10 Free Online Courses For Business You Can Take Today

These days, you don’t need to attend Business Schools to acquire the relevant skills needed to run a business.  With a few online courses for business, you’d learn how to start and run a business with ease.

The fun of it is that most of these courses are available for free.

So, you see, instead of taking a break from your job or taking huge loans to go for that MBA course. You can learn all you need to know about running a business right from the comfort of your home, during your leisure time.

In this article, we’ll review 10 awesome free online courses for business that can equip you with the relevant knowledge you need to run your business.

10 Free Online Courses for Business

These 10 free online courses for business were carefully selected to cover the different aspects of business.

From starting up a business, to marketing, negotiation, sales, employee management and even taking your business online.

So, whether you’re looking to start your own business, or you have one already and are looking for how to manage it effectively. Or you have a managerial position in someone’s business.

There is a course here to guide you. So grab your cup of coffee and relax as we go through these amazing free online business courses.

1. Introduction to Business Specialization (Coursera)

Access: Free Audit (Getting assessed and receiving a certificate comes with a fee)

Level: Beginners

Duration: Approximately 3 months

Offered by the University of California, Irvine, this course is structured to take you from being just a novice in business to an expert.

This course is arguably the most detailed free business course you’d find on the internet. You are guaranteed to learn a lot as this course handles three key areas of business.

Firstly, you’d learn about business management and strategic planning. You will understand the leadership aspect of managing a business.

Making key managerial decisions regarding how human and physical resources should be managed to improve business productivity.

Secondly, you’ll learn about business finances. From understanding the financial statements to making forecasting and financing decisions. You will understand better what it means to grow a business with expense controls.

And lastly, you’ll learn about the marketing aspect of a business. How to run profitable promotions and position your business better in front of your audience.

You will learn about the traditional form of marketing. But a more in-depth discussion will be made on digital marketing. From search engine marketing to social media and content marketing. You will learn all there is to learn about promoting a business using the internet.

To enroll for the course, click here

2. Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce (Coursera)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: Approximately 7 months

This digital marketing and e-commerce course is offered by google to help businesses manage and grow their brands digitally.

It covers digital marketing in full detail. From the fundamentals of digital marketing and e-commerce, you will go further to learn how to attract and engage customers.

You will understand better how to turn those who like your business pages online to quality leads. Also, there’s an entire section focused on email marketing. With about 37 videos and 35 texts, you will get a thorough lesson on how to use email marketing to grow your business.

In addition to that, you learn how to interpret marketing analytics results and build and scale e-commerce stores.

This is a comprehensive course that will make you a digital marketing expert upon completion.

Here are the course outlines:

  • Foundations of Digital Marketing and E-commerce
  • Attract and Engage Customers with Digital marketing
  • From likes to leads: Interact with customers online
  • Think outside the inbox: Email Marketing
  • Assess for Success: Marketing Analytics and Measurement
  • Make the Sale: Build, Launch, and Manage E-commerce Stores
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: Develop Customer Loyalty Online

Click here to enroll  

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3. Career Navigator: A Manager’s Guide to Career Development (Udemy)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: 48 Minutes

Career development is a big topic in business discussions. As a business owner or manager, you will need your employees to always operate at their highest level of efficiency.

And this can’t be achievable if they are not constantly developing themselves.

So in this course, you will be learning about the role a manager plays in the development of the human resources in his or her control. You will understand how you can use goal setting, coaching, and mentorship to develop your workers’ careers.

The most important aspect of this course is that in addition to learning how to develop your employees, you’re learning to develop yourself too. Because the growth of a business depends heavily on how deep its managers can think and execute.

Here are the key topics you will learn in this course:

  • Career development: Introduction
  • Introspection
  • Goal Setting
  • Mentorship

To take this course, click here

4. How to Start Your Own Business (Coursera)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: approximately 6 months

In this course offered by the University of Michigan, you will learn all you need to create and build your own business.

You will take lessons on developing an entrepreneurial mindset. This is important because it takes only one who is trained to spot opportunities in situations to actually make a business out of it.

Starting a business requires you to understand a lot about how the particular industry functions. What are the risks, opportunities, competitions in it? Do you know how to source for funds and not run into debt when you’ve not started?

All these and more are what you will learn in this course.

The instructors, Forest Carter, Ken Szymusiak, David Wheeler, have deep knowledge and experience on how to create and grow a business from scratch.

You will be taken through the following topics:

  • Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset: First Step towards Success
  • The Search for Great Ideas: Harnessing creativity to empower innovation
  • Planning: Principles, Proposing, Proofing, and Practicing to Success Plan
  • Structure: Building the Frame for Business Growth
  • Launch strategy: 5 steps to Capstone Experience
  • Capstone – Launch Your Own Business

Click here to enroll    

5. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator (Coursera)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: Approximately 27 hours

Negotiation is a very important part of business. As a business owner or manager, you will be involved in bouts of negotiation from the moment the business idea is conceived.

You will negotiate with suppliers, customers, employees, contractors etc. As a matter of fact, not being able to negotiate is the first step to business failure.

