Best Online Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship Programs

Dreaming of starting or growing your new business? The number of new businesses in the United States rose between 2010 and 2015. An online degree in entrepreneurship will set you apart and equip you with the specialized knowledge needed to turn a profit and lead with confidence. You’ll learn how to develop a business plan, secure start up investments, and master the tools to grow your business and lead your employees. With an online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship program you’ll gain the skills to ensure success in your new business venture.

The best online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship programs offers coursework tailored for students interested in careers as small business owners, operations managers, or specialists who act as employment or marketing managers. Whether you value growing your own business or playing a pivotal role in supporting an ongoing venture, an entrepreneurial management degree online provides focused training for developing innovative approaches to e-commerce and facing the unique challenges of small business growth.

Many online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship programs offer the added opportunity to specialize in specific industries, such as sports management, health services, and hospitality. The best online bachelor’s entrepreneurship programs equip you with the foundational knowledge to launch and manage a successful business. Many programs offer for-credit internships and creative social opportunities to strengthen your coursework and build your professional network with real-world experience. No matter what you choose, an online degree in entrepreneurship will prepare you with the flexibility to identify opportunities, manage risks, and solve problems.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Cleary University 76.25 2/5 47% Howell, MI

Cleary University has offered high-quality online programs for the past 20 years. The school's online system allows students to create and engage with a huge network of professional contacts. This is especially useful for business students interested in the online entrepreneurship degree. The 120-credit bachelor's of business administration degree in entrepreneurship teaches students how to start and maintain a business by applying proven business management principles. The curriculum includes courses on managerial economics, international business, quality management, accounting, and more. Cleary University offers a generous transfer credit policy, which allows students to transfer up to 90 completed credits, leaving as few as 30 credits needed to complete the program. Students have access to The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which provides resources like private office space, custom workshops, and professional consultants. State of Michigan employees and their families that work for company members of the EDv@nce partnership network are eligible for tuition discounts of 50% or more, as well as other program benefits.

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2 Northwood University-Michigan 69.25 3/5 54% Midland, MI

Founded in 1961, Northwood University offers online programs and an Adult Degree Program. The school has more than 20 locations in the United States and has formed international program centers in Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland. Students in the 126-semester hour bachelor's of business administration with a major in entrepreneurship will benefit from several opportunities for practical experience, including for-credit internships. The curriculum includes courses on entrepreneurial marketing, financial management, new venture finance, and more. Some courses may be available in a compressed format and in summer sessions, giving students the option to earn their degree in fewer than four years. Northwood University also offers a substantial transfer credit program that only requires 31 credits of study be completed at Northwood. In addition to the business entrepreneurship degree online, Northwood University offers a four year BBA/MBA track, which is available to students who meet the advanced admission criteria. This accelerated program includes a three-year bachelor's degree and a one-year master's degree.

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3 Buena Vista University 65.75 3/5 51% Storm Lake, IA

Buena Vista University's main campus in Storm Lake, Iowa, was founded in 1891. Today, BVU has expanded into 16 remote locations across the state and offers a wide selection of distance learning programs, including the entrepreneurship degree online. As part of the bachelor's of management program, the entrepreneur track at BVU offers students the option of focusing on finance, eCommerce, sales, market research, or accounting. The 128-credit curriculum includes a common business core, as well as 58 credits of entrepreneur-specific courses. The entrepreneur track also includes a required internship. The program can be completed in just two years. BVU's online programs maintain small student-to-teacher ratios in order to give all students the opportunity for one-on-one instruction. Most online classes are offered asynchronously, though some classes require scheduled class discussions and meeting times. BVU's online students can access more than 60 online library databases and nearly 150,000 books and research materials within the BVU catalog.

