100 Educational Lectures for the Small Business Owner

Posted November 10, 2009

Whether or not you’re enrolled in business school, you can find great learning resources on the Internet to help you start your own company. These lectures provide tips, insight, reports and theories about entrepreneurial issues, human resources, management, innovation, the global economy, accounting and budgeting, and a lot more to help you get your feet wet in many industries including engineering jobs, liberal arts jobs, math jobs and more .


This group of lectures will help new business owners organize their ideas, find investors, and get set up.

  1. The 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business: Discover exactly what you need to have in the early days of your start-up.
  2. The Purpose of Business: Lord John Browne explains that business isn’t just about making money.
  3. Inside the Mind of a Reluctant Entrepreneur: Find out what’s keeping you back when you listen to this lecture from Jeff Hawkins.
  4. Building a Company from the Ground Up: This interview with Seth Berger is used as a lecture for Wharton students to teach them about starting a company from a big idea.
  5. Building the Next Generation Company: Innovation, Talent, Excellence: Prepare yourself and your company for life after the economic crisis.
  6. The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage: Learn how to evaluate your company’s potential for failure in the case of a disaster or crisis.
  7. Innovation to Commercialization: Using Government Funding to Kick Start Your Start-Up: Watch this lecture to find out how to get the government to help you start your business.
  8. Business lessons from a sandwich shop startup: The co-founder of an award-winning sandwich shop shares tips for starting up in a recession.
  9. Who is Afraid of the Female Entrepreneur?: Female entrepreneurs can get an extra dose of inspiration from this podcast and lecture.
  10. The Manager’s Studio with Mike White: If you think your experience doesn’t qualify you for a career in business, you’ll benefit from this lecture from a Russian and English literature major who’s now president of PepsiCo’s international division.
  11. Small Business and the Three "Es": The CEO Salient Wealth Management, LLC talks about the three Es every small business should be built on.
  12. Starting a business in a downturn: David Lester of Crimson talks about starting up in a recession.
  13. How to choose the right business idea: How do you know if your great idea is the right one? Watch this lecture to find out.
  14. How to sell your business idea: Lessons for becoming a successful entrepreneur: Discover how to convince others to follow your new idea.
  15. Make a Great Pitch: Guy Kawasaki explains the art of pitching.

Project Management

Here you’ll learn how to set up efficient operations systems and manage teams.

  1. Project Management: Get the basics of project management theory and practices here.
  2. Business Processes: Watch or listen to this lecture about business processes.
  3. Project Strategies: This operations management lecture covers project strategies and planning.
  4. How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services: Discover how new products and services are developed, and who develops them.


These lectures cover the basics of statistics for business majors.

  1. What is Statistics: This lecture from clayton explains the two types of statistics.
  2. Descriptive Statistics: Understand measures of location and variability.

Human Resources

You’ll learn how to manage others, find quality employees and motivate workers here.

  1. Leadership Lessons Learned on the Firing Line: Learn how to recruit and retain quality employees.
  2. Organizational Leadership and Teamwork: These lectures cover person-job fit, worker motivation, job attitudes, leadership and communication.
  3. Virtuoso Teams: Learn how to build virtuoso teams that can help you maximize growth and profitability.
  4. The Talent Hunt: Getting the People You Need, When You Need Them: Perfect the strategy of recruitment.
  5. Human capital risk: As a small business owner, you should understand human capital risk.
  6. Training Part I: Here you’ll learn how to train employees.

Finance and Accounting

Learn about budgeting, forecasting, auditing and more from these lectures.

