processes.

BS in Project Management: This degree prepares graduates for organizational roles in business projects. Project managers design, implement, and supervise company projects.


The following table utilizes data from PayScale to illustrate the influence career experience has on the salaries of industry management positions and small business ownership. While location and skillsets influence salaries, time spent on the job is one of the largest factors impacting annual earnings.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Small Business Owner $68,897 $49,000 $70,000 $99,000
Retail Manager $44,338 $34,000 $39,000 $50,000
Office Manager $44,461 $34,000 $39,000 $47,000
General Sales Manager $64,646 $51,000 $69,000 $96,000
Operations Manager $61,177 $50,000 $61,000 $77,000

Source: PayScale


Joining a professional organization is a great way to way to network and discover job openings in your area. As a member, you receive benefits, like access to research publications and webinars and support from successful entrepreneurs around the world. Many professional organizations have perks for students, including mentorship programs and college program guides. Several organizations have student honor societies.

  • American National Standards Institute: This accredited organization develops standards for products and services offered in the U.S. and offers workshops and certificate programs to promote best practices.
  • Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education: Students can benefit from this organization’s service industry research and teaching programs. Members can attend annual conferences that focus on tourism and hospitality.
  • Entrepreneurs’ Organization: This global business network offers an online marketplace, a mentorship program, and virtual learning programs that focus on self-motivation and productivity.

A variety of financial aid options are available that help reduce the cost of your online entrepreneurship degree. To begin the process of receiving federal financial aid, students must first complete a FAFSA form. Students can also pursue work study programs that pay students while they attend school. Numerous grants and scholarships are available through university programs and academic foundations.


Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.


Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.


Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.