15 Free Small Business Classes for Business Owners in 2023

It does not matter what your occupation is; self-learning allows you to learn what you want, as you wish, when you wish, and in the manner you desire. Learning is more effective when you control the process. And it’s even more beneficial if it’s completely free!

Due to their limited time and budget, investing in self-improvement and committing to learning valuable skills can be difficult for entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, you spend every spare moment working on your business. But as technological advances and other entrepreneurial elements are ramping up every day, it can be hard to stay ahead of the competition or keep up with changes. 

Featured Programs

If hefty tuition is what’s stopping you from learning for your own business, free business courses are the way to go! Learn whenever your schedule allows with a variety of excellent small business management courses, many of which are free. 

Free Small Business Classes for Business Owners - fact

Lifelong Learning is Key to Entrepreneurial Success

It is impossible to stop learning as an entrepreneur. After all, the journey to new horizons begins with learning. Your chances of success increase when you recognize opportunities, take advantage of them, and turn them into successes. Continuously updating your skills and knowledge is crucial to success. Learning from your mistakes and being open to new ideas is essential.

Staying ahead of the competition requires continuous learning and updating knowledge and skills. This way, you’ll be able to identify opportunities and seize them before your competitors do. You’ll be able to solve problems and spot the pain points of your consumers and prospects before others can.

Also, as you learn new things as a small business owner, you’ll see how your business is progressing and how you’re making a difference. And by seeing this positive progress and changes, you can stay motivated to continue learning. 

Those who succeed in entrepreneurship are constantly learning and evolving, as the field is dynamic and ever-changing. And basically, most people who are succeeding in life are constantly learning and adaptive to innovations.

To succeed in the field of entrepreneurship, which can be a cutthroat business environment, will normally involve experimenting and exploring new resources for a business idea, which they can do by attending free online courses.

Remember: no matter how experienced and tenured you are in your industry, there will always be more room to grow and advance. And online learning of small business concepts and trends gets you far!

Reasons to Become a Business Owner

Since business ownership involves so many steps, some may wonder why they should go this route. It’s necessary to learn the reasons why being a business owner is a good occupation choice for many people. Here are some:

Participate in any industry

Business owners can transfer their skills and practice their talent and craft in any industry. You decide about spending your time and resources to help you grow your business. What’s important is to analyze industries before launching your business. At the same time, you should match them with your interests and skills. 

Be your own boss.

Business owners have the power to make decisions. Instead of following orders from your boss, you are your own boss. No supervisor or list of tasks and responsibilities will be assigned to you. You must choose what projects to work on and how to spend your days. You can spend the day as you wish as long as you get things done and achieve your to-do tasks for the day. While there’s pressure to be your own boss, there’s professional freedom to be had.

Control risks and reap the rewards.

Business people incur a lot of risks more than employees do. However, they also reap bigger rewards which increase their earning potential significantly. These two things always go hand in hand, though. You cannot reap big rewards without taking big risks. Entrepreneurship involves taking calculated risks, but smart decisions can have significant benefits. The key is to be able to balance both. 

Grow your connections.

When you enjoy working with people, business ownership can allow you to connect with your clients and staff. Aside from nurturing your social skills, you can widen your network because you can meet many people daily. From hiring staff to finding business partners, you’ll be able to meet people from all walks of life. 

15 Free Small Business Classes for Business Owners

Starting A Business (Online Course)

Starting A Business (Online Course)

Santa Clara University

An aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start a business will benefit from this popular original course Santa Clara University offers. Providing step-by-step information and essentials for starting your business, Starting a Business consists of 15 sessions you can take at your own pace.

Business planning is the focus of the content. This program has great resources that can help you through enrolling in this curriculum. There is also an option for you to apply and get a certificate after finishing this free online program. 