  1. Budget Podcast 2009: This podcast features analysis on startups and how they manage finances in the early days.
  2. Observations on Credit Contagion: Applying a Derivatives Perspective to Better Understand How Risk Propagates in a Financial System: Watch this lecture to better understand financial risk.
  3. Internal Auditing: If you plan to do your own accounting, listen to this lecture.
  4. Entrepreneur Elon Musk: Why It’s Important to Pinch Pennies on the Road to Riches: Get tips for frugal savings here.
  5. Why Stock Price Volatility Should Never Be a Surprise, Even in the Long Run: This podcast will teach you to analyze your stocks more critically.
  6. Sources of Small Business Financing: Find out where the money is when you watch this lecture.
  7. Ethics: Learn about ethics in business finances here.
  8. How to Manage Cash Flow: Learn how to manage cash flow after you’ve gotten started.
  9. Building a Business: Understanding Financial Control: This lecture will teach you how to manage your finances.
  10. Forecasting Tools and Techniques: Learn how to forecast budgets, profits, expenses and risk.


From trade to behavioral economics, these lectures are full of insight and information for small business owners.

  1. Business, Policy and Behavioral Economics: Learn how human decision-making processes affect business, especially in an economic crisis.
  2. Innovation and the Economy: How to Stay Competitive in a Challenging Market: This panel discussion can help you remain competitive and creative without losing in the down market.
  3. EconTalk: These talks discuss economics in daily life.
  4. Trade and Economics: This collection of lectures will teach you about global trade and economics.

Internet and Technology

Get tips for working with IT systems, using telecommunications networks to reach customers, and keep up with new business tools.

  1. Leading with Information Technology: This lecture shows how corporations benefit from IT systems.
  2. IT Matters: Here you’ll learn how IT matters in terms of providing customer service.
  3. Standards and Strategy: Competing in Increasingly "Open" Worlds: Learn how to stay competitive as telecommunications systems make it possible for everyone to reach everyone else.
  4. The Future of Work: Thomas Malone proposes a future with decentralized business thanks to cheaper communication.
  5. Information Technology: Learn about ethics, information storage, operating systems and other topics in IT.
  6. Societies in Transition: Technology and Transition in the 21st Century: Discover precisely how technology has changed society and daily life.

International Business

From China to Europe to the Middle East, find out where you fit in with the rest of the global economy.

  1. China’s Development and China – U.S. Relations: As a business owner, you’ll want to know how China could be affecting your customers, competition and profits.
  2. Dialogue and Social Entrepreneurship: This lecture features discussion about globalization and inter-religious cooperation.
  3. Making Globalization Work for All: This panel discussion tackles sweatshops and unfair business practices as a result of globalization.
  4. International Business: This group of lectures covers a variety of international business topics.
  5. People Before Profit: the New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money and Economic Crisis: This sociology professor from Boston College argues that "the rules for a global economy need to be rewritten."
  6. Bridging Two Worlds: America and the Middle East: This podcast discusses how businesses and consumers fit in with the conflict between the U.S. and Middle East.
  7. Forces Impacting Global Business: Maurice Greenberg from AIG discusses the forces of global business, from 2004.
  8. The Emergence of China in the Global Economy: This lecture is from 2004 but still has some insightful information about China’s place in the new global economy.
  9. Building Global Brands: Here you’ll learn how to reign in the potential of the global economy for your own brand.
  10. Competing in the New Global Environment: Here you’ll learn how to make your small business stand out.
  11. Starting New Companies in the U.S. vs. Europe: Pros and Cons of Each: This lecture will show you the pros and cons of starting up in the U.S. versus Europe.
  12. The Trading System in Crisis: The Threat from Proliferating Preferences: Find out why the trading system is threatened.
  13. The Hat Trick: Who will be the Successful Business Leaders in Today’s Global Environment: Listen to this lecture to see if you’ve got the same qualities to succeed in the global environment.


These management lectures cover innovation, change, organizational theory and more.

