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online masters degree in small business managementWe here at OnlineCollegePlan hope that this unique ranking will help you find the Best Online Masters Programs in Small Business Management.

Many people know that small business is the backbone of America. Surprisingly, however, that is not accurate. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses are much much more than a backbone—they make up 99.9 percent of all businesses in the country!

At the heart of every small business is someone willing to take a risk to make an idea come to life. Now since small businesses make American what it is, and entrepreneurship is the heart of a small business, we could conclude that entrepreneurship is absolutely vital to our society’s health. Moreover, in today’s rapidly shifting world of technology and smartphones, our relationships are being transformed in real-time. This changing landscape creates new solutions and opportunities as well as new problems, especially for small business owners and those seeking to enter the market. Entrepreneurs are those creative, think-outside-the-box people who develop, plan and initiate a new good or service in the marketplace. In America, this happens every day and many of these goods or services lead to a better quality of life.

What Online Degree Should I Earn as a Small Business Manager?

small business

If you’re currently a small business owner or an entrepreneur looking to start a new venture, finding and earning an online masters in small business management will help your dreams become reality. Please note that online masters programs in small business management can be found as an online MBA in Entrepreneurship. Now, the fact is that executive positions and ownership requires a diverse set of knowledge and skills. Our colleges and universities provide programs that train leaders who understand finance, accounting, ethics, and operational management. It is a broad-based approach to learning business administration. With this solid MBA foundation, an Entrepreneurship focus or concentration can take you to the next level as an owner and manager. Since there are so many online programs you can complete the program from anywhere and often for an affordable price.

How will an Entrepreneurship Degree Help be a Small Business Manager?

Entrepreneurship concentrations apply to those interested in starting a new venture or transforming existing ones with creativity and innovation. Running a small business requires a broad range of skills and knowledge. In general, an entrepreneurship concentration follows the MBA core with three or four classes, generally nine to 12 credits. Some examples of courses from some of the programs on this list include:

  • Creating Socially Responsible Businesses in the Digital Age
  • Leveraging Global Business Opportunities
  • Developing an Innovative Mindset
  • Small Business Management
  • Social Marketing Strategies
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Managing Risk
small business

Whether you desire to start or improve a non-profit or for-profit company, whether you are interested in engineering, science, technology, health care, sports, or manufacturing, an online MBA in Entrepreneurship truly gives you an edge. It gives you an advantage through specialized knowledge and skills, the network you connect with through your program, and the increase in earning power. 

What is your Methodology?

In order to find the 30 best online masters programs in small business management, we began by curating a list of schools that matched our criteria. We looked over online business degrees at universities across the nation looking for those that provided classes, training, or programs that would help those looking to start their own small business. We didn’t consider for-profit schools.

Once we had a list of programs, each school was given a score based on the following:

  • Affordability – 40%
  • 20 year ROI – 15%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio – 15%
  • Percentage of Graduate Students – 15%
  • Special programs or classes designed for small business – 15%

The information was gathered from the schools’ websites, the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News & World Report, and We hope this list helps you find the best school to further your education.

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  1. MERIT: 100.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $533

    Online MBA

    small business managementBoston University’s Questrom School of Business embraces online-learning with several top online masters for small business professionals. Questrom’s Online MBA is 100-percent online, affordable, and delivered in a unique format. There are five total modules. Each module is the equivalent of three classes and ends in a capstone project that features real-world experience. You can estimate about 9-16 hours of work per week for your MBA and bank on this completing the program in about 21 months. The 48-credit program modules are:

    • Creating Socially Responsible Businesses in the Digital Age
    • Data-Driven Decision-Making
    • Leading with Integrity
    • Leveraging Global Business Opportunities
    • Developing an Innovative Mindset

    Small business ownership in today’s world involves the skills you learn at BU. For example, you need to be able to analyze financial statements and metrics, use data to understand customers and markets and to tell a story with data. Fortune Small Business puts Boston U at #1 for “America’s Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs.” With the affordable price of only $533 per credit and the convenience of being entirely online, the time is now to step into your new business or to join a company you’ve always wanted to work for. Admission requirements do not include prerequisites and the GRE/GMAT is optional. BU does require three years of work experience. 

    About Boston University

    Boston University is a large private school affiliated with the United Methodist Chruch. BU is known for research; the school boasts over 175,000 donors and an annual research expenditure of $1.85 billion. BU serves 35,000 students on three campuses and offers over 300 degree options.

    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 46.4%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
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  2. MERIT: 98.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $675

    Online MBA-Marketing

    small businessRegent’s online presence is expanding and their online masters for small business owners is a good example of why. Regent’s Online MBA Marketing Degree Program is ACBSP-accredited and stays true to the School’s Christian identity. The Online MBA is made for the professional seeking advanced leadership skills to help any type of organization from profit to non-profit and more. The curriculum is two parts, the MBA core and the Marketing concentration. The 30-credit core will teach you broad-based MBA knowledge and principles such as finance, accounting, business law, and operational management. The concentration in Marketing in 12 credits, or four classes:

    • Advertising & Promotion
    • The Psychology of Consumer Behavior
    • Viral Marketing
    • The Digital Marketing Landscape

    With eight different start times every year you have very good flexibility for fitting your schedule. The degree is also affordable at $675 per credit. It is important to note that Regent’s MBA faculty and advisors always seek to provide real-world training. For example, all practice-based requirements are met (when possible) through your professional activity/organizations. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and considers the following areas: Academic achievement, vision clarity, and alignment with program outcomes, Writing quality, and Leadership experience.

    About Regent University

    Regent University is a Christian university in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was founded in 1978 on 70-acres and the first class had 77 students. Nowadays Regent offers associate, bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees to 9,000 students. 

    • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 60% 
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 47 to 1
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  3. MERIT: 94.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $297

    MBA in Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship

    small businessThe University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign is immersed in digital education offering several of the best online masters degrees on the market. The Online MBA in Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship can’t be beaten in terms of price. At $297 per credit, you’d expect a lower quality—but you’d be mistaken. At UIUC their iMBA is taught by professional and experienced faculty and a unique philosophy of education. The University believes the future belongs to “lateral thinkers who employ a creative, abstract approach to solving business problems.” This approach overflows in the particular focus of innovation and is especially suited for small business owners or aspiring owners. Coursework for the concentration builds on MBA core curriculum and includes:

    • Strategic Innovation–Being a strategic innovator in a VUCA world
    • Fostering Creative Thinking
    • Entrepreneurship: From startup to growth
    • Capstone

    The iMBA courses are synchronous in delivery. The Capstone involves you in real-world problem identification and solving. You will harness your power of analytics and creativity to address a local (your local geographical area) topic or issue. Admission requirements include an accredited bachelor’s, minimum 3.0 GPA, and three years of experience. Submitting GRE/GMAT scores can strengthen your portfolio but are not required.

    About the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is like its own solar system. The School educates nearly 50,000 total students and offers hundreds of academic options. UIUC is an R1 Doctoral Research University and spends over $600 annually. Besides academics, UIUC offers some of the best student recreation and clubs in America.

    • Location: Champaign, IL
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 31.8%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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  4. MERIT: 92.7
    View Profile Average Cost: $350

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

    small businessThere are a number of top online masters degrees for the small business manager in several academic areas at LSU Shreveport. The Online MBA in Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise is one such example. Importantly, the program is AACSB-accredited so you can depend on the quality. The 30-credit curriculum is fairly standard in following an MBA core followed by courses in your Entrepreneurship concentration or specialization. The concentration and specialization are both three courses. Thy only difference is the specialization allows you to choose an MBA elective for the third course. Courses include:

    • Core courses
    • Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Creativity
    • Small Business and Family Enterprise
    • International Experience  or Project Management (concentration)
    • MBA Elective (Specialization)

    Perhaps the most notable aspect of this degree, designed for small business owners or those wanting to start one, is the price. At $350 per credit, it is twice as affordable as most other options. Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA or above to earn a GMAT waiver. If you lack previous education in finance, statistics, and accounting you can still earn your MBA at LSU-Shreveport by adding these to your foundational curriculum.

    About Louisiana State University – Shreveport

    Louisiana State University – Shreveport is located in the heart of Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas. The public university has multiple campuses and a strong online presence.  LSUS serves over 7000 students. The most popular majors are Business, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Biology.

    • Location: Shreveport, LO
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 64.3%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 29 to 1
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  5. MERIT: 81.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $142

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessBall State University offers a great option for those who are looking to earn an online masters in small business management. If you are a small business owner or seek to start your own, the online MBA in Entrepreneurship is perfect. The MBA at BSU is fully AACSB-accredited placing it in the top five percent of schools in the world. The curriculum depends on previous education. If you hold a bachelor’s in business administration, the online MBA is 30-33 credits. If you do not have a bachelor’s in business your degree will be 51 credits. The scope and sequence of the program is an MBA core of 24 credits (unless you need foundational coursework) followed by six to nine credits of focus classes. Entrepreneurship courses are:

    • Entrepreneurial Innovation and the Discovery of Opportunity
    • Entrepreneurial Planning and Feasibility
    • Entrepreneurial Strategy 

    Admission to program happens three times a year—Spring, Summer, and Fall. The average student who enters BSU has a 3.21 GPA. Admission requires a minimum of 2.75 and your GMAT/GRE scores (waivers for those over 3.2 GPA). Please note there are assistantships (apply by March 1) and scholarships available through the Miller College of Business.

    About Ball State University 

    Ball State University is a large university that places a high priority on research. The School has been recognized for community engagement, online Nursing and MBA programs, diversity, and social mobility. 

    • Location: Muncie, IN
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 26.1% 
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
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  6. MERIT: 81.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $585

    MBA with an Entrepreneurship Concentration

    small businessA search for top online masters programs in small business management will lead you to Bellevue University. One such program is BU’s Online MBA with an Entrepreneurship Concentration. This program is perfect for aspiring or current businessmen and women. You learn the knowledge and skills to design, launch, and grow a small business or entrepreneurial venture. This can be creating a unique niche product, a franchise, or part of an existing corporation. A look at the curriculum reveals a traditional MBA core that provides a broad training that applies in any business of any size or location. The concentration is focused on small business and entrepreneurship. First, the required class Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Development. This covers innovation, building a team, and organizational design. Next, you choose from the following courses:

    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Creativity, Sustainability and Innovation
    • Family Business & Self Employment
    • Small Business Operation

    The 36-credit core provides strong problem-solving, decision-making, team building and technical skills and the nine-credit concentration focuses on small business skills. The program is affordable at $585 a credit and offered entirely online. Bellevue’s program is also accredited through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). 

    About Bellevue University

    “Real Learning for Real Life” is the motto of Bellevue University. This captures the mission of the non-profit and private school. Bellevue provides mostly adult education (over 80 percent of students are over 25 years old) in both online and on-campus formats. The most popular majors at BU are Business, Social Science, and Computer Information Systems.

    • Location: Bellevue, NE
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 32.9%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 27 to 1
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  7. MERIT: 79.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $497

    MBA in General Business

    small businessCalifornia State University Dominguez Hills has a reputation for effective business programs and offers one of the best online masters programs in small business management. The MBA in General Business is completely online and completely doable for the working professional or family man or woman. The program is housed in the College of Business Administration and Public Policy. With the mission to “educate the leaders who shape the future” CSU Dominguez Hills prepares you for small business leadership in the 21st century.

    The degree is a total of 30 units and requires three elective courses or nine units. The Management concentration includes a small business focus and specific classes geared to the entrepreneur. The 100-percent online and synchronous program is structured in four, 12-week blocks (Summer, Winter, Fall 1, and Fall 2) and can be completed in as little as a year and a half. Courses include but are not limited to:

    • Leadership
    • Seminar in Entrepreneurship
    • Strategic Human Resource Management
    • Selected Topics in Management
    • Compensation and Benefits

    At CSU Dominguez Hills, online learning is interactive. You will engage several times a week using Blackboard, completing research and reading assignments, and collaborating with others in your program. Admission requirements to look out for is a minimum 2.75 overall GPA and GRE or GMAT scores.

