2024 Best Online Small Business Management Certificates

By Kathryn Byrne
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on June 10, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?

A small business management certificate may be your next step if you want to improve or develop essential business skills.

Best Online Small Business Management Certificates

Whether you are an experienced business owner or just entering the entrepreneurial world of small business, taking small business management courses online could be beneficial.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Earning a small business certificate can also be useful for a number of other career paths. You might apply your knowledge to advance or change your career.

Universities Offering Online Certificates in Small Business Management Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Ferris State University

Ferris State University offers a Small Business Management Certificate that can be earned online. The program requires the completion of four courses. Potential courses include Growing the Small Business, Management Metrics and Decision Making, and Small Business Systems and Operations.

Ferris State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College offers a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management that can be earned online. The program requires the completion of 17 credit hours. It aims to teach students how to start their own businesses. The curriculum covers how to design a business model, market products and services, and keep track of financial information.

Fox Valley Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Monroe Community College

Monroe Community College offers an online Certificate in Small Business Management program. This program requires the completion of 31 to 32 credit hours and can typically be completed in 2 semesters. Potential courses in the curriculum include Introductory Accounting and Financial Analysis, Applied Business Applications, and Dynamics of Selling. Credits may be applied to an AAS in Entrepreneurship.

MCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College offers a Career Studies Certificate in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship that can be taken online and at the Chesapeake campus. The program is often a good fit for students who can multitask and who have strong interpersonal skills. The curriculum explores how to launch and expand small businesses.

Tidewater Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of California – Los Angeles

The University of California – Los Angeles offers a Certificate in Small Business Management and Technology that can be earned on campus or through its online extension school. The program requires the completion of six courses. Potential courses in the curriculum include Developing a Business Plan, Financial Tools for Business Growth, and Marketing and Sales Strategies for Entrepreneurial Business.

UCLA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Small Business Management Certificate Online Programs

Woman taking Small Business Management Certificate online

A small business certificate program can be beneficial for various professionals, including entrepreneurs starting a business, current business owners, and those managing businesses.

Professionals in other careers—including those in healthcare, finance, and various management roles—can also benefit from the knowledge taught in small business management courses online. Skills gained include managing finances, promoting your business, and understanding legal requirements, regulations, and compliance, including taxes.

Topics covered in small business management certificate programs online include:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Legal compliance
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Negotiating
  • Tax requirements
  • Business administration
  • Financial tools
  • Customer service
  • Establishing a business
  • Business plan development
  • Profit management
  • Online presence

Many graduates have prior business or management experience and are ready to open their own businesses and develop skills for success. These in-demand skills are also ones that many employers look for when hiring, so this certificate program is not just for those who want to become business owners.

Graduates can find opportunities in various industries, especially in management and administration positions where these skills are extremely valuable. Many small business management certificate programs online can be completed in less than 1 year, allowing you to quickly gain knowledge and put it to use.

Small Business Management Careers & Salaries

Small Business Management Careers & Salaries

Professionals with a small business certificate can find numerous opportunities to use the skills gained in this program.

While many graduates are entrepreneurs looking to start their businesses, others seek opportunities to advance their careers or change career paths completely. Professionals with a valuable combination of management, finance, marketing, and sales skills can find opportunities in any of those areas.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, listed below are potential careers, along with their median salaries, that could benefit from a small business administration certificate.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Marketing Managers $140,040
Sales Managers $130,600
Advertising and Promotions Managers $127,830
Administrative Services Managers $103,330
General and Operations Managers $98,100
Project Management Specialists $95,370
Financial and Investment Analysts $95,080
Budget Analysts $82,260
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists $68,230
Public Relations Specialists $67,440

Those interested in marketing may seek opportunities as advertising, marketing, and promotions managers or public relations specialists. Individuals interested in operations can explore opportunities as project management specialists, management analysts, and operations research analysts.

Graduates looking for careers in finance may find opportunities as financial examiners, budget analysts, and cost estimators. The range of potential career paths for graduates with a small business certificate is as varied as the topics covered in the program.

