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.
What are the best entrepreneurship programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, NC|
|2||Northwood University||Midland, MI|
|3||Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul, MN|
|4||Gardner-Webb University||Boiling Springs, NC|
|5||Touro University Worldwide||Los Alamitos, CA|
|6||Lamar University||Beaumont, TX|
|7||Peirce College||Philadelphia, PA|
|8||Thomas Edison State University||Trenton, NJ|
|9||Columbia College||Columbia, MO|
|10||Bemidji State University||Bemidji, MN|
Choosing a Program
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.
Accredited Online Entrepreneurship Programs
Western Carolina University
|Cullowhee, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
Set in the mountains of North Carolina, WCU serves more than 12,000 students on its 600-acre campus and online. The university offers an online business degree completion program with a concentration in innovation leadership and entrepreneurship. This program takes a hands-on approach to learning the core business and entrepreneurial skills needed to run a business.
Students earning this bachelor of science in business administration complete 36 business core credits and 24 credits in the major. Major courses explore new venture leadership, creation, growth, and strategy. Additional course topics include innovation and creativity, intrapreneurship, and entrepreneurial funding.
Online undergraduate programs at WCU typically require advanced standing or completion of the first two years of college. Applicants should ensure they meet the transfer credit requirements and submit transcripts.
|Midland, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Michigan's NUA offers 11 fully online undergraduate degrees, including a major in entrepreneurship that provides students the opportunity to train and workshop with entrepreneurs. The 126-credit, four-year degree combines general education requirements, core business classes, and specialized coursework in entrepreneurship.
Courses in the major explore entrepreneurial marketing, distribution strategies, law, financing, and leadership. Additional required courses teach future business leaders essential skills, such as risk analysis, business plan development, and strategic management. Eligible students may complete an honors internship.
Individuals can apply by filling out Northwood's online application. The school considers GPA, ACT or SAT scores, and other activities and experience as part of the admissions process. About one-third of program graduates own part or all of their own businesses, according to a 2015-2016 postgraduate survey.
Metropolitan State University
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Founded in 1971 to serve working professionals, Metropolitan State collaborates with community colleges in Minnesota to help students earn their college degrees. The school also provides more than a dozen bachelor's programs online, including a bachelor's in entrepreneurship and innovation.
The 120-credit degree requires learners to complete 20 business core credits and all major requirements at Metropolitan State — either online or on campus. Required core courses include economic theory, accounting, finance, and marketing. Entrepreneurship majors explore the entrepreneurial mindset and skills needed to develop marketing plans, business plans, and new products.
Students can enroll in this entrepreneurship program by completing a transfer pathway program in business at a Minnesota community college or by earning all lower-division credits at another institution. Entrepreneurship majors conclude their studies with a four-credit capstone course that covers case studies.
|Boiling Springs, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
A Christian institution, Gardner-Webb provides more than 80 programs to about 3,500 students. The school offers a bachelor's in entrepreneurship as an online degree completion program for nontraditional learners. Students learn about core business skills in finance, marketing, and strategic planning, as well as strategies for starting and managing a new business.
Gardner-Webb's entrepreneurship degree requires students to earn 33 credits in the major. Courses explore enterprise creation, growth, funding, marketing, and strategy. Students also learn to apply economic techniques to small business management.
Working adults with a minimum 2.0 GPA and at least 24 credits of college coursework may apply. Gardner-Webb pairs degree completion students who have fewer than 48 college credits with a success coach to create a degree plan.
Touro University Worldwide
|Los Alamitos, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
As part of a Jewish network of schools, TUW enrolls more than 19,000 students in online and on-campus programs. Students pursuing TUW's bachelor of science in business administration may select a concentration in entrepreneurship. This option is offered fully online and teaches students to start, manage, and market small businesses.
This 120-credit degree requires 45 general education credits, 39 core credits (including a capstone course), 24 elective credits, and a 12-credit concentration. Courses last eight weeks. Entrepreneurship course topics include small business management, business opportunity analysis, marketing, and the impact of electronic media.
High school graduates or transfer students in good standing may apply at no cost. Students admitted conditionally may take up to two courses during one session to raise their GPA to at least 2.3.
|Beaumont, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
As part of the Texas State University System, LU enrolls more than 15,000 students. The school offers nine bachelor's degrees online, including a 120-credit bachelor of business administration in entrepreneurship. This program — accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — emphasizes foundational business skills, strategies for turning ideas into business models, and data analysis skills.
Core business courses include business analysis, finance, strategic analysis, and marketing. Entrepreneurship majors also take courses in the economics of entrepreneurship, financial management, market opportunities, and human resources management.
High school graduates and transfer students with fewer than 18 college credits must meet first-year application requirements, including graduating in the top 10% of their high school class or earning minimum ACT/SAT scores. Transfer students must possess a 2.0 minimum GPA.
|Philadelphia, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 35%||
Established in 1865, Peirce serves about 2,000 students, many of whom are nontraditional learners. Peirce offers 11 undergraduate degrees that students can complete online or on campus in Philadelphia, including a bachelor's in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business management. Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward this program, which holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Students acquire core business skills, such as marketing and finance, and learn strategies relevant to managing small businesses. Courses cover practical topics, like business plan development and business launch planning. Required courses include ethical leadership, concepts in e-commerce, and operations management.
Applicants must submit official transcripts, and those with at least 15 college credits apply as transfer students.
Thomas Edison State University
|Trenton, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Chartered in 1972 to serve nontraditional learners, TESU offers more than 30 online bachelor's degrees, including a 120-credit bachelor of science in business administration in entrepreneurship.
This program emphasizes the development of financial and management business skills. Students train to analyze business opportunities, obtain funding, and manage small business operations. Degree requirements feature 36 credits of business classes and 18 credits related to entrepreneurship. Participants also complete a strategic management capstone.
High school graduates who are at least 20 years old may apply, although active-duty military members only need to be 18 years old. Undergraduate terms begin every month. Most courses last 12 weeks and operate in an asynchronous format.
|Columbia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Offering more than 30 online bachelor's degrees, CC provides an innovation and entrepreneurship major that helps prepare graduates to apply business tools and strategies to new and existing business ventures. Participants can earn a BS or a BA, completing 45 credits of core business courses and 24 credits in the major.
Business course topics include business analytics, accounting, statistics, and strategic management. Major requirements include small business management, strategic marketing, and human resources management. Students select from elective courses like corporate identity and social media.
Applicants must have a high school diploma (or the equivalent) or have earned at least six college credits. CC provides books at no extra cost. Specialized opportunities for entrepreneurship students include access to the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship and a student pitch competition.
Bemidji State University
|Bemidji, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Serving more than 5,000 undergraduates, BSU offers eight online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in business administration. Business majors can select one of four emphasis areas, including entrepreneurship. Applicants to this degree completion program must transfer in at least 24 credits.
Entrepreneurship courses emphasize the skills needed to start and manage small businesses, such as creating a business plan and securing funding. Students may earn up to 12 credits through internships. The entrepreneurship major requires 44 credits of business core courses and 18 credits in entrepreneurship, covering topics such as small business case analysis.
BSU does not charge higher tuition rates for out-of-state distance learners.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Entrepreneurship Program?
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.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Entrepreneurship Degrees
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.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Entrepreneurship Graduates
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.
|Less than High School||17.2%||15.1%|
|High School Graduate||32.3%||29.5%|
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|
|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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Entrepreneurship Program
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.
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.
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 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. 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.