    About California State University – Dominguez Hills

    California State University – Dominguez Hills is located in Los Angeles in the South Bay. The school was founded in 1960 and is part of the sprawling 23-campus CSU system. CSU Dominguez Hills is forward-thinking and offers SMART classrooms and several new facilities. 

    • Location: Carson, CA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 16.9%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 25 to 1
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  8. MERIT: 76.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $495

    Online MBA with Entrepreneurial Studies Emphasis

    small businessLindenwood University is gaining a reputation for offering some of the best online masters degrees in this country. The Online MBA with Entrepreneurial Studies is offered through the Robert W. Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship. The School is ACBSP-accredited and the program is 100-percent online. It is geared towards those interested in starting their own small business or developing a new venture within an existing company. All the essential MBA knowledge is packed into this degree from business operations to organizational change and financial management. The emphasis includes three courses nicely complementing and honing your creativity. 

    • Small Business Management
    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Entrepreneurship and Growth

    In addition to the three courses, you choose one elective from a list. This allows you to specialize even more. For example, you can choose International Entrepreneurship, Sports Management, or Special Topics in Entrepreneurship. Asynchronous delivery and the ability to choose to be a full- or part-time student allows you to take the degree at the pace that fits your lifestyle. Last and certainly not least, Lindenwood is very reasonable in terms of cost at $495 per credit, one of the lowest on our list. With this combination of convenience, quality, and cost, Lindenwood deserves to be on our top 30!

    About Lindenwood University

    Lindenwood University is a private university founded originally for women in 1827.  LU is a medium-sized university that offers over 130 academic programs. The most popular programs at Lindenwood are Business, Criminal Justice, Exercise Science, and Psychology.

    • Location: St. Charles, MO 
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 31%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  9. MERIT: 76.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $896

    Online MBA in Management

    small businessYou’ll find some amazing online masters degrees for small business owners at Florida Tech-Online. Their Online MBA in Management is perfect for those interested in small business start-ups or leading an existing company. It is housed in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, which is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). The 100-percent online program is 36 total credits. The sequence is conventional and goes from a core (21 credits) to specialization (12 credits), to a final capstone project (three credits). Course classes include:

    • Essentials of Business Development 
    • Managerial Economics
    • Managerial Accounting
    • Financial Management
    • Organizational Behavior

    There is a specialization course option particularly targeting small business ownership. Corporate Innovation and New Ventures teaches the knowledge of how to discover new business opportunities, the process of creation within the context of a mature company, and more. Besides standard application/admission requirements it is important to note that there is no GRE or GMAT scores required. 

    About Florida Institute of Technology

    Florida Institute of Technology began with only 37 cents. Since those humble beginnings it has grown to become a premier private research institution. Florida Tech serves over 6000 students and is organized into four schools, Engineering & Science, Aeronautics, Psychology & Liberal Arts, and Business. The School’s Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is one of only 42 in the entire country.

    • Location: Melbourne, FL
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 46.4%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
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  10. MERIT: 75.9
    View Profile Average Cost: $695

    MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    small businessCityU’s online masters degree for small business managers and aspiring entrepreneurs is accessible and affordable. CityU’s MBA with an Entrepreneurship Emphasis hones in on that innovative spirit to provide excellent training for aspiring or current entrepreneurs. This program is intense and built on the gold-standard of business degrees, the MBA.  The MBA is basically becoming an expectation for employers, but even if you want to create a start-up, the knowledge and skills are invaluable. Flexible and effective, the program is ACBSP-Accredited.

    The curriculum consists of 51-quarter-credits that are delivered asynchronously (51 quarter credits is equivalent to 34 semester credit hours). The robust core moves into the 12-credit emphasis. You take four courses (3 credits each) and simultaneously work on building your own entrepreneurial project. Basic skills gained include vetting the concept; business plan development and presentation, startup marketing, every day financial issues, risk management, registration of a new business, and exit strategies. The respected, accessible, accredited, and affordable ($694 per credit) degree at CityU could be exactly what you’re looking for.

    About City University of Seattle

    City University of Seattle is built on five values: Flexibility, Accessibility, Innovation, Relevance, and Global Thinking. CityU was established to educate working adults. The private university offers dozens of academic options at every level in business, education, health and human services, and more.

    • Location: Seattle, WA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 63.3%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 6 to 1
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  11. MERIT: 73.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $1090

    Online MBA with an Entrepreneurship Concentration

    small businessGolden Gate University in San Francisco has an online masters degree in small business. GGU’s Online MBA with an Entrepreneurship Concentration is designed for the creative-minded, business-savvy individual ready to take risks and start a new company or grow an existing one. San Francisco is a vibrant place for business innovation and GGU has been producing entrepreneurs and business people for over 100 years. Their Online MBA is designed and taught by experienced faculty and professionals. The 54-credit curriculum is taught through a hands-on, case-study framework. The Program is also delivered in a cohort of an average of 14 students. Courses include:

    • Entrepreneurship & New Business Development
    • Business Planning for Entrepreneurs
    • Venture Capital & Start-Up Financing
    • International Business Strategy
    • Negotiating in Business
    • New-Product Decisions
    • Managing Innovation & Technology

    Choosing GGU is choosing to join success. There are over 68,000 of the Ageno School of Business, so connecting with a powerful network is an intangible worth considering. Admission does require a GMAT/GRE, however, waivers are granted if you meet certain conditions such as a minimum of five years of experience. 

    About Golden Gate University

    Founded in 1909, Golden Gate University provides an outstanding private, non-profit education. The small university of 2500 students takes advantage of their location in the vibrant culture and business of San Francisco. GGU’s Cyber Campus online learning program is part of its stellar reputation for adult education.