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4 Gardner-Webb University 64.25 4/5 45% Boiling Springs, NC

Gardner-Webb University was founded in 1905 as a Baptist institution and is currently the youngest Baptist university in North Carolina. Today, GWU boasts 12 educational centers across the state and a significant online education system. GWU offers online programs in nine different fields of study, including a bachelor's of science in entrepreneurship. The online degree in entrepreneurship keeps classes small with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers hybrid study options. The program prepares students for careers in business consulting, finance, management, teaching, and more. Transfer credits can be used as part of this degree, but at least 15 of the program's major credits must be completed at GVU. Entrepreneur students have access to the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, which works with a network of businesses throughout the state to promote and sustain economic vitality within the community. All other GWU resources are accessible online, including videoconference tutoring and writing center access.

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5 University of Minnesota-Crookston 64.25 3/5 47% Crookston, MN

In 2001, UMC became the first school within the University of Minnesota system to offer degree programs entirely online. Today, the school offers 14 different online degrees, including a bachelor's of science in entrepreneurship. In this program, students learn the finer aspects of business finance, business planning, and strategy development. The curriculum includes courses on entrepreneurial marketing, business law and ethics, accounting, business writing, and more. While the vast majority of the program is offered online, the curriculum does include experiential learning opportunities that include in-person field projects. Online students can choose from many major or minors to customize their degree, including: accounting, communication, finance, management, and marketing. All UMC resources are available to online students, including library database access, academic advising, career services, and access to the school's undergraduate research opportunities program.

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6 Columbia College 57.25 3/5 42% Columbia, MO

The Online Campus at Columbia College serves more than 16,000 students each year. Columbia offers 27 online degree programs, including a bachelor's of business administration and a bachelor's of science, both of which offer an entrepreneurship major. Both degrees feature a core course examination that must be completed in the student's final year and a required senior strategic management course. The transfer credit capabilities of each entrepreneurship program differ greatly. With the BA in business administration, a maximum of 27 credits can be transferred in, while the BS in business administration allows for a maximum transfer of 48 credits. The programs are offered entirely online and all courses are asynchronous, though there are some weekly deadlines and assignments. Students have access to the Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship, a resource that helps students search for internships and experiential learning opportunities. Entrepreneurship students can take part in a Student Business Pitch Competition, where a panel of judges award a $10,000 prize.

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7 University of Maine at Machias 56.00 3/5 29% Machias, ME

The University of Maine at Machias was founded in 1909 as a teachers' college. Today, the school offers 11 different undergraduate programs, some of which are available online, like the bachelor of science in business and entrepreneurial studies. In the online entrepreneurship degree at UMM, students begin with a core of introductory business courses and move to experiential learning courses in the upper levels. Entrepreneurial students choose a concentration that consists of 11 senior-level courses in one of the following areas: accounting, business sustainability, management, sport and fitness management, or a self-designed concentration. Courses are offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. UMM offers small class sizes with a 12-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and start dates in all four terms: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Online students have several financial aid options available, including in-state and out-of-state scholarships.

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8 Lamar University 49.50 3/5 32% Beaumont, TX

Lamar University has made each of its 100+ programs of study available online, and is a major reason why it is among the fastest growing Texas colleges and universities. Each of the online bachelor's degree programs at Lamar University, including the bachelor's of business administration in entrepreneurship, offer up to six different start dates throughout the year. This entrepreneurship degree online is 120 hours, 48 of which must be completed in the core curriculum. The curriculum includes core courses in accounting, finance, management, and analysis, as well as several which help students develop a practical understanding of business technology, including data analysis and SAP. The business entrepreneurship degree online is AACSB accredited, a specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs in the United States. Distance learners at Lamar University have access to personalized online student support, tech support, and a massive electronic library.

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9 Bluefield College 45.00 4/5 34% Bluefield, VA

Located in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Bluefield College is a Christian liberal arts university that was founded in 1922. Today, BC offers 14 undergraduate and graduate degrees entirely online, including the online entrepreneur degree. The program includes 36 credits spread over three 16-week semesters. The curriculum includes courses in leadership, business communications, quality assurance, organizational behavior, and more. Students leave the program prepared for careers as business planning managers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and economic employment managers. There is also an eBusiness and entrepreneurship minor that is only available to online students. BC maintains small class sizes with a 11-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Online students at BC have access to the school's massive online library, which includes over 50 electronic databases, 63,000 ebooks, and 16,000 online and print magazines and journals.

