A Dollar And A Dream Education for Entrepreneurs On A Budget

Posted By Urban News Hour | November 15, 2012

“A Dollar and A Dream” spotlights low- and no-cost ways to build a better business. The economy may be lagging, but new resources are empowering small business owners like never before. Follow the series to learn how to take your dreams to the next level without breaking the bank.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  -Nelson Mandela

We’ve all heard soaring quotes about the value of an education. The poetry of these words has never been more practical. Today’s business world requires entrepreneurs to make education a priority.

More than keeping you on the top of your game, learning improves your bottom line. Whether you take a class in calligraphy or small business principles, growing your expertise will save you from spending money on consultants and cleaning up after your own mistakes.

With the ramifications of the student loan crisis looming, students and institutions alike are looking for better ways to signal knowledge and skills to employers. Educational institutions are rethinking the way they teach and experimenting with technology to democratize education. In the future, a resume may display a digital badge, showing the completion of an online course rather than a degree.

The debate on the future of education is nowhere near settled. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and life long learners can take advantage of the benefits coming out of the discussion.  Class is in session with the best minds in the world, and tuition is free.

+Online courses lack the intimacy of the classroom. Some websites offer assignments and quizzes to track your learning. But, don’t expect the same experience as an

in-classroom course.

Online resources, like those listed below, will you give enough direction to refresh your skills or feed your interest in a new subject. Unlike traditional programs, online study can be easily tailored to your schedule and areas of interest. If you’re really feeling fierce, start a study group within your network to encourage one another and capture that classroom feel.

Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world including Stanford, Princeton, and Emory.

Price: Free

Style: Lecture

Topics: A wide range spanning the humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and many others.

Sample Courses:

  • Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part II (Edward D. Hess, University of Virginia)
  • Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies (Dr. James V. Green, University of Maryland, College Park)

30 Second MBA is an ongoing video curriculum, presented by Fast Company, of good advice from successful people in business today.

Price: Free

Style: Short, unfiltered videos

Topics: Business questions ranging from the practical to the philosophical.

Sample Courses:

  • How Do You Raise Funds? (Jess Lee, Cofounder And Head Of Product Management, Polyvore)
  • How did you find your last great idea? (Carol Kruse, Senior Vice President Of Marketing, ESPN)


Skillshare is a global marketplace for classes that allows users to learn from anyone, anywhere. Classes are available online, and in-person if you’re in the New York area.

Price: Free – $50

Style: Online and in-person presentations

Topics: Branding, fashion, entrepreneurship, technology, social good, and more.

Sample Courses:

  • Startup PR: Create a PR Campaign Without an Agency (Elliot Tomaeno, Founder at Astrsk PR)
  • Crash Course: Positive Persuasive Speaking Techniques (Angela Giacchetti, Marketing & Communications Strategist)

iTunes U is a free app for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch that gives access to the world’s largest online catalog of free education content. Partnering institutions include Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley.

Price: Free

Style: Lectures, videos, books, and other resources

Topics: Fourteen subject areas including law, communications, mathematics, philosophy, and business.

Sample Courses:

  • Building a Business (Oxford University)
  • What Great Bosses Know (The Poynter Institute’s Jill Geisler)

TED started out as a conference for the technology, entertainment, and design industries and has since morphed into an organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. The most brilliant minds in the world discuss their life’s work on the organization’s award-winning TEDTalks video site.

Price: Free

Style: Lectures, performances, and presentations.

Topics: Subject areas include psychology, design, business, technology, entertainment, and global issues.

Sample Courses:

  • How to get your Ideas to Spread (Seth Godin, Marketer and author)
  • How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek, Leadership expert and author)

Lynda is a software training and video tutorial library. Lynda is a well respected website and features top experts in the field of technology, design, and business.

Price: $25/month

Style: Video tutorial with supplemental assignments.

Topics: Software, design and business skills.

Sample Courses:

  • HTML Essential Training (Bill Weinman)
  • LinkedIn Essential Training (Richard Colback)

Now it’s your turn to push the “A Dollar and A Dream” movement forward. Share online resources that have helped you be a better businessperson

 source: madamenoire.com



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