    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 83%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  12. MERIT: 73.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $660

    Online MBA with an Entrepreneurial Emphasis

    small businessWhen scouring universities for online masters programs in small business management you’ll certainly find your way to Brandman University. Their Online MBA with an Entrepreneurial Emphasis is 100-percent online one of the most affordable at $660 per credit. The MBA program consists of fundamental business core classes and 12 credits of emphasis. There are four courses in your concentration:

    • Entrepreneurship
    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Seminar in Marketing Research
    • Seminar in New Product Development

    These emphasis courses fit perfectly on top of the MBA core where you learn to integrate ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability in decision-making. The core MBA coursework is 24-36 credits depending on what previous education you’ve had. There is a required capstone. Admission to Brandman is guided by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). “The institution uses an inclusive, non-competitive admissions process to determine the best educational match for the adult learner.” The program is effective and over 92 percent of Brandman students say they would recommend the university to others.

    About Brandman University

    Brandman University is a private, non-profit school for adult learners. There are over 13,000 students who learn at over 25 locations as well as on a thriving online platform. Brandman has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for online education since 2012. The most popular majors are Organizational Leadership, Psychology, and Business. 

    • Location: Irvine, CA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 52.1%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
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  13. MERIT: 72.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $740

    MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    small businessConcordia University – Wisconsin offers over 80 total online programs, including an online masters degree for small business owners. Among those is the exciting online MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in creating, owning, and succeeding in small business this degree is suited to your fancy. The 100-percent online program is 39 credits. It covers all you need to be an entrepreneur in today’s economy. Skills and knowledge in venture capital, intellectual property, and long-term strategic planning coupled with real-world training in creative problem-solving combine to get you where you need to be. Not only are courses taught by experienced faculty, many with their own businesses, CUW spices it up with their Industry Leaders Seminar Series and throws in a Study Abroad option. Classes include:

    • Managerial Economics
    • Ethics & Organizational Leadership
    • Corporate Finance
    • Sustainability & Social Entrepreneurship 
    • Small Business Management
    • Social Marketing Strategies

    Other outstanding notables regarding this program include the price, an affordable $740 per credit and the opportunities for scholarships. There are four new scholarships available: The Business Community Scholarship, the Academic Community Scholarship, the Christian Community Scholarship, and the Alumni Scholarship. These are specifically targeting post-traditional students.

    About Concordia University – Wisconsin

    Concordia University – Wisconsin is a medium-sized university located in Mequon, Wisconsin. Home to 6400 total students CU offers over 70 academic programs. The School has a rich experience stretching back to 1881. CU is known for training Christian servant-leaders.

    • Location: Mequon, WI
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 45.1%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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  14. MERIT: 70.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $400

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessFayetteville definitely makes our list as a quality and affordable online masters for small business professionals. The Online MBA in Entrepreneurship is innovative, convenient, and affordable. The 27-credit MBA core gives you a solid foundation to build on. You learn knowledge and skills that can be applied to the real-world such as finance, business law, accounting, marketing, and leadership. The 12-credit concentration includes a choice from the following courses: 

    • New Ventures and Entrepreneurship
    • Electronic Commerce
    • Management of Technology
    • Special Topics in Business
    • International Business Management

    Whatever classes you choose for your elective, the fact is, you’ll be ready to start a new small business, manage one better, or join a company with ideas to take it to the next level. With the lowest cost in the UNC system at $400 per credit you know you’ll have a positive ROI. The low cost is combined with high quality. The MBA@FayState is AACSB-accredited and is designed by professionals and faculty-experts. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and a minimum GMAT score of 400; wavers are possible for those with exceptional experience or a GPA over 3.6.

    About Fayetteville State University

    Fayetteville State University is an HBCU and part of the University of North Carolina System. FSU was founded in 1867 and has provided opportunities to African-Americans for generations. Fay State educates 6500 men and women with over 60 degree options. The most popular degrees include Nursing, Psychology, and Business.

    • Location: Fayetteville, NC
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 13.3%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
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  15. MERIT: 70.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $900

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessUMass Amherst’s online masters for small business owners prepare professionals for success. The Isenberg School of Business offers an Online MBA in Entrepreneurship. The 100-percent online degree is perfect for those wanting to start a small business or to take a business or organization to the next level with creative ideas and skills to make them a reality. If you live in the area you also have the option to take face-to-face classes at Springfield, Shrewsbury, and Boston. You can’t get much better academically than UMass Amherst. The 45-credit online masters degree consists of 11 required core courses of dependable MBA knowledge. Core courses include:

    • Marketing Management 
    • Business Data Analysis & Statistical Analysis
    • Operations Management
    • Organizational Strategy

    Your concentration includes three courses from an impressive set of options. There are over 20 courses to choose from giving you the ability to customize your degree to your life and interest. There are options for small business owners, real-estate, service management, analytics, and more. Admission to the program is competitive and requires at least 3-5 years of professional experience and your GRE or GMAT scores (waivers are possible).

    About the University of Massachusetts – Amherst

    “Be Revolutionary.” At the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, students enjoy the plethora of perks one finds at a large university. UMass Amherst enrolls over 30,000 students who enjoy the best of American university life and academic opportunities. UMass is known for its high-caliber research and innovation as well as business and psychology.  

    • Location: Amherst, MA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 23%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
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  16. MERIT: 68.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $781

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship 

    small businessNational University is recognized for its professional online masters for small business managers and entrepreneurs. The online MBA in Entrepreneurship is a new program with the same experienced faculty and successful core as the other MBAs at NLU. The 100-percent online program focuses on authentic leadership, small business strategies, and the classic MBA core. The 30-credit MBA core includes all the fundamentals of managing a business: leadership, communication, finance, marketing, operational management, and law. There are three concentration classes for a total of nine credits:

    • Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation
    • Small Business Management
    • Entrepreneurship Laboratory

    The online MBA in Entrepreneurship also includes a three-credit capstone called Strategic Management. Another important fact about the program is the cohort structure and the IACBE accreditation. All in all, NLU offers an effective and affordable option for the small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur. Admission requirements are a little different at NLU. You are required to take a writing assessment and submit that score, a 750-1000 word essay, an evaluation of your professional experience, and a Faculty Review. All in all the quality and $781 per credit price tag is a quality pick.

