The Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with a mission to bring free world-class education to anyone anywhere in the world. So, what does it mean to the small business owner? Think “Finance.”

We can all use the occasional “brushing up” on our financial knowledge and skills. In fact, most entrepreneurs didn’t get into their position by majoring in finance or related fields. I think the Khan Academy affords a great opportunity to learn about financial skills for the non-finance type.

For example, look at the inventory of 24,000 videos currently posted: Core Finance, Banking and Money, Valuation and Investing, and Venture Capital and Capital Markets. Yours for the asking, and all for free.

Do not expect glossy videos with high production values. (When he started, Khan used to record the videos in a closet at home.) However, they are illustrated on a blackboard like screen with color accents in simple language and visuals that seem to stick with you. Some of the courses fall in sequence, but one of the values is that the study is self-paced.

The videos are exercise-based, but the value is here is in the trial-and-error learning. You learn fast – or you don’t – and, then, you move on. The retention comes from this process; it deepens you understanding, even if you stumble on solutions.

Parents should check out the website for free videos of 15 – 20 minutes in length that tutor your child on all levels of math, most levels of science, and even a few in Art History, Civics, and History. As founder, Sal Kahn, says, “It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology, The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.”

The inventory of courses includes a huge number of math lessons, statistics, and SAT Preparation lessors. It includes tests you can self-administer, and it offers courses in lessors on Humanities you might just have a curiosity about. But, keep an eye on the growth in courses related to small business and small business management.


by Steven Schlagel