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Coursework in an online degree in entrepreneurship includes core business management training with an emphasis on the needs of small and new enterprises. Specifics of each program will vary, and depending on your goals, you may want to consider coursework that allows you to focus on a particular industry or facet of business development.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Bachelor’s programs typically include a few general education courses. You should expect to complete introductory courses in business administration. With a specialization in entrepreneurship, coursework will highlight the needs you’ll face as the leader of a small or growing business. A sampling of common courses offered is listed below:

  • Managerial Economics: Students focus on applying economic analysis and models to the problems and decisions of contemporary business situations with this course. Common issues include production strategies, pricing, wages, and investment decisions.
  • Project Management: Beginning with proposal development through planning, execution, and closing, this course assesses essential project management strategies for entrepreneurial contexts.
  • New Business Finance: Learn basic forms of financing your business ventures. Understand the complexities of seed capital, going public, partnerships, and strategic acquisitions.
  • E-commerce For Small Business: Introduces the world of ecommerce and online marketing. Topics include online retail, digital marketing, and website development. Special emphasis is given to the impact of e-commerce on small business practices.
  • Human Resource Management: Managing employee relations and finding expert talent demands specialized knowledge. From benefits and payroll to training and leadership, learn how to handle problems and manage employee relationships.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Examine models of innovation and harness creativity in the workplace with an eye toward design and problem solving. Learn how develop new ideas and maximize growth and profit.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

While a few schools offer accelerated entrepreneurship programs online, full-time students can expect to earn their degree in about four years. Most online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship programs require students to earn 120 credits, or 30 credits per academic year.

Different programs offer students the option to take courses asynchronously, so work can be completed around your needs. Some programs require students to follow a specific curriculum path and begin their program with a cohort of students. Other programs offer individual pacing, which may allow a student to accelerate their learning or specialize the layout of their course programming.

When considering an online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship degree, always review the school’s accreditation standing. There are six regional accrediting bodies in the United States. Institutions with a regional accreditation are given the highest prestige. Regional accreditation typically ensures the transfer of credits between universities and meets requirements for tuition reimbursement. Regionally accredited programs may be a bit more expensive and require additional coursework in the liberal arts. Schools may also be accredited by a national accreditation agency. Most institutions awarded a national accreditation focus on career advancement and vocational development. Schools accredited nationally may offer more career-oriented programs and provide affordable educational opportunities. Credits from institutions that are nationally accredited might not be accepted for licensure or transfer credit. In some cases nationally accredited programs are excluded from corporate tuition reimbursement programs.

Though there are no program-specific accreditations for entrepreneurship, it is recommended that the program you select is endorsed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB is the most widely accepted nonprofit accreditation institution for business education programs. AACSB accreditation typically means your degree will be accepted if you choose to pursue a masters of business administration or related advanced degree in the future. Students might also look for accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). The AACSB and ACBSP are the most highly regarded business accreditation agencies, though the IACBE does focus on smaller public and private institutions.

Overseeing and recognizing approved accreditors is only one function of the United States Department of Education (DOE). The DOA establishes the criteria used by accreditation agencies to evaluate school programs. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) functions as another important player in the accreditation of universities. CHEA is an association of degree-granting colleges and universities that advocate for quality assurance and accreditation to the public and U.S. government. More information about accreditation and a comprehensive list of accredited schools can be found on the DOE and CHEA websites.

JOB PLACEMENT

A recent report, illustrated below, found that among new entrepreneurs, college graduates made up the largest educational category. Entrepreneurs with some or no college education declined between 1996 and 2014, indicating that in today’s competitive marketplace, an entrepreneurial management degree online will strengthen your potential for success.