    About National Louis University

    Educational entrepreneur Elizabeth Harrison and philanthropist Michael W. Louis founded National Louis University. NLU educates 6000 students with 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges. Some of the most popular majors at NLU are Hospitality Administration/Management, Early Childhood Education, and Health and Medical Administrative Services.

    • Location: Chicago, IL
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 49%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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  17. MERIT: 68.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $485

    small business

    Online MBA

    If you’re looking for an online masters for small business owners look no further than Southern Utah University. Their online MBA, delivered through Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business, is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality. The school is AACSB-accredited, placing in the top five percent of schools in the nation. Another sign of success is that 96.5 percent of graduates are employed, both a result of the program’s effectiveness and the personal career coach you get as a student at SUU. The program works as a build-your-own degree so you can tailor it to either starting a small business or to improving as a small business owner. The way it works is that students choose one to five classes a semester (you can take summer courses as well). Choose from courses such as:

    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Managing People and Organizations
    • Leadership
    • Marketing Analytics
    • Real Estate Finance

    Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA or three-years of professional experience to have the GMAT/GRE scores waived. If you have below that you are required to submit your test scores and write a 500-word essay explaining why you should be admitted. The price-point of SUU is a very strong reason to consider it. With a low cost of $485 per credit, you ensure a good ROI. Also worth mentioning is that the University demonstrates a commitment to keeping debt down with students averaging 57 percent less debt than average. 

    About Southern Utah University

    Southern Utah University is a large public university in Cedar City, Utah established in the late 19th century. SUU offers 140 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs to a little over 10,000 total students. There five most popular degrees in order are Biology, Nursing, Psychology, Accounting, and Elementary Education.

    • Location: Cedar City, UT
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 9% 
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
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  18. MERIT: 66.7
    View Profile Average Cost: $1255

    Online Master of Science in Entrepreneurship

    small businessWarrington College of Business at the University of Florida offers an online Master of Science in Entrepreneurship that is an excellent choice for the small business owner. The program excels at hands-on experience, as Warrington knows that real learning happens by doing. Students ARE the entrepreneurs launching their new businesses. The program is relatively new, and students can rest assured that they are receiving the same excellent education as the on-campus students. 

    Classes include:

    • Entrepreneurship
    • Creativity in Entrepreneurship
    • Entrepreneurial Marketing
    • Entrepreneurial Writing
    • Financial Accounting
    • Law for Entrepreneurs
    • The First 100 Days

    The best part of this degree that makes it an excellent choice for the small business owner is the option for students to tailor their learning and experiences to their interests, and electives include Small Business. Once admitted to the program, your program could literally include you starting your own small business while learning and being guided through the process.

    About the University of Florida

    Accredited by the  Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Warrington College of Business is the renowned business school at the University of Florida. There are approximately 6,300 students who attend Warrington, while there are nearly 55,000 students who attend the University of Florida.

    • Location: Gainesville, FL
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 32%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
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  19. MERIT: 65.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $930

    Online Master’s in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    small businessPennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business offers some of the best online masters degree programs, including one for small business owners. Their online Master’s in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an excellent option for the aspiring small business owner. The AACSB-accredited university is noted as one of the top five percent of business schools in the world. 

    The program requires 33 credits for graduation and is fully-customizable. Not only is the program 100% online, but you can also fully tailor your classes to your needs, whether you desire the practical skills to launch a new business, create groundbreaking products and services, improve current business processes, or fuel growth within an organization. Notably, entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their own startups will find this program beneficial.

    There are many options available as you design your degree. One class worth noting is Business Modeling and New Venture Creation This course focuses on the process of launching a new venture, whether in a corporate setting or a new startup. Students will learn to identify a problem or opportunity, develop an appropriate business model, forming a team, gain financing, analyze market trends, assess the environment, and recruit team members.

    About Pennsylvania State University

    Pennsylvania State University is known as a Public Ivy, or a university who provides the rigor of an Ivy League with a public school price tag. Classified as an R1 Doctoral Research University, Penn State spends over $900 million a year on research. There are 24 campuses as well as one of the largest online schools in the nation.

    • Location: University Park, PA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 13.7%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
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  20. MERIT: 64.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $761

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessEndicott College is in the business of providing innovative online masters programs in small business management. Their Online MBA in Entrepreneurship is designed with you in mind—convenient, affordable, and flexible. Firstly, no GMAT is required for admission. Secondly, there are 14 concentrations within the online MBA program and you can choose to combine any two you’d like. Concentrations are four classes each. Some examples of concentrations you might consider adding to your Entrepreneurship focus are:

    • Marketing
    • Information Technology Management
    • General Management
    • Finance
    • Non-Profit Management
    • Computer Science Management

    The Entrepreneurship concentration includes Entrepreneurial Marketing, Entrepreneurial Enterprise, Entrepreneurial Venture Finance, and Family Business. Something to note compared to others is the robust three internships and senior thesis. This real-life application approach is effective as indicated by the fact that over 90 percent of graduates gain employment in their field of study. All in all, there are few schools that offer small classes, customizable options, and the robust real-world training that Endicott does. 

    About Endicott College

    Endicott College began as a humble two-year women’s college. Today Endicott is a medium=sized, non-profit, coeducational college offering over 80 degree options. Their 84-percent retention is a sign that students are being served and satisfied. The most popular majors at EC are Nursing, Business, and Psychology. 

    • Location: Beverly, MA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 34.6%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  21. MERIT: 64.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $884

    MBA with an Innovation Management Emphasis

    small businessUCCS now offers an online masters degree for those interested in starting, or who already own, a small business. The College of Business’s online MBA with an Innovation Management Emphasis provides training to lead, communicate, and succeed in an existing business or in a small business start-up. The program is 36-45 credits depending on your previous education; prerequisites include Introduction to Accounting, Fundamentals of Economics, and Fundamentals of Business Statistics.

    The 24-credit core is classic MBA courses and gives you a broad-based approach to business.

