35 Free Small Business Classes for Business Owners [2024 Guide]

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on July 4, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Explore Free Small Business Classes that'll help you grow your business in 2023. Put your business in overdrive with these new skills!

Explore Free Small Business Classes that’ll help you grow your business in 2024. Put your business in overdrive with these new skills!

Owning a small business is becoming an increasingly popular trend in modern business, and finding success in a competitive market hinges on having a thorough understanding of the skills needed to sustain and grow your business.

Luckily, you can now get the knowledge you need without taking years of college business classes and going into debt!

Woman completing free small business class

Through the accessibility of open online courses, also known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, colleges and organizations throughout the country are offering free business-oriented classes for the up-and-coming entrepreneur. From financing and marketing to managing a successful startup, these classes give you the foundation you need to take your business to the next level of success.

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With the countless number of MOOC free courses out there, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

Below we cover 35 of the top free courses available based upon the specific topics you need to know:

Starting Your Business

1. Starting My Own Business

Santa Clara University Starting a business free online course

Take the first step towards living your small business dream by learning the skills you need to survive in the ever-changing business world.

2. First Step: Starting a Business Webinar Series

PA SBDC Starting a business webinar course

Walk step-by-step through the process of starting your own business through this six-part webinar series.

3. Crafting a Business Plan

SmallBizU Crafting a Business Plan

With the Business Plan Workbook, you will learn the tools needed to develop a business plan that takes you to the top of your industry.

4. Product Design and Development

DSpace@MIT - Product Design and Development

Learn how to identify your customers’ needs and design products for maximum impact through this innovative MIT course.

5. Financing the Business

SmallBizU - Finding and Attracting Investors

Do you need a hand with getting your company off the ground? Learn how to secure the capital you need, including finding and attracting investors, to get started with this free online course.


6. Developmental Entrepreneurship

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Developmental Entrepreneurship

Learn from the success and mistakes of other entrepreneurs with this case-study based MIT course.

7. My Own Business

SCU.edu - My Own Business

This online educational resource offers a free 16-part course for those interested in starting and running their own small business.

8. The Entrepreneurial Strategies

SmallBizU - The Entrepreneurial Strategies

If you’re just getting started in the world of entrepreneurship, this course is an excellent starting point for understanding the techniques that you need to know.

9. How to Build a Startup

Udacity.com on How to Build a Startup

In this free, month-long course, you will learn the ins and outs of starting a successful small business.

10. Entrepreneurial Behavior

The Open University - Entrepreneurial Behavior

Identify the market opportunities available in your small business industry and seize the chance to capitalize on them with this exciting free course offering.


11. Leadership Lab

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Leadership Lab

Do you have what it takes to be an effective business leader? Learn strategies for upping your game through the variety of resources available in this MIT course.

12. Free Management Library eMBA Courses

Free Management Library eMBA Courses

Get an MBA education that may even rival some of the best part time MBA programs for free by studying the business development and management program available through this online source.

13. Leadership and Influence

Coursera.org - Leadership and Influence

Get the key tools you need to self-assess your leadership style and promote the business environment you want through this in-depth free course.

14. Business Management Certification Program

MasterClassManagement.com - Business Management Certification Program

This 10-lesson course covers the key skills needed to manage, lead, and navigate a supervisory role within a small business.

15. Negotiation and Conflict Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Negotiation and Conflict Management

Now more than ever, it’s essential to have the tools needed to work through difficult situations that arise in the business setting, and this course teaches you what you need to know.


16. Creating Buzz: Marketing on a Small Budget

Creating Buzz: Marketing on a Small Budget

Effective marketing is all about getting your business noticed, and with this course you’ll get the tools you need to make it happen without breaking the bank.

17. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy

Through this free certification program, you will learn marketing skills to help you grow the online presence of your business.

18. The Marketing Plan – Coursera

The Marketing Plan - Coursera

This course course allows you not only to learn the essential parts of The Marketing Plan but also map out the future of your own business.

19. Entrepreneurial Marketing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Entrepreneurial Marketing

Develop a flexible perspective for small business marketing through this graduate level MIT course.

20. Social Marketing

OPEN.edu - Social Marketing

This unique course teaches you how to adopt marketing concepts that can be applied to the solution of the social issues and concerns prevalent in modern society.

Finance and Accounting

21. Small Business Tax Workshop

IRS - Small Business Tax Workshop

Use the interactive lessons available from this irrefutable source to learn effective accounting tools to manage the tax obligations of your small business.

22. Simple Studies Online Accounting Lessons

Simple Studies Online Accounting Lessons

If you are just starting out with accounting, this site offer numerous tutorials, articles, and quizzes to get you up to speed.

23. Running a Profitable Company

Kutztown University - Running a Profitable Company

Although this is a short course based on finance, it is useful to get some tips and tricks on keeping your small business profitable in the long-term.

24. Economic Analysis for Business Decisions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Economic Analysis for Business Decisions

Through lecture notes, assignments, and exams, you can test yourself on the knowledge necessary to navigate decision making based upon microeconomics.

25. Business Analysis Using Financial Statements

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Business Analysis Using Financial Statements

Financial planning is essential to a successful business, and this course teaches you how to use your financial statements to take your company to the next level of profitability.


26. Technology 101: A Small Business Guide

Technology 101 - SBA course small business guide

Use this SBA tutorial to learn more about the various forms of technology available and how these tools can be applied to keeping your small business ahead of the curve.

27. Managing the Digital Enterprise

North Carolina State University - Managing the Digital Enterprise

This 15-module course breaks down the information needed to market and protect your business’s information in a digital world.

28. Technology Strategy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Technology Strategy

Nearly all modern small businesses depend on technology, and this essential tutorial gives you a crash course on utilizing technology to your advantage in the marketplace.

29. Code Academy

Code Academy

Save money on your website development by taking these free courses to learn the most essential programming languages.

30. Practical Information Technology Management

MIT Practical Technology management open course

This MIT open course will give you the tools you need to make key business decisions related to your information technology systems.

General Business

31. Understanding Intellectual Property

SmallBizU - Understanding Intellectual Property

The profitability of your business depends upon protecting your innovative intellectual properties and this course shows you how you can keep it safe.

32. SmallBizU


From money management to marketing, this site offer numerous classes on the most vital business subjects.

33. SBA Learning Center

SBA Learning Center

Study numerous free courses covering the hottest topics in managing and running your business through the Small Business Association website.

34. Too Unimportant to Fail?

Gresham College - Too Unimportant to Fail

In this interesting academic lecture, you delve into the problems that plague businesses and learn how innovation can help you to succeed in the competitive market.

35. Creating an Ethical Organization

OPEN.edu - Creating an Ethical Organization

A successful business is an ethical business, with over 13 sessions, you can learn how to stay true to the conscious business practices important to consumers and management.

Get equipped with the tools you need to succeed

Open online courses are not only a reputable way to learn the information you need to get your business off the ground, but they are also a valuable resource for any established business owner that needs to adapt and grow in the changing marketplace.

Best of all, you will be getting the same information as those who are spending thousands of dollars on traditional college business courses or are taking online classes for business degree!

Through the magic of technology, it is now easier than ever to live the American dream of entrepreneurship. Check out the above classes today to take the first step in realizing your businesses potential!

Ready to start your journey?