Even though small businesses do not generate as much capital as their rival corporate companies, small businesses are vital components and major economic contributors to local economies. Communities and entrepreneurs across America understand the impact that small businesses have on the country. In fact, small businesses are what drive the American economy and bolster the nation’s employment rates.

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that small businesses contribute 66 percent of all new employment opportunities every year, overall providing 55 percent of all the jobs in the U.S. Despite these positive statistics, small business owners face staggering challenges with securing capital and finding available resources to help their businesses stay afloat and to expand. The good news is that there is a plethora of free online educational resources available to assist small business with all of their business needs.

 

SBA and Small Business Training Network (SBTN)

The Small Business Association is a government organization that focuses on providing free resources and information, funding in the form of grants or small loans, and counseling and legal services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. SBA also provides free online courses and webinars on all business matters through its Small Business Training Network. Both SBA and SBTN have knowledgeable staffs to assist with answering questions, filling out business forms, finding mentoring or training, registering for free classes, and applying to receive business tool kits or free services. SBA’s website, www.sba.gov/, and SBTN’s website, www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center, are user friendly and invaluable sources for tools and information for small business owners.

 

Just Add One (JAO)

Just Add One is an organization that focuses on strategies and solutions to help small businesses expand and to “add just one” or more new employees. JAO is free to join and is coordinated by the National Association of Workforce Boards. Members receive free business toolkits, access to online business webinars and tutorials, JAO partner contact information, and connection to more than 600 Workforce Investment Boards and 12,000 business volunteers across the country. Small business owners can apply for membership at www.justaddone.net/ and become a part of JAO’s online initiative to coordinate resources that help entrepreneurs succeed.

 

BusinessUSA

Business.usa.gov is an online resource center that provides links to 10 government business agencies, lists information about funding resources, and guides registered users through business training programs. This site also provides access to useful articles and newsletters that help business owners stay abreast of the latest business news across the nation. This site has comprehensive information about “go-green” opportunities and tax breaks, and allows users to browse the calendar for free events, seminars, and programs offered around the country. Quick links take users directly to information about taxes and credits, hiring new employees, employee health insurance, and more. This site is a “one stop shop” for small business owners needing assistance with everything from starting a business to applying for a patent or trademark.

 

Free Business Education Courses

Small business owners can take advantage of the valuable information that business courses from some of the country’s top schools offer. Free business courses can provide additional training for small business employees and help entrepreneurs develop and hone skills that assist them in setting and keeping goals, incorporating current technology into their business structure, and ultimately gaining economic success.

 

Coursera.org (www.coursera.org)
Offers verifiable certificates and learn at your own pace classes for hundreds of business courses offered by Peking University, Stanford, IESE Business School, University of Pennsylvania, and more.

 

Alison Certification Courses (alison.com/free-training/alison-and-certification)
Hundreds of diploma courses in Business and Enterprise Skills, Financial and Economic Literacy, and Health & Safety & Compliance.

 

MIT OpenCourseWare – Sloan School of Management (mit.edu)
More than 50 free courses are listed.

 

London School of Business and Finance (LSBF Global MBA)
Renowned international business school that offers its entire online MBA program for free.

 

Funding Your Ideas

Taking out a small business loan is a great way to expand your business. After you have registered for business webinars and have taken some business courses or have spoken to a business counselor, you may feel you are ready to take out a loan to expand your business. If your small business is in need of a Short-Term & Flexible Commercial Loans, a Business Line of Credit, or a Business Cash Advance from a business loan provider other than one of the major banks, Advance Funds Network (AFN) can help you get approved for the funds you need. AFN works with business owners in every industry, and they will not require you to put up your business or personal assets as collateral.