    • Corporate Financial Management
    • Information Systems
    • Leading & Managing in Changing Times
    • Marketing Strategy
    • Operations: Competing Through Capabilities

    The Innovation Management Emphasis is perfect for aspiring or current small business owners. You learn “the process to manage innovation to create value in their organizations through new products, new processes, or new business models.” Your 12 credits of focus include Entrepreneurship & New Ventures, Managing Projects for Competitive Advantages, and Transforming Technology Organizations & Employees. On average you can count on two nights per week of classes (about six hours) and complete the degree in two and a half years. Admission does include GRE/GMAT scores though waivers are possible. 

    About University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

    The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS) is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranks as a top-10 public university. The origins of UCCS were tied with Hewlett-Packard and focused on engineering and business. UCCS now offers nursing, education, public affairs, and more to over 13,000 students.

    • Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 16.5%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
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  22. MERIT: 63.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $1565

    Professional MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    small businessThe University of Texas Dallas provides small business owners an online masters degree for the 21st century. The Professional Online MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is made for risk-taking creative-minded small businessmen and women. The 100-percent online is self-paced and 53 credits. UT Dallas has a spectacular reputation for the online MBA and is ranked in the 10 ten by both Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A look at the curriculum reveals a robust core and elective scope and sequence. The core is complete with courses on every fundamental area of business management from finance to business law. 

    • Managing IT in the Analytics Age
    • Organizational Behavior
    • Strategic Management
    • Operations Management
    • Statistics and Data Analysis

    The Innovation and Entrepreneurship concentration provides a choice for you to pursue either the new venture focus area or the innovation within the corporation focus area.  Overall the program prepares successful businessmen and women in new ventures, entrepreneurial finance, or innovation-related roles such as product planning, product marketing, product development, etc. Admission does include a GMAT with possible waivers and there are prerequisite requirements. Also, please note there are merit-based scholarships available through the Jindal School of Management.

    About The University of Texas at Dallas

    The motto of The University of Texas at Dallas is “Education, the Guardian of Society.” Since UTD’s inception, it has rapidly grown in degree options—over 140. The most popular degrees are Business, Biology, Engineering and developed into a top-tier research university. UTD offers nearly 30,000 students a vast arrayg, and Computer Science.

    • Location: Richardson, TX
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 31%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 25 to 1
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  23. MERIT: 59.7
    View Profile Average Cost: $884

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessTop online masters degrees in small business management designed for working professionals are plentiful at EMU. The Online MBA in Entrepreneurship is aimed at aspiring or current small business owners. Housed in the College of Business, and recognized for 15 consecutive years for quality, the program is fully AACSB-accredited. In regards to the curriculum, this online masters can be as little as 36 credits. If you currently hold a bachelor’s in business administration all 18 credits of Foundation courses are waived.  If you do not hold a degree in business administration the total credits are 54.

    The 18-credit MBA core is complemented by two electives and your concentration area. Concentrations are often nine credits, but at EMU you the robust 12-15 credits of specialization gives you an edge in the marketplace. There are 14 concentrations, but the Entrepreneurship focus is particularly suited for small business people. Courses include:

    • New Venture Creation
    • Growth Strategies for Entrepreneurial Ventures
    • Corporate Entrepreneurship: Innovation and Technology Commercialization
    • Social Entrepreneurship

    Overall, the options within the EMU program are unique and the quality is among the best. Statistics demonstrate this as well with students scoring above average in the ETS Major Field Test for MBA. Admission requires at least a 2.5 GPA  as well as GMAT scores. GMAT scores can be waived with a GPA over 3.2 or a previous business administration degree.

    About Eastern Michigan University

    Eastern Michigan University is a large public university offering over 200 undergraduate and 150 graduate programs in a wide array of fields. EMU programs in Gaming, Marketing, Education, Theatre Arts, and Educational Psychology have recently been recognized for excellence. Princeton named EMU one of the Best in the Midwest for the 17th straight year.

    • Location: Ypsilanti, MI
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 16.2% 
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  24. MERIT: 58.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $1245

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessTemple University’s top online masters programs are convenient, flexible, and top-quality including the options for small business management. Fox School of Business offers an Online MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship which is perfect for the current or aspiring small business owner. In addition to the Entrepreneurship focus, the School offers several other that may be what you’re looking for to expand your small business such as Innovation Management and Sports Management. Whatever you choose you can be assured of quality—The Fox School of Business is AACSB-accredited and has a century of experience! An intangible, but notable benefit, is the incredible alumni network of over 60,000. Curriculum for the online MBA consists of three residency prerequisites, 36-credits of core coursework, nine credits of concentration classes, and a capstone. A sample of coursework includes:

    • Leadership Development
    • Managing Risk
    • Operational Management

    Please be aware of the three residency requirements. The $1,245 flat tuition does cover the week-long residencies hotel and breakfast and lunch. The 48-credit program can be completed in 20 months by a motivated and ambitious student. Temple allows up to nine transfer credits for this program. 

    About Temple University

    Temple University was founded in 1884 by a Baptist minister. Today Temple is a top-tier research university with an international impact. Their mission statement is “Opportunity. Engagement. Discovery.” Located in Philadelphia and literally around the world, Temple offers over 500 academic options.

    • Location: Philadelphia, PA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 25.8%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  25. MERIT: 58.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $845

    Innovation Leadership & Entrepreneurship

    small businessWestern Carolina University offers one of the best online masters in small business management and those with a passion and idea to start their own business. The online Innovation Leadership & Entrepreneurship degree is recognized by Fortune Small Business as a top-five online program. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), this M.E. gives graduates the skills necessary to create a sustainable new venture by taking their ideas and developing them throughout the course of the program. The program was developed by the National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education and is offered entirely online. There are 30 credit hours required for graduation. 

    The M.E. in Innovation Leadership & Entrepreneurship is a 30-semester hour program and is taught by faculty with years of practical entrepreneurial experience. Students are required to take 21 hours of core classes, followed by one concentration. Core classes include:

    • Entrepreneurial Innovation
    • Entrepreneurial Creation 
    • Entrepreneurial Feasibility Analysis
    • Advanced Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Planning a New Venture
    • Entrepreneurial Strategy

    Once these core classes are complete, students choose either the Innovation Leadership or the Entrepreneurship concentration. Students who are looking to venture out on their own will find themselves adequately prepared for the small business world.