Small Business Management Certificate Curriculum

Students taking Small Business Management Certificate researching

While courses will vary by program, listed below are some courses you may take to earn your small business certificate:

  • Developing a Business Plan: You’ll learn key components of drafting business plans, including customer analysis, revenue forecasting, and competitor assessment.
  • Planning for Success: This course introduces you to the financial, strategic, and operational planning needed to launch a small business successfully.
  • Fundamentals of Business Administration and Management: You’ll learn how to systemize, manage, and structure a business for success from the beginning.
  • Establishing a Successful Business: This course examines key elements of successful businesses, including unique selling propositions and customer identification.
  • Market Research: Students in this course will examine the benefits and types of market research and learn how to discover and assess target markets.
  • Legal Requirements and Resources: This course gives you a basic understanding of legal and tax requirements that business owners need to know.
  • Financial Tools for Business Growth: This course introduces essential financial management topics, including credit management, receivables, and inventory.
  • Preparing a Budget: You’ll learn essential budget and financial skills, including creating financial statements, making financial projections, and setting prices and costs.
  • Reaching Your Customers: This course examines strategies for marketing, advertising, and promoting your business, including developing an online presence.
  • Managing Your Profits: This course provides fundamental procedures small business owners need for budgeting, profit planning, and managing tax systems.

The number and type of courses will vary by certificate program, so it’s beneficial to look over a program’s curriculum to ensure it aligns with your goals and needs.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Small Business Management Certificates

Admissions requirements will vary by program, but listed below are some common requirements for taking small business management courses online:

  • High school diploma. Many undergraduate certificate programs require you to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  • Online application. Most programs require you to complete an online application, including answering specific questions.
  • Official transcripts. Most programs request copies of your official transcripts from high school, college, and any other courses you have taken.

In addition, some programs require a fee when you submit your application.

Accreditation

University offering Small Business Management Certificates

As you explore options for small business management certificate programs online, a key consideration is the school’s accreditation status.

The accreditation process verifies that a school meets agreed-upon educational standards, with regional accreditation being the most widely accepted form. Accreditation is important since it can potentially affect your eligibility for business school online programs, such as an online business management degree, credit transfers, and job opportunities.

To learn more about the accreditation process, you can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Small Business Management Certificates Financial Aid

When looking into options for your small business certificate or small business management degree online, you may also look into various resources that can help with the cost of your program. You may find scholarships offered directly through your school or public and private institutions. Some schools also offer payment plans for tuition.

If you are currently employed, you can explore potential options offered through your employer in the form of tuition reimbursement or discounted tuition. You can also explore financial aid through the federal and state governments, including loans, grants, and work-study programs.

You can visit the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about government assistance options that may be available to you.

What Is a Small Business Management Certificate?

SMB Manager discussing business development and planning

A small business management certificate is a non-degree program that helps prepare students to successfully run and manage a small business.

Students can develop skills in finance, marketing, leadership, management, customer service, and business development and planning. Graduates of small business management certificate programs online may launch their own business, open a store, or better understand how to successfully manage an existing business.

Current business owners can also complete a certificate program to develop new skills to keep up with changing technologies, such as learning how to get their business online or market online.

What Can You Do with a Small Business Management Certificate?

Sales Manager & business owner discussing

Gained expertise through a small business management class can help prepare you for a variety of opportunities and career paths.

Many graduates seek to become entrepreneurs, while others are experienced business owners looking to enhance their skills. Others find opportunities managing small businesses or using their skills in niche management positions, including in marketing, advertising, promotions, and sales management.

Graduates can also work in positions where a combination of skills is needed, from healthcare organizations to financial roles, including budget analysts and financial examiners.

How Long is a Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program Online?

Man taking Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate online

The time needed to complete your small business administration program online will vary based on a few factors, including the program requirements and your schedule.

Many programs are self-paced, usually within parameters, but most programs can be completed in less than 1 year. Some programs offer fast-track options, allowing you to move more quickly and complete your program in as little as 6 months.

When choosing a program, you might consider the overall completion time and the schedule, ensuring both work for you.

Is a Small Business Management Certificate Worth It?

Marketing Manager providing reports to the Sales Manager

Yes, a small business management certificate is worth it for many students. This type of certificate program can help you improve your skills and knowledge in opening, running, and managing a small business.

You can develop diverse skills that you could use in running a small business as well as in other careers that value finance, marketing, sales, customer service, and leadership skills. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for business and financial occupations is projected to grow 7% over the next ten years. Management occupations are expected to see 8% job growth over the same period.

Getting Your Certificate in Small Business Management Online

student getting Certificate in Small Business Management Online

Earning a small business certificate can help you develop essential skills for opening or running your own business or advancing your career in numerous fields.

Whether you’re an experienced business owner or considering opening your own business, this certificate program can help you further your expertise. You can also use your skill set to help manage businesses in various roles and fields where business, finance, and leadership skills are in demand.

If you’re ready to take your business and management skills to the next level, you can start exploring online small business management certificate programs from accredited schools.

Ready to start your journey?