Want to be an entrepreneur? MOOCs give you an edge

  • Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2016 19:44 IST
MOOCS on entrepreneurship teach you about developing great ideas into great ventures. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What do you need to do to become an entrepreneur? Should you brainstorm for an out-of-the-box idea, own a fighter gene to succeed? Lots of capital or a unique business model? The answer is: a mix of all of the above. If you want to start your venture, you can go for massive online and open courses (MOOCs) that will help you learn more about entrepreneurship and what it takes to be your own boss.

For instance, a course named Design Thinking for Innovation offered by University of Virginia looks at several stories from different organisations that used design thinking to come up with compelling solutions. The five-week course helps you learn to use design thinking as a way of problem solving in an organisation. Click here for more.

Offered by the University System of Georgia, the course named Business Model Canvas: A Tool for Entrepreneurs and Innovators is designed for anyone who wants to understand innovation best practices and the intra-corporate entrepreneurial (intrapreneur) skills needed to lead innovation projects, teams, and strategies. Entry and senior-level professionals in a variety of industries – including education, healthcare, business, and not-for-profit - will benefit from the course materials and project experience. Click here for details.

In the eight-week course, you’ll learn to identify and communicate the nine key elements of a business model: customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, key resources, key activities, key partners, revenue streams, and cost structure.

You can also go for a four-week MOOC that helps you discover concepts that are essential for understanding the new mechanisms of digital business and innovation.

Titled Innovating in a Digital World, this course helps you understand concepts through instructional videos, along with additional resources. The ideas are illustrated with case studies and examples from a wide range of industries. You can find the details here.

Entrepreneurship is all about developing great ideas into great companies. You can learn this through a four-week MOOC titled Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship. Find more info here.

This course assists aspiring and active entrepreneurs study the ideas and techniques explored in the University of Maryland’s master’s degree in technology entrepreneurship. Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking and Action (details available here) will teach you how creativity, opportunity and feasibility are best evaluated, what is the importance of a business plan and how to achieve success in a new business. You will be taught these through four to eight hours of videos, readings, and quizzes. It is offered by the University of California, Irvine.

A self-paced course by the Michigan State University titled Developing An Entrepreneurial Mindset: First Step Towards Success is the first in a series on starting a business. Though new venture creation is the focus of the specialisation, this course is for everyone. At the end of this course, you will be able to operate effectively within the new framework or model for starting a business or any new endeavour, and will be able to make the initial business startup decisions of what type of business to start. Click here for more information.

Coding Mobile Apps For Entrepreneurs will teach you how to create mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. You will discover how to test the app on phones, and how to distribute it on the Play Store, Apple’s App Store and the Windows Store.

Later in the course you will also learn the basics of coding because it will enable you to create richer apps with more functions: storing text and data on the phone, connecting to the Internet, and other useful ­features.

This course will help you create your own apps that are fully functional and can be used for all major mobile platforms. This is useful if you have a business project which involves launching an app, or to get acquainted with mobile technologies. Click here to know more.

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