    About Western Carolina University

    The residents of Cullowhee, North Carolina came together to form Western Carolina University. Western Carolina University is a large, public university that offers over 100 undergraduate majors and more than 60 online and on-campus graduate programs.  

    • Location: Cullowhee, NC
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 13.8%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
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  26. MERIT: 57.9
    View Profile Average Cost: $1560

    Online MBA in Innovation Entrepreneurship

    small businessIf you’re looking for options for top online masters programs for small business managers, you’ve found them at Northeastern. The Online MBA in Innovation Entrepreneurship is offered through the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. It is designed specifically for small business management and is 100-percent online. The 50-credit curriculum includes a core of 13 courses and five electives (concentration classes). Here is a sampling of core courses:

    • Information Analysis
    • Managing Information Resources 
    • Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Creating and Sustaining Customer Markets
    • Strategic Decision Making in a Changing Environment

    Overall the program teaches skills conducive to applications in many different sectors and companies. The program is recognized by several ranking organizations such as the Financial Times (NE was ranked #8). It is not hard to see the program is effective with a recent study conducted in 2016 of graduates. Over 80 percent said they had a “very good to outstanding” experience. Over 69 percent said they’ve had a salary increase since they earned their degree. 

    About Northeastern University

    Northeastern University is an R1 Research Institution located in Boston, MA. The School not only offers state-of-the-art research degrees, but they also offer in Business, Engineering, and Social Sciences. The private university was founded in 1898 and now is a global network of schools with several other campuses. 

    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 35.6%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  27. MERIT: 52.7
    View Profile Average Cost: $1130

    Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

    small businessAshland University offers an effective online masters for small business owners. The online MBA in Entrepreneurship provides students with the skills needed to fund, start, and run their own businesses. Students will learn the skills and techniques used by successful entrepreneurs including idea creation, business planning, feasibility analysis, and funding options. This Entrepreneurship Specialization provides budding entrepreneurs with a solid foundation. Residents of the State of Ohio will appreciate the particular emphasis on the requirements in their state. The University is a member of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization as well as a corporate partner with the National Association of Women Business Owners.

    The entire degree is focused on those who want to strike out on their own. Worth noting is the Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship class, which is a study in creating and/or expanding your own business. Students will investigate the foundations of entrepreneurship, sources for funding, and understanding the basic components of a business plan. This is just one class amongst many that will prepare you as a small business owner.

    There are 30 credit hours required for graduation. There are several completion options available, including a one-year accelerated program. For those who cannot keep up that pace, there is the option to have a lower course load and complete the program in approximately three years.

    About Ashland University

    Founded in 1878, Ashland University is a liberal arts and sciences university. During their centennial year, they introduced the Ashland University MBA program, and today, over 5,000 students have completed the program.

    • Location: Ashland, OH
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 24.2%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
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  28. MERIT: 52.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $1620

    Online MBA With Entrepreneurship Specialization

    small businessThe online MBA in with an Entrepreneurship Specialization is an excellent option for those who are looking to start their own small business. The program prepares students to be both innovators and leaders in a startup, family business, nonprofit, or an established organization. Graduates will come out with thorough business knowledge and expertise in both new product development and corporate innovation. There is also a focus on developing sustainable business models and conducting feasibility analyses for new businesses. 

    Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management is consistently ranked as one of the top business schools in the nation, assuring students they are receiving a top-notch education. The program requires 36 credits for completion. Another reason Whitman should be considered for those looking to start their own small business is Whitman’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. The center is designed to help stimulate the creativity of students as well as focus on their entrepreneurial endeavors. Both on-campus and online students are welcome to utilize these resources.

    Through the Falcone Center, students can compete in the Panasci Business Plan Competition, which is an annual school-wide competition. Students submit a business plan and compete for startup funding for a business or idea. 

    About Syracuse University 

    Syracuse University is a private research university that was founded in 1870. There are approximately 23,000 students who attend Syracuse.

    • Location: Syracuse, NY
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 33.1%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
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  29. MERIT: 40.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $1479

    Online MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    small businessWSU is all in on quality online masters programs in small business management. Mike Ilitch School of Business offers high quality and affordable option with their Online MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. If you are currently a small business owner and are seeking a way to reach the next level, increase innovation, and transform your business this degree is for you. If you are an aspiring small business owner and are looking to hone your skills of entrepreneurship this degree is for you too. The concentration emphasizes the knowledge and skills to be an entrepreneurial leader and innovator. Courses in your nine-credit specialization include a required course (listed first) and choices from several different options:

    • Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation 
    • Marketing New Ventures 
    • Special Topics in Entrepreneurship and Innovation 
    • Entrepreneurship Finance and Venture Capital 
    • Information Analytics: Inbound Information Technology 

    An intangible aspect of quality to consider at WSU is the deep experience in business. You will be joining faculty-experts, current entrepreneurs, and 35,000 Ilitch Alumni! This network is brimming with potential and opportunities for you to connect. Admission to the program does require a GMAT though WSU does grant waivers to high-quality applicants. In-state tuition is $678 per credit and out-of-state is $1479.

    About Wayne State University

    “Warrior strong” is the word at Wayne State University. The private research university in Mount Pleasant, Michigan has trained 40 percent of the practicing physicians in the state! With an annual research expenditure of over $259 million, nearly 30,000 students explore imaging, cancer research, molecular genetics, and environmental science.

    • Location: Mount Pleasant, MI
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 36%
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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  30. MERIT: 32.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $2025

    Online MBA 

    small businessStudents at the University of North Carolina can earn an online MBA that is tailored to their small business goals. Students can choose from several concentrations that focus on a specific field. If students do not find a concentration that meets their needs, they can take electives to create their own custom curriculum. This allows students to find the perfect fit for their career goals. Students who wish to start their own small business can choose electives classes such as:

    • Business Strategy
    • Managing Innovation
    • Pricing
    • New Ventures Discovery
    • Managing Modern Customers and Market
    • Sales
    • Service Marketing
    • Project Management

    By the time students have completed these courses, they will have put together the knowledge and education needed to be successful in the small business market.

