If you have a business idea it is likely to be online, in fact, even if it is not it will need an online presence. Here are five free online courses that will help you along the way whether you are at the idea stage or whether you’ve got a successful business but are trying to grow through online means.

 

1) Online Business Idea Validation

Institute: Insaka

Length: 1 hour

 

business ideas

 

Are you an entrepreneur at heart and had an idea for an online business that you are sure will revolutionise South Africa and the world? But the only reason you haven’t pursued it, is because you need some form of validation. Here you go!

 

Insaka has put together a free online course which will take you through a logical set of criteria to see whether your eCommerce idea is viable or ultimately one to store in your attic.

 

“Thanks for a great video – your courses are inspiring me to go for it!” – Carolyn

 

What you will determine:

  • Will your product or service sell online
  • Will your online business be profitable
  • Next steps after validation

 

2) How to Sell a lot on Takealot

Institute: Insaka

Length: 32 mins

 

Online Shopping

 

Takealot is the leading ecommerce retailer in South Africa and one of the largest, most innovative ecommerce retailers on the African continent. Follow Warrick Kernes in this free crash course as he explains the secrets to selling products through Takealot. During the course you will learn how he sold millions of Rands through the platform.

 

You will learn:

  • How to apply for a seller account
  • What products sell well on Takealot
  • How to add products
  • Actions to increase your sales
  • Understanding the numbers
  • Things not to do

 

3) Sales & Marketing for Online Businesses

Institute: Udemy

Length: 3 hours

 

 

Entrepreneurs are gifted individuals with minds that can bring the most obscure but brilliant ideas to life. But once the product is concepted and a website is up and running they expect the sales to pour in, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. Without the skills needed to market your innovative product or service it will remain transparent to your target market. Follow an experienced online marketer as he gives you tips for optimizing your website, blogging, traffic, video, paid advertising methods, email, offline marketing, customer service, branding, creating a call to action and social media.

 

“Instructor is EXCELLENT at conveying the information. Not too much screen and just enough guiding through lectures. The course was very engaging! I loved listening – Mike kept my interest AND provided useful information!” – Ourania

 

 

 4) Entrepreneurship for Global Challenges in Emerging Markets

Institute: Delft University of Technology through EdX

Length: 6 weeks (2 to 4 hours per week)

 

Emerging Markets

 

Emerging economies may have their challenges but they certainly provide an opportunity. If you can solve these problems effectively by understanding your market and their culture you can become a staple within the community. South Africa is most definitely an emerging economy and often talked about as the gateway to Africa.

 

In this course you will be provided with a set of practical tools to uncover opportunities in your current community. If you have a business idea you can apply it to the course to help you to rethink your value proposition, otherwise you can apply it to a hypothetical case study they provide.

 

An added benefit is you will get to know the entrepreneurs doing the course alongside you, and you’ll be able to share your experiences and perhaps even start a team together afterwards!

 

“In addition to getting to know great ideas and value propositions around emerging economies, the course opened up a mindset on how to discuss culturally-sensitive obstacles and challenges.”

 

You will learn:

  • Identify global challenges in emerging economies.
  • Apply the Value Proposition Canvas to an identified ‘local’ challenge.
  • Learn from experienced entrepreneurs‘ successes and failures.
  • Think strategically about interactions with business partners, customers and government authorities.
  • Think strategically about the internal management style and business culture of your organization.
  • Understand opportunities for and barriers to socially responsible entrepreneurship in emerging economies.
  • Understand that there are multiple ways of setting up a revenue model for a business idea.

 

5) 21 days to Building a Web Business

Institute: Alison

Length: 6 hours

 

Building Web business

 

Follow the ‘number 1 Internet Marketing Service Provider’ Chris Farrell, as he teaches you how to start a web business from scratch in just 21 days. He takes you through the process step-by-step and without the jargon used by industry professionals.

 

You will understand the functionality of a website, how to use FileZilla to upload your website, understand important concepts such as choosing the correct domain name and how to host your account. You will also learn new techniques on the different revenue streams available to online business owners.