English for Business and Entrepreneurship (Online Course)

English for Business and Entrepreneurship (Online Course)

The University of Pennsylvania (via Coursera.org)

This course is intended for non-native English speakers who wish to understand global business economics better. This course aims to prepare you for the international workplace by teaching topics and languages you will need to succeed. In this course, you will learn about business vocabulary, concepts, and issues through authentic readings and video lectures. 

Program learners will be able to explore ideas, products, and opportunities in unit 1 of their introduction to entrepreneurship course. Market research basics, including identifying opportunities, will be discussed in unit 2. You will have a chance to practice composing business plans in the next unit of the course. Their final section will cover funding a business and how to create a convincing business pitch based on your business plan. 

Foundations: Data, Data Everywhere (Online Course)

Foundations - Data, Data Everywhere (Online Course)

Google (via Coursera.org)

Focusing on the basics of Google Data Analytics, this course is ideal for introductory-level knowledge as a data analyst. But as an entrepreneur, you can create the foundation for understanding and learning how to analyze business data. 

Regardless of the type of organization, data analysts are essential for improving processes, identifying opportunities and trends, developing new products, and making good decisions. A hands-on curriculum developed by Google will introduce you to the world of data analytics.

Throughout the material, you’ll gain an understanding of key data analytics topics, which will help you prepare for the Google Data Analytics Certificate. You will be guided by current Google data analysts and given hands-on experience in accomplishing common tasks as a data analyst.

In this course, you can learn some technical aspects of Google Data Analytics, such as data cleaning and data visualization. You’ll also learn how to navigate tools like SQL, R programming, or spreadsheets. These tools can be valuable when you operate an eCommerce business.

The Science of Well-Being (Online Course)

The Science of Well-Being (Online Course)

Yale University (via Coursera.org)

This course will challenge you to build more productive habits to improve your well-being. Professor Laurie Santos leads this free online course offered by Yale University. In addition to exploring misconceptions about happiness, he will discuss annoying mental features that contribute to our thinking patterns and research that can help us improve our thinking.

Entrepreneurs need to prioritize their overall health, so this free course is a great resource to help you tap into that. After learning about a specific wellness activity, you will easily feel prepared to incorporate it into your daily life.

Principles of Management (Online Course)

Principles of Management (Online Course)

Johns Hopkins University (via Coursera.org)

Entrepreneurs, managers, and team leaders must balance their expertise in their respective areas with team citizenship, ethics, strategies, and projects. Their direct input might determine an individual contributor’s success, but a manager’s success depends on how well they enlist the active involvement of others.

This course teaches the strategies, techniques, and best practices for crafting reports, handling team members, working with employees in other departments, and transacting with customers and business partners.

Business Expansion (Online Course)

Business Expansion (Online Course)

Santa Clara University

Establishment business owners can take advantage of this course to advance their businesses. This 15-session course provides information on improving operations, seizing opportunities, and planning for the future. It highlights the implementation of appropriate internal controls, exploring expansion opportunities, evaluation methods, and formulation of exit strategies.

Discover the great resources offered in this Business Expansion course. Register for this free course if you want to learn more about business growth strategies.

Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking & Action (Online Course)

Essentials of Entrepreneurship - Thinking & Action (Online Course)

The University of California, Irvine (via Coursera.org)

Entrepreneurship characteristics and competencies can greatly enhance business success. In this interactive course, participants learn how to succeed as an entrepreneur. The topics in this free course assist learners in implementing new business strategies, developing a business plan, and evaluating creativity, opportunity, and feasibility.

Students who decide to work in organizations acquire the skills and confidence to consider starting a business and embracing the entrepreneurial approach.

Boots to Business Classes (In-Person Course)

Boots to Business Classes (In-Person Course)

U.S. Small Business Administration

In this two-day course, participants will learn about the key elements of small business owners to help determine if entrepreneurship is feasible and practical for their transition.

Participants in the curriculum will learn about evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan, which will be helpful if they wish to explore business ownership or self-employment. Throughout the course, participants learn about various entrepreneurial business concepts and resources for obtaining start-up capital, technical assistance, and contracting opportunities.