Education Status 1996 2014
Less than High School 17.2% 15.1%
High School Graduate 32.3% 29.5%
Some College 26.8% 22.5%
College Graduate 23.7% 33.0%
Other 1.0% 2.7%

BACHELOR’s IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP SALARY

Entrepreneurs typically enter the workforce as small business owners. Given the broad applicability of the degree, potential careers for graduates also include positions as general managers, independent business consultants, and product development managers. Salaries for new graduates will be impacted by the industry they enter. Graduates will encounter careers with positive salary growth accompanying time spent in the field. The following table examines how salaries are impacted at different stages of careers.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Small Business Owner $68,897 $49,000 $70,000 $72,000
General / Operations Manager $60,296 $43,000 $55,000 $66,000
Business Consultant $71,254 $67,000 $82,000 $92,000
Product Development Manager $77,470 $64,000 $81,000 $100,000
Operations Research Analyst $74,941 $65,000 $84,000 $103,000
General Sales Manager $64,646 $51,000 $69,000 $86,000

BACHELOR’S IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAREERS

After completing an online degree in entrepreneurship, your experience and educational specialization will determine your eligibility for specific positions. You might find yourself beginning a venture in any number of industries, supporting an enterprise as an independent consultant. Graduates must be able to remain agile under pressure, problem solve with confidence, and lead their business partners to financial success. Five of the most common career pathways for graduates are described below:

  1. Top Executive: Taking on the most senior, strategic positions in a company, top executives develop operational strategies and procedures to ensure financial goals are met. Contract negotiation, budgetary oversight, performance reporting, and executive staffing are all roles of this position. Depending on the job sector, a top executive may include positions of chief executive officer, general manager, or owner/operator.
  2. Administrative Services Manager: Specifics of this position depend on the industry and needs of the business. Generally, administrative service managers supervise the facilities and operational needs of a company with attention to record keeping, administrative personnel, general budgets, equipment, supplies, and compliance with security and governmental regulations.
  3. Market Research Analyst: Using a variety of collection methods, market research analysts gather data to guide the success of a company’s products and services. Forecasting sales trends, advising marketing strategies, and converting complex data for executive decisions are all components to this profession.
  4. Sales Manager: Melding experience and education, sales managers determine goals, evaluate data, and design training for a business’s sales team. Teamwork and a thorough understanding of consumer behavior are essential components of this position. The majority of sales managers have a bachelor’s degree and previous sales experience.
  5. Operations Research Analyst: Research analysts investigate organizations using analytical tools to identify and solve problems while strategizing goals for the future. Advanced technical or quantitative research methods are helpful in this role. Employers typically recruit candidates with master’s or Ph.D. degrees, though entry-level positions are available for graduates with a bachelor’s degree.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Strategic partnerships are essential to your success as an entrepreneur. Professional organizations provide a pathway for students to learn more about the job market and educational needs of their chosen career paths. Below are three organizations to help you connect. These organizations provide online resources, job boards, and even host networking events for prospective students and graduates entering the field.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization: Considered the cornerstone of organizational support for entrepreneurs, EO has provided new entrepreneurs with mentorship opportunities and continuing education since 1987. Global networking events, online forums, and an online marketplace help business owners to connect and enhance their profits. A sponsored health network provides additional benefits to member businesses.

Edward Lowe Foundation: Focused on second-stage companies, the Edward Lowe Foundation specializes in helping businesses move into maturity. Educational opportunities in the form of leadership retreats are coupled with online access to case studies and forums for professional networking. The ELF provides an advanced tool for business to track and compare performance with over 44 million U.S. companies.

United States Association Small Business and Entrepreneurship: In 1981, the USASBE grew from the International Council for Small Businesses. The organization is dedicated to education, research, outreach, and policy development for entrepreneurs. Membership includes accesses to networking opportunities, online education, and career services, as well as a subscription to Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and the Journal of Small Business Management.

National Association of Women Business Owners: Founded over 40 years ago, the NAWBO is focused on promoting and supporting the success of women entrepreneurs. Networking and educational events are scheduled year round, and the association emphasizes strategic advocacy goals and engagement with national policy.

To learn more about federal funding opportunities, prospective students will need to complete a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) form. Offered through the U.S. government, the FAFSA provides you with more information on grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study options. Students may also be eligible for private grants and scholarships through nonprofit organizations, companies, employers, and other sources.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of 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.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the 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 STUDENTS

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.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

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

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

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.