Khan Academy is a Non Profit Organisation designed to bring a free education to everyone. Although their primary focus is on more academic topics they also have a number of videos aimed at developing business and entrepreneurial skills as well.
Link: Khan Academy
As well as the educational video presentations the site also contains over 100,000 interactive exercises so you can put your learning into practice. In spite of the primary focus on high school students, there are plenty of resources that offer a refresher or introduction on subjects relevant to business owners.
One of the main strengths of the site is the teaching style of Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. He presents all of the content in an engaging and humorous manner with an incredibly clear teaching style. Every video delves straight into the topic with no time wasted on fillers or constantly going over learning objectives. The explanations are thorough require no prior knowledge of each subject so it is ideal for beginners. There is an excellent balance between the amount of detail provided while not being overly repetitive. You are not restricted on when or where you choose to learn with all videos available on mobile and tablet. This allows you to study learn when your in the right frame of mind, and take breaks whenever you like.
The video quality is done to a good standard and in a similar vein to Coursera they use a rigorous testing system to ensure that you have developed a proper understanding of each topic before you can move on. These quizzes are interwoven throughout each section and the varied questions enable easy identification of any weak points. It is easy to track your progress and rewatch videos any time you are unsure. Each video also has an accompanying interactive discussion board filled with people willing to help and contribute.
It is highly recommended that you check out the interviews with entrepreneurs section which are littered with useful insights. Sal has managed to convince a number of high profile entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Richard Branson to give hour long interviews in front of a live audience. These offer a rare opportunity to new entrepreneurs looking and are packed full of frank advice and helpful tips. Also a number of good videos on finance and economics that teach vital skills about the inner workings of a company.
Here are a few topic suggestions to broaden your knowledge and better understand how to run a company:
- Accounting and Financial Statements
- Stocks and Bonds
- Interviews with Entrepreneurs
- Hour of Code
The videos on the site are more academic in nature which makes sense as the site is aimed primarily at high school students. While they do have several sections on entrepreneurship and finance they are not designed to teach specific skills. Good resource for becoming less ignorant about accounting terms and basic economic concepts but the site is not designed to teach practical skills. Most of the above suggested topics provide an excellent overview but experienced entrepreneurs will find the topics covered quite basic.
Some of the videos have come under criticism for lacking the preparation that would go into producing traditional classroom lessons. Given the huge volume of content Sal has produced on his own there are unsurprisingly a few videos that contain errors. In spite of the high praise the site has received there is nothing revolutionary about the format except the accessibility for anyone with an internet connection. Although the quizzes and discussion forums do add to the site it still lacks the benefits offered by face to face learning.
On the whole for someone looking to start a business the site can be helpful to get a quick insight or to understand a particular phrase or topic but it will not be useful as a primary source of education. While the site has some information and the videos with entrepreneurs can be inspirational if you are trying to develop an idea or a particular skill it is better to look for more advanced courses.