How to Build a Startup (Online Course)

How to Build a Startup (Online Course)


To build a successful startup, Steve Blank—a Silicon Valley startup superstar—provides an overview of the famous Customer Development Process through this How to Build a Startup free course under Udacity. This course focuses on rapidly developing and testing ideas by collecting massive amounts of feedback from customers and marketplaces.

Many startups do not succeed because they don’t validate their ideas with real-life customers early on. Students of this free course can learn to mitigate that risk by getting out of the building and searching for customer pain points and unmet needs. These are the only factors that can help an entrepreneur establish a successful business model and find a proper solution.

An all-important customer development process within a small business is also taught throughout the month-long program.

Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs (Online Course)

Introduction to SEO - Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs (Online Course)

Skill Share

“Wizard of Moz” Rand Fishki teaches about optimizing content and organically raising a brand’s online presence in this 90-minute class in this free small business class. The main topics include fundamentals of content optimization and creating SEO strategies that small business owners, start-ups, freelancers, junior marketers, web designers, or copywriters could use.

As a final project, students share their own SEO strategy and optimize a piece of content based on keyword research they have conducted.

New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs (Online Course)

New Venture Finance - Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs (Online Course)

University of Maryland (Via Coursera.org)

Assisting aspiring or active entrepreneurs in securing funding for their ventures, this course demystifies critical financing concepts to assist entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in securing funding and benefit for sound financial management.

Get your new venture funded by exploring the many financing options available. You will learn about finance, valuations, dilution, and nondilutive funding sources. In this free course, you can learn how to prepare successful investor pitches, who to pitch to, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to close the deal.

T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined (In-Person Course)

T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined (In-Person Course)

U.S. Small Business Administration

In this program, executives are trained at the executive level to accelerate small businesses’ growth. Through targeted training facilitated by motivating leaders in small business development, T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined aims to accelerate the growth of ambitious small business leaders.

To meet small businesses where they are right now, the Office of Entrepreneurial Development strives to improve the learning ecosystem.

Participants can be of any type of business. Many for-profit companies participate, including manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, contractors, and professional services. Through strategies designed to assist in accessing new sources of capital, the training will assist in stimulating and supporting the expansion of your business.

Business development tools are also offered to help you pursue new marketing strategies and entrepreneurial paths. There are many government resources, as well as local business leaders, who are ready to help your business succeed.

Small Business Marketing Using LinkedIn (Online Course)

Small Business Marketing Using LinkedIn (Online Course)

Coursera Project Network (Via Coursera.org)

LinkedIn is an important social media platform useful for many business people. A one-hour project-based course, this course will teach you how to market your small business using LinkedIn by creating a LinkedIn business page, connecting with the right customers, and using LinkedIn messaging.

The program provides insights into relevant content and underscores the marketing strategy behind creating small business groups or joining established societies of like-minded people. The course is designed for small business owners with little or no experience with social media marketing.

Google Analytics for Business Marketing: Demystifying Your Website’s Traffic (Online Course)

Google Analytics for Business Marketing - Demystifying Your Website's Traffic (Online Course)

Skill Share

Josh, an award-winning digital marketer with experience running 10 million websites, demystifies the world’s most popular Web Analytics tool. And you’d get to learn from him for free by joining this program offered at Skill Share.

You’ll be able to learn how to drive traffic to your website, measure them, and uncover effective marketing skills based on those data. You can see from which country the traffic is generated and what pages on your website are most frequently visited. 

Foundations of Project Management (Online Course)

Foundations of Project Management (Online Course)

Google (Via Coursera.org)

In this course, you’ll learn the skills needed for introductory-level roles in project management. Project managers are vital to the success of their organizations as they lead, plan, and implement critical projects. By introducing you to foundational project management terminology, this course will allow you better to understand a project manager’s role and responsibilities.

The program also provides information about possible careers after you complete it. You will receive a multidimensional educational experience from current Google project managers, who can help you develop your skills for on-the-job applications. 

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