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Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


Entrepreneurial and small business operations programs prepare people to manage a small business or franchise.

Entrepreneurial and small business operations programs teach students how to make a business plan and find start-up funds. They also include topics such as:


Many academic programs in this field include an internship so that students can get experience in a small business setting. Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations.


In entrepreneurial and small business operations programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many community colleges offer associate degree programs in entrepreneurial and small business operations. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Colleges and universities also offer bachelor's degrees in entrepreneurial and small business operations. At some colleges students may focus on this topic within a general business management program. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate degree in entrepreneurial and small business operations. It is also possible to concentrate in entrepreneurial business as part of a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. It is possible to study a business specialization even though your undergraduate major is not business-related. But you should complete courses in accounting, economics, statistics, business law, and management information systems.

Prior work experience in the small business world is very helpful, and may be required for MBA programs.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

An associate degree program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

A bachelor's degree program covers the same subjects, plus more detail in some areas and more liberal arts courses.

Graduate Program Courses

MBA programs typically cover many of the subjects listed under program courses in the first year. In the second year, you choose subjects in the area where you want to specialize. Often you do an internship between the first and second years. A thesis also may be required.

Things to Know

Business courses in high school can be useful preparation for a career in entrepreneurial and small business administration. Your high school transcript needs to show that you are preparing for a demanding college-level program.

Good skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking are needed for advancement in the business world.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Edmonds Community College

Green River College

Highline College


Lake Washington Institute of Technology

North Seattle College

Northeastern University - Seattle

Renton Technical College

Seattle Central College

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

South Seattle College

University of Washington - Bothell (Eastside Leadership Center)

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Spokane Community College

Tacoma Area

Central Washington University - Pierce County

Pacific Lutheran University

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College Puyallup

Tacoma Community College

University of Washington - Tacoma

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

Clark College

Washington State University - Vancouver

West Side Area

Centralia College

Grays Harbor College

Northwest Indian College

Peninsula College

Skagit Valley College

South Puget Sound Community College

Yakima Area

Heritage University