  1. Nurturing a Vibrant Culture to Drive Innovation: Learn how to inspire your employees to be more creative.
  2. Stuck: Why It’s So Hard to Do New Things in Old Organizations: Rebecca Henderson uses the example of sustainability to discuss change and innovation.
  3. Tough Choices: Get inspired to make tough decisions and learn how to relate to all types of people.
  4. Intelligence, Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making: Learn how different people respond to risk and how they make decisions.
  5. Management and Supervision: This collection of introductory management lectures covers human motivation, decision making, international management and more.
  6. Strategic Management: Take this classic business course to find lectures about strategic management.
  7. Nine Lessons Learned About Creativity at Google: Learn how to inspire and manage creativity and innovation.
  8. Question Everything: Learn how to question everything people tell you to do.
  9. Managing the leaders: Here you’ll learn how to manage higher level managers.
  10. Talking Management: Pierre Beaudoin: Get more management tips and insight here.
  11. Small Business Management: This lecture takes you through business planning.
  12. East-West Management: This short little lecture will introduce you to different cultural management traditions.
  13. The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Business and Society Today: Managers will keep up with the current challenges facing them today.


Become a more influential, effective and respected leader by listening to these lectures.

  1. Innovative Leadership During Economic Crisis: This MIT special lecture discusses the need for strong, innovative leadership during the financial crisis.
  2. Leadership Development: Recent MIT graduates discuss finding their niche and standing up for what’s right.
  3. Values Based Leadership: Robert McDonald is a graduate of West Point and spent 20 years at Proctor and Gamble. In this lecture, he challenges leaders to undergo a process of self-examination.
  4. How Interpersonal Skills Pay Off: Increase your self-awareness to become more influential.
  5. Insights on Leadership at United Technologies Corporation: You’ll get leadership tips and more from this lecture.
  6. Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty: Get tips on relaying your company’s mission and message to all employees, not just other managers.
  7. Ethical Leadership: Qualities and Responsibilities of Leaders in the New Millennium: This lecture tackles business ethics and the importance of holding onto your employees.
  8. Dynamic Leadership: Using Improvisation in Business: Learn how to listen to other people and use improvisation tactics to be more influential.
  9. The art of asking the right question, not the science of giving the right answer: Learning this technique will turn you into a better leader.

Marketing and Advertising

Develop a stronger marketing plan after listening to these talks.

  1. Digital Media and Marketing Strategies: LIsa Hsia from Bravo TV talks about new media as a marketing platform.
  2. Mobile Advertising: What’s Next?: Discover what’s next in terms of mobile advertising.
  3. Marketing the Arts: The Secret Weapon: If you’re the owners of an arts-related company, you can find smart marketing tips here.
  4. Motivation, Customers and Sales: This lecture from an entrepreneurship coach focuses on positive customer service.
  5. Your Customers are Your Ad: Jeff Jarvis explains the importance of customer service and utilizing customers for advertising.
  6. Building Brands with Viral Content: Find out how to design a marketing plan that can effectively make use of viral strategy.
  7. Product, Brand, Experience: Nike and Sony: Learn how Nike and Sony have developed their brands.
  8. Internet Marketing Strategies: Get an overview of how the Internet can help you with marketing.
  9. How to Use Twitter for Business: Learn how this simple social media tool can boost your business.
  10. The Power of Advertising: Discover what a solid advertising plan can do for your business.


From ethics to philanthropy, check out more educational lectures for small business know-how.

  1. The Business of Philanthropy: Matthew Bishop uses the business of philanthropy as a model for discussing leadership.
  2. Business Ethics: Patrick Cesau accepts the Botwinick PRize in Business Ethics.
  3. Weathering the Storm: Retail Solutions for All Seasons: Watch this lecture to find out how the retail and fashion industries will make it through the economic crisis.
  4. Core Values Were Lost During Previous Economic Boom: This lecture on corporate governance focuses on how the economic crisis is reshaping moral standards.
  5. How to Promote More Sustainable Practices in Our Organizations: You’ll learn how to make your company more eco-conscious and sustainable when you listen to this lecture.
  6. Why Large Companies Should Out-Innovate Small Ones: This lecture should motivate you to out-innovate your competition.
  7. Sales Process: You can choose to watch or view this lecture on sales management.
  8. Amazon.com Customer Experience Matters: Get tips from Amazon.com to make your customers happy.

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