Too Busy for Adult Education? Learn New Business Skills at Your Desk

    By | Small Business

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    As a business owner, you’d love to acquire some new skills–even enroll your staff in a course–in marketing, SEO, or social media sharing, for instance. But there’s no time to get away from your desks, let alone a budget for tuition. 

    A scholarship offer from Skillshare and Mailchimp is just for you and applications are being accepted until November 15, 2015.

    Michael Karnjanaprakorn founded Skillshare in 2011 to build a platform designed for the lifelong learner. Today, the “online community for creatives” where anyone can take or teach a class, offers a catalogue of project-based lessons in topics ranging from design to entrepreneurship. All courses follow a “learning by doing” philosophy and promise to deliver real-world skills, according to a company spokeswoman. Students complete projects that they share with each other and their instructors. And everything takes place online.

    After MailChimp gained a following for a series of free email marketing classes it offered to Skillshare users, the two companies teamed up to establish a $100,000 fund to provide small business owners and their team members with one year of unlimited access to the Skillshare catalog of online classes. Scholarship winners can choose from thousands of classes, and with Skillshare Premium access, winners will be able to download classes and watch them offline on iOS and Android devices.

    Skillshare claims that more than 1 million students in 180 countries have already discovered the platform, and about 1,000 teachers have earned a total of more than $5 million from more than 2,000 courses. Each week, about 50 new classes are added to the site.

    Among the many business classes offered are “The Modern Marketing Workshop” (taught by bestseller Seth Godin), “How to Start Your Creative Product Company” (taught by entrepreneur Jeff Staple), “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Pitching Your Business and Yourself” (taught by investor Barbara Corcoran), “Build an Online Shop: Design and Launch” (taught by designer Kate Miss), and “Learn SEO to Grow Your Website” (taught by Web designer Josh Cavin).

    Of course, if you don’t win a scholarship, access isn’t cost prohibitive. Tuition is $10 a month for an individual.

    And if you have a skill to share, the platform welcomes teachers who work at their own pace to follow Skillshare’s guidelines for publishing a class. Teachers promote their classes to friends and community members and receive a percentage of the subscription fee based on how well attended they are. Several teachers who have taught classes with more than 10,000 students have earned more than $20,000, according to a Skillshare spokesperson.

    Mailchimp and Skillshare will give 1,000 scholarships to cover a one-year membership for unlimited classes for small businesses. Apply here by November 15.

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