These days, you can get some of the best business courses on the planet for free. And that’s almost totally due to the internet. Every day, numerous new skill development lessons and modules get uploaded to the web, adding to the tens of thousands already available on it. It’s no longer a matter of whether there’s good learning material for businesses online; it’s now about which of the myriads of them we should choose.
If this comes as a surprise to you, then you’ve been missing out on a lot. Many of the issues you’re having with building your business can be fixed with the information in these courses. Whether it’s bringing your startup ideas to life, acquiring IT skills or funding your business, you’ll find something that equips you to take them on successfully.
Many of these courses also come with certifications, just in case you’d like to have them included in your CV. They’re usually handed out upon completion of the program, and are customized according to the enrollee’s identification tags.
Here’s a rundown of 11 free business courses, offered on four global platforms, which you can access right away.
Google Digital Skills for Africa
Tech giant Google launched its digital skills courses for Africans in 2016, aiming to reach a million people on the continent with the knowledge they need to navigate a digitally driven world. Since its inception, the program has taken thousands up from the edges of basic tech literacy to savvy operators in the ever-expanding world of online business.
Fundamentals of Digital MarketingThis is a vast course covering practically everything you need to know about building an online business presence. It’s 26 modules, many of which have between 3 and 6 short video lessons. They let you into how to get a business online, how to promote through email, social media, SEO and SEM marketing, mobile-friendly tweaks, audience segmentation and targeting, etc. The good thing is, you can tackle it at your own pace. You’ll also get a certification from Google at the end of it all.
Venture Capital for Africa is one of the better known online communities for African startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll probably know them if you’re close enough to the startup ecosystem. They’ve come up with a brilliant idea for entrepreneurs on the continent: an academy which provides relevant business education for aspiring and established venture founders and team members.
The following courses are available with the academy, containing lessons taught by over 70 startup founders and experts.
Start Your BusinessThis one comes in handy for people who have a startup idea they’re mulling or developing. It takes them through the process of building a team, coming up with a product worth selling to the public, and understanding the market they’re targeting.
Grow Your BusinessIf you’re already in business and you want to scale things up, you’ll find this course helpful. Here, you’ll pick up trusted approaches to marketing your products, bringing in more customers, forming strategic partnerships, and discover business model options you could run with.
Finance Your BusinessThis series of lessons show you how to set your finances in order, the basics of contractual agreements, pitching to investors, and successful fundraising. It’s the sort of thing you’ll be looking to get into if you’d like your business finance to run smoothly.
Your Legal BusinessNigerian startup founders who have felt bullied by the dense language in legal documents pertaining their business will be delighted with what this course gives them: an easily graspable tour through the law’s demands on starting and financing an enterprise.
You’ll get a special customized certificate from VC4A after you’ve taken all these courses.
Hubspot occupies a prime spot in inbound marketing and sales education across the world; if you’re going to be receiving insights into digital marketing strategy, you’ll get the best of it from them. Here’s a selection of courses from their stables:
Inbound Marketing CertificationInbound marketing is about creating web content that draws your target audience to your business by meeting their information needs. Hubspot has a stack of video-based lessons that unveil the various aspects of creating and implementing the kind of content your prospective customers will be interested in, and how to keep them coming back to you for more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)The path to becoming an SEO guru is paved with modules on SEO from Hubspot. They promise to equip you with the skills required to craft search results topping content. That’s a route to greater visibility on the web for your business’s online presence.
Instagram Marketing CourseYou’ll have to bring your A game to Instagram if your business is going to stand out there; it’s swarming with numerous others selling the same sort of product you do. An Instagram Marketing Course from one of the world’s leading digital marketing education sites might help you on your way to dominating your niche on the gram.
NB: There’s a Facebook marketing course from Hubspot as well.
EDX is one of a number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platforms housing thousands of free courses related to almost every discipline under the sun. Extra info: its a project started off through a partnership between Harvard and MIT. Our focus here is with business learning, so we’ll keep our eyes on modules from EDX covering skills in this area.
Introduction to BookkeepingIf you’re interested in learning how to balance your accounts like a pro, this is for you. It’s one of a number of accounting courses on EDX from the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA), the international body for professional accountants.
Project ManagementGet a really good start at project management with the array of courses in project management from EDX. Your options in this area include lessons in project lifecycle management, working with Microsoft project, Six Sigma Methodology and process improvement flow.
Microsoft Office Fundamentals: Excel, Outlook, WordA great resource for getting a handle on Microsoft’s better-known tools for business brought to you by the very company that designed them. It’s great for anyone who’s either just starting out with the basic digital aids to business, or wanting to become more proficient with them. And if you’re keen on getting certified, you can obtain a certificate from Microsoft when you’re done with the course, at a fee.
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