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Learn Something New This Fall!

sept15-pencil-01School is in session for a new year, and all that back-to-school activity might have you feeling nostalgic for the smell of new pencils and notebooks and the excitement of a new class.

We have a challenge for you: Learn something new this fall!

We’ve all got something we’d like to learn more about, whether it’s a new skill or ways to run your business better. And since time is of the essence for most small business owners, here are five great online resources for learning something new.


Founded in 1995 and owned by LinkedIn since earlier this year, Lynda.com boasts nearly 4,000 online courses and more than 100,000 video tutorials taught by experts. Most courses focus on software, business, and creative skills, and a mobile app means you can learn wherever you go. Lynda.com is not free, but it does offer a free trial period so you can check it out before you buy.


If you can’t hire an IT staff or even a freelancer, you might end up doing some of your coding and programming yourself. Free online resource CodeAcademy.com offers interactive lessons on the most common programming languages. You can even learn how to make a website for your business. Don’t worry – no previous coding experience required!

Khan Academy

Whether you’re curious about something – art history, perhaps? – or need a refresher on something like math, Khan Academy is a good place to start. The non-profit education website is free and full of video lectures and practice exercises on a variety of topics, mostly in math, science, art, and technology. Most are aimed at high school students, but if you’re just looking for a refresher, start here. Founded in 2006, the website has expanded from one person helping to tutor his cousin to a free learning resource available to anyone.

University Courses

If going back to school is not an option, but you want to learn from top universities, look into Coursera and MIT Open Courseware. While you won’t be earning college credits, you will be learning from some of the best. Coursera works with more than 120 educational partners to provide classes in a variety of subjects, some extremely specific to certain fields of work. At MIT Open Courseware, you can take real MIT courses, and a section of courses specifically for entrepreneurs can help you learn what you need to grow your business.


When you want to learn something new, don’t overlook YouTube! The popular video website is far more than a place to share cute cat videos – it’s also a great resource for tutorials and how-to videos. Chances are pretty good that if you’re wondering about something, someone out there has already made a video explaining how to do it. And, it’s free!

Local Options

If online learning isn’t enough, watch for local opportunities to learn new skills and business strategies:

  • Libraries
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Business organizations
  • Professional organizations
  • Community groups
  • Social groups like professional sororities, women’s groups, etc.
  • Us! What would you like to learn? We’re happy to teach!

Find more free online resources here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238908.