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Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations - Overview


Entrepreneurial and small business operations programs prepare people to manage a small business or franchise. Students learn how to make a business plan and find start-up funds. They also learn about laws, taxes, and how to manage a staff.

Over the past 20 years, the number of small businesses in the U.S. has increased by almost 50 percent. Over 22 million small businesses are in operation today. That means there are lots of opportunities for you if you want to run your own operation.

But how do you get started? How do you figure out what people want to buy? How do you organize an efficient operation that can charge a competitive price and still make a profit? How do you choose a good location for the business? How do you get a bank to invest in your big idea? How do you do the taxes? Should you incorporate your business or not?

You may be able to solve these problems with no formal education beyond high school. You can learn a lot by working in a small business and watching what the boss does. But some college courses in business can smooth out many of the bumps on your highway to small business success. At your local community college, you may find a course in small business management or franchise operation. Courses in marketing and accounting can also be useful.

It is also possible to get a degree in entrepreneurial and small business operations. Over 40 colleges offer a two-year associate's degree in this field. And you can pursue a bachelor's degree in this field at about 70 four-year colleges. Sometimes you can focus on this topic within a general management program. If you'd like to get a master's degree in this field, your best option is to concentrate on this area as part of a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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