In this course, you will learn all you need to be a master negotiator. You will learn about human psychology and how to utilize that to your advantage during negotiation.

Asides the key instructor, Professor Barry NaleBuff, you will have the privilege of learning from three other instructors.

Here are the topics discussed in the course:

  • What is the pie?
  • Negotiation Caselets
  • Zincit Case
  • Outspider Case
  • Advanced Topics
  • Linda Babcock: Ask for It
  • Herb Cohen: You can Negotiate Anything
  • John McCall MacBain: The Consummate Dealmaker

Click here to take the course.

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6. People Management (edX)

Access: Free

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 6 Weeks

People management, otherwise known as human resources management, is a critical aspect of organizational growth.  The ability to get employees to align their goals and interests towards that of the business is a big necessity.

In this course, you will learn how to be an effective people manager. You will learn to assign tasks, inspect them and give honest feedback without hurting the feelings of your employees.

You will also learn to motivate people to give their all to organizational growth and development.

The instructor, Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan, is an Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management expert with years of experience. You will surely be learning a lot from her wealth of experience.

Click here to take the course

7. The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process (Coursera)

Access: Free

Level: Beginner

Duration: Approximately 4 months

One thing that is guaranteed to grow a business from nothing to a global brand is an efficient sales system.

In this course offered by Northwestern University, you will learn how to sell your business to anybody and turn him or her to a loyal customer.

At the end of this course, you will get a better understanding of your prospects.  You will also understand the emotional triggers that make people make buying decisions and how you can utilize them in closing sales deals.

The instructor Craig Worthmann, the CEO of Sales Engine Inc., will introduce you to the following topics during the course:

  • Customer segmentation and Prospecting
  • Connecting with Sales Prospects
  • Sales Pitch and Closing
  • Building a Toolkit for Your Sales Process

Click here to enroll  

8. Operations Management (Udemy)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: Approximately 6 hours

This course is focused on management of business operations for effective business development.

It is structured to make the major operational problems managers face in a business setting to be familiar to you.

You will understand these issues better, and in every form they come. You will also be provided with the concepts, insights and tools you’ll need to solve them. Your ability to manage operations will save your business a lot of costs and eventually give you an advantage over your competitors.

At the end of this course you will be able to deal with issues on supply chain, flow time, and capacity management.

Here are the courses modules:

  • Operations Strategy: What Makes for Good Operations
  • Managing Processes
  • Lean Operations
  • Managing Service Operations
  • Supply Chain Management

Click here to enroll

9. Break-Even Analysis Unlocked: How to Understand the Profit and Loss Statement (future Learn)

Access: Free

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 2 weeks

This course offered by Coventry University is structured to introduce you to financial statements and the concept of Break-even.

Break-even point is the point where a business has made back the funds invested in it. At that point, any other cash inflow is a profit for the business.

So, this course is designed to teach you how to analyze the Profit and Loss Statement and use it to make better business decisions.

You will also learn how to calculate the business margin of safety and understand how it affects business operations.

Here are the course topics:

  • Introducing cost
  • Exploring the concept of break-even
  • Margin of Safety and Profit
  • Introducing operational gearing

To take the course, click here

10. Understanding Marketing Basics (Future Learn)

Access: Free

Level: Beginners

Duration: 2 weeks

In this course, Imran Butt, a business management tutor from the University of Kent, introduces you to the benefits of marketing in your business.

You will learn about different marketing principles and how to apply them to your business. The concept of customer segmentation and choosing the right target market will become very clear to you at the end of this course.

Also, you will be introduced to the 4Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, and how to utilize them to develop your business.

Another important thing you will learn from this course is the idea of international marketing. You will understand what it is and how it is different from domestic marketing.

Click here to take the course.


Running a business can be very challenging, especially when you’re starting out with no experience. But with the right directions, you will avoid a lot of loopholes and eventually make your business a success.

The online business courses listed in this article will serve as that needed guide in your business building journey.

Frequently Asked Questions on Online Business Courses

What Skills Do I Need To Run My Own Business?

To run your own business you need to have a knowledge of marketing, sales, human resource management, and operations management.
You’d also need to have an idea about business finance. Especially the financial statements, their interpretations and how to use them for business development.

How Do I Start My Own Business?

To start your own business, you need to do proper market research on the business idea you have. Then prepare a business plan, source for funds, pick a business location and register your business.
Once your business is registered, you can go ahead to start marketing your goods or services to your prospective customers.

What Kind Of Online Business Is Profitable?

There are a lot of profitable online businesses you can do. Here’s a list of a few of them:

– Online training classes
– Selling digital products
– Vlogging
– Blogging
– Freelancing
– Online Book Publishing etc.

What Is The Best Business For A Woman To Start?

As a woman, you can start one of these small businesses and make a living with it:

– Freelance writing
– Photography
– Baking
– E-commerce
– Business Coaching
– Personal assistant
– Massage therapy etc.

Can You Start A Business Without A Degree?

You do not need a degree to run a business. With the right knowledge and funding, you can run any business successfully.
And the online business courses listed in this article can provide you with all the information and knowledge you need.


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