Studying Entrepreneurship

What to Look for in an Entrepreneurial Curriculum

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

The need to learn more about running a small enterprise may require you to pursue an entrepreneurship course. Do you know what types of institutions can offer you the best entrepreneurial curriculum? Are you sure about the requisite skills and knowledge you should possess at the end of your course?

Nowadays you are sure to find a considerable number of institutions purporting to offer entrepreneurial curriculums in self-employment skills and managerial assistance.

Not all of these are the sure thing though - some may indeed be quack institutions just in a hurry to make a quick buck. The following are some of the most credible facilities where you can start making inquiries about these courses:

- Business schools
- University departments
- Technology colleges and institutions
- Professional training and consulting organizations
- Chambers of industry and commerce
- Professional and trade associations
- Government advisory units
- Centers for management development and productivity

After locating suitable institutions from where you can get the small enterprise development education you desire it is most prudent that you make a comparison of the entrepreneurial curriculums on offer. Generally speaking, these courses should focus on the three crucial aspects of entrepreneurial, occupational, and managerial skills training. The best course to pursue as a practicing entrepreneur should bequeath you with the necessary know-how to plan, organize, direct, control and take correct remedial action in the management aspects of your business.

As an entrepreneur you should always harbor the ambition to grow your business. The managerial and entrepreneurial curriculum you decide to pursue should reflect these ambitions as well. As such, the crucial components of these courses should include the following:

- Financial management and control training including information on the different sources of business finance, assistance with the preparation of convincing credit applications/requests, elements of bookkeeping, issues of budgeting, cost accounting and cash flow management, and information on taxes and tariffs.

- Training on aspects of marketing including how to study and research local and export markets, how to establish contacts and subsequently develop sales and distribution channels, information of the requisite pieces of legislature and procedures, issues of effective pricing, about advertising and sales promotions, and information on product/service packaging.

- Training on production management focused on the core issues of production planning, organization and control, information on purchasing and the control of inventory, information about how to handle work in progress and finished goods, and matters of product development and quality control.

- Personnel management training including advice on how to recruit, select and appoint personnel, labor legislation, administration of wages and salaries, and issues of legal responsibilities and social welfare.

- Training on general managerial issues including how to handle financial and operational positions, the organizational structure and delegation of authority.

As much as possible you should look for a course that presents a more realistic outlook rather than a purely theoretical approach. The best entrepreneurial curriculum for a small business owner will seek to impart advice on how to deal with other people who are involved with the business on a day-to-day basis including the workers, customers, suppliers, bankers, and the government. In essence your chosen course should incorporate the aforementioned managerial aspects and skills and should embrace the appropriate self-development training approaches and techniques for increased practicality.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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