    Business majors at the University of North Carolina are offered through the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Consistently ranked as one of the best business schools in the country, in 2019, the online MBA program was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report. There are four start dates throughout the year, and applications are accepted on a rolling schedule, meaning you can submit your application any time before the final deadline and be admitted shortly after. Even though you can be admitted up until the last minute, there are certain benefits to being accepted by the priority deadline. See the full admission schedule here

    About the University of North Carolina

    The University of North Carolina is an extensive University system with 16 public universities and approximately 183,000 students. The main campus is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
    • Percentage of Graduate Students: 36.3% 
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
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Are there online programs for small business owners or aspiring owners?

small businessThere is a great variety of online MBAs that would help you start a business or take an existing one to another level. Not only would an MBA help tremendously, but there are also dozens of concentration options that fit many different sectors or areas of the economy—from sports management to manufacturing. The real glory of the MBA degree is a broad knowledge base with widely-applicable skills. All MBA programs include classes in accounting, finance, operational management, business ethics, business law, and marketing. In addition to this foundational knowledge, MBA programs focus on the skills necessary to succeed in today’s global high-paced economy, namely, leadership, decision-making, and communication.

Small business accounts for nearly all the businesses in America, and thus, an MBA certainly hones essential skills and provides the knowledge to excel. While it should be admitted that an online MBA in Entrepreneurship is not strictly necessary to start a business, it also should not be denied that earning your MBA gives you a definite edge. A few ways the program does this besides the knowledge and skills are: connecting with current professionals, becoming part of a valuable alumni network, an international experience, and perhaps the kicker, confidence in yourself. 

What is an online MBA in Entrepreneurship?

small businessAn online MBA in Entrepreneurship is a graduate degree in business administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship. The MBA core consists of classes and experiences that prepare you to work in any existing company, big or small, a non-profit or for-profit organization, public or private, and in leadership roles that require management of a companies employees and/or assets. The Entrepreneurship component hones in on the creative and innovative abilities to start a company from scratch—from paper to reality—as well as to transform a small business or aspect of a larger venture into something better. On top of MBA core classes, focus classes include innovation, risk management, social media marketing, and more.

Most of the online MBAs on our list are particularly suited to small business owners or aspiring owners. The general structure includes 30-50 credits and takes one to three years to complete. If you currently hold a bachelor’s in business administration many programs wave the foundation courses. Some schools require GMAT or GRE scores for admission, though a good many allow waivers for high GPAs or experience. 

Is an online MBA in Entrepreneurship worth the investment?

small businessThis can be a difficult question because there are simply so many factors to consider in terms of costs and value. For example, consider the cost of the degree, the type of MBA, your current job experience, the cost of living where you intend to reside, and the earning potential in the company you work in now or intend to. That’s a lot of factors. Based on our experience and research and despite tuition costs continuing to rise an MBA is a good investment. Education always provides values that are hard to exactly calculate on a spreadsheet. Even so, numbers indicate the investment’s wisdom. According to an article in Forbes, enrollment for online MBAs continue to rise and “…many graduates of online MBA programs are reporting positive outcomes immediately after getting their degrees.” The article sites several statistics indicating a boost in salary.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Alumni Perspectives Survey Report showed that 95 percent of MBAs regarded their degree as good, excellent, or outstanding and 93 percent would do it all over again knowing what they know now. All that being said, it would be remiss to not consider as many factors as you can. Perhaps the most significant is the cost of the MBA which can range from $300 to $1500 per credit on our list. 

Do small business owners or aspiring owners need an MBA?

small businessIt all depends on how you define “need.” There is certainly not an absolute need requiring you to earn an online MBA to start a business. There are many wonderful companies whose owners did not earn an MBA. The story doesn’t stop there, however. Consider what an MBA is and the benefits and advantages become clear. Online MBAs provide knowledge and skills to lead, manage, communicate, and problem-solve directly from industry experts and faculty to you. The old adage that says, “Learn by experience, preferably other peoples” applies here. In addition, MBA programs are broad-based and give you a well-rounded education that makes up for natural weaknesses.

Courses in finance, risk management, accounting, operational management, business law, and more give you all the tools and can prevent unfortunate mistakes. While not strictly necessary, if you earn an MBA you do get a head start. Not only that, online MBAs do not require you to stop working and can be done at your pace. Often MBA students are learning in the classroom and applying recently acquired know-how in real-time in the current job. Other benefits include the fact that you gain experts experience, a network of professionals, alumni connections, and often additional opportunities that stretch and hone your decision-making, communication, and leadership in ways that wouldn’t happen otherwise. 

How do I choose which school is best?

small businessChoosing the right online MBA for your new small business, or to grow the one you currently own, is vitally important. The key factors we judiciously consider when ranking schools are the same factors you consider when choosing a school: affordability (listed on each ranking for you to easily spot), reputation, flexibility, and convenience. On top of these four key factors, there are always other notable elements to consider. For example, face-to-face requirements or international experiences. These additional factors may be the deciding factor or edge you’re looking for.

Another consideration is accreditation. Accreditation does make a difference (all the schools on our list are at least regionally accredited, and many are nationally accredited by organizations such as the AACSB). Firstly, it means that national standards are being met as attested by an independent ranking organization. Secondly, employers recognize accreditation as something that means higher quality. Lastly, accreditation is often a condition for doctoral programs. As for convenience and flexibility, there are some schools that are 100-percent online and asynchronous, others that require residencies and are synchronous, and some that are mixed. This, along with duration, is completely up to you in terms of what fits your life. 

OnlineCollegePlan offers excellent resources for students and potential students. Check out the following rankings related to small business management:

If you’re thinking about online colleges, see our ranking of the Top 100 Best Online Colleges, or the  Pros and Cons of Online College. We also offer resources on online college resources, online college rankings and online masters degrees.