Free e-learning resource for small business owners: HP LIFE

Through my work with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, I have learned about a free online learning resource for small business owners called HP LIFE, which stands for Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs. Available to people from around the world, this learning tool is quick, fun and, most importantly, very informative.

HP LIFE offers five training modules for each of four important business topics: finance, marketing, operations, and communications. Each module starts with story in which a small business owner presents a dilemma. Then, through a series of exercises, you learn about a business principle and how to use technology to get the answers you need.

For example, I went through the course on unique value proposition, which showed you how to research what sets you apart from the competition and how to identify the keywords you should use to convey to your online audience. There are also downloadable tools and resources in each course; the ones I saw looked to be very helpful.

There are several things I really like about HP LIFE, other than that it’s free. First, you can access it at any time and the courses don’t take a long time to go through. I averaged 20 minutes a course for the two courses I’ve gone through so far. But the most important thing is that the course material is concise and easy to understand. You come away with a clear idea of the actions you could take in a specific area of your business to move it forward. And did I mention that this is all FