Do I have to take a course in school to be a good entrepreneur?
I'm a registered nurse but since I was 19 I have wanted to run my own business. Now I'm 23, I live in London, and I want to start a business. For the past two years I've been doing a lot of research on the internet about everything you need to know to have a business. If I do take a course, what should it be? Business management, accounting or marketing?
In short, no. You can learn to be a good entrepreneur from books, tapes and CDs. But as long as you are in school, you can learn the fundamentals of business building from all of those courses you mentioned. The one caveat I would add is that most MBA-style programs focus on big businesses or corporations, and to be really successful in a small business, you will need to focus on courses that are designed for small- to medium-size businesses (SMEs).
Good luck, and know that you will probably need to start a few businesses--or use the "buy, build and sell" model of buying a few underperforming businesses, building them up and selling them--before you find lasting success. Why? Because the real world experience of running a business is far better and incredibly more instructional than just theory. And the lessons also tend to stick a lot better.
The fall in new company starts does not necessarily mean that the American economy is less dynamic than it used to be, or that Americans are opening up new establishments at a lower rate than they did in the late 1970s.