10 Effective eLearning Options for Entrepreneurs


The constant evolution of entrepreneurship is one of the attributes that makes the career path so exciting: A fluid and flexible job description, expansive industry boundaries and technological innovations that repeatedly make business better. The unpredictability of the pendulum profession can be very detrimental, but equally rewarding as well.

Which is why it’s so important to keep up with all the countless changes. And education, like every other aspect of the entrepreneurship backend, needs to be effective in both time and cost.

We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs, the following question to find out what’s on their virtual curriculum:

“With so many great (and cost effective) eLearning programs available on the Web on sites like Udemy and Skillshare, what are some classes that you would recommend that new Internet entrepreneurs invest their money in?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Steve Blank’s “How to Build a Startup”

“I encourage every entrepreneur to go through Steve Blank’s “How to Build a Startup” course on Udacity. It’s really the best tool out there to help you effectively learn how to use customer discovery, the business model canvas and lean principles in building your startup. So make sure to take (and complete) the course — and remember, do the homework!” ~ Eric Koester, Zaarly

2. Sales Courses

“It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising, raising VC or working sponsorships or direct sales — if you don’t know how to read people and situations and turn leads into sales, then your ventures are going to suffer. There are a ton of great mentors and courses out there; look for ones that emphasize practical steps and not just the theory of how to persuade and sell. Your revenues will thank you.” ~ Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

3. General Assembly Online Classes

“We like to stream various General Assembly online classes for the entire office to view. Developers, designers, strategists and account services can all benefit from learning about other roles, including UX, content creation, public speaking and general product classes. We value the variety and relevancy of classes offered.” ~ Bobby Emamian, Prolific Interactive

4. Free Courses

“Skillshare and Udemy are two great eLearning programs, but there are a wealth of others available for newbie entrepreneurs, and some are absolutely free. There are classes offered by Khan Academy (general learning), Code School (coding assistance), KelbyTraining.com (photography), JavaScript Playground (JavaScript help) and more.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

5. Statistics Classes

“I know the statistics classes I took in college (at least those that I didn’t change majors to avoid) only gave an introduction to the topic. The more direction you can get out of the numbers you have, though, the easier it is to make business decisions. A few in-depth stats classes are always a good choice.” ~ Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

6. Inc.’s Course List

“As an entrepreneur, the courses recommended by Inc. are your best marketing tool. You need to be able to sell your ideas and yourself to not only clients, but recruits, investors and potential partners as well. You need to be confident, engaged and prepared. The Inc.-recommended courses can help you get there.” ~ Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

7. Marie Forleo’s “B-School”

“I highly recommend B-School, founded by Marie Forleo, for entrepreneurs or budding business owners (especially women) who want to create online businesses and lives that honor their individualism, flexibility and passions. This modern take on marketing and selling online completely changed my business and tripled my bottom line. ” ~ Melissa Cassera, Cassera Communications

8. Free Conference Videos

“If you’re a new Internet entrepreneur, save your money. Many conferences for entrepreneurs charge hundreds of dollars to attend, but they routinely post their videos online for free after the conference. Check out free videos from conferences like Big Omaha, LessConf, MicroConf, Startup Lessons Learned and LeWeb. Also, check out Foundation, a great entrepreneur interview series from Kevin Rose.” ~ Clay Hebert, Spindows

9. Success Academy

“Success Academy is a solid learning platform for entrepreneurs. They are more about conveying the real advice that has led to many of their facilitators’ successes.” ~ John Hall, Influence & Co.

10. Ryan Porter’s “Talk Ain’t Cheap”

“Ryan is a bestselling author, TEDx speaker and platform guru. Many don’t realize how big an opportunity public speaking events can be for building a platform. When you have an audience listening to your ideas and you are able to capture their names and emails by directing them toward free content through a platform URL, the possibility for later ninja-nurturing campaigns is tremendous. ” ~ Michael Costigan, Youth Leadership Specialist

Electronic Learning Photo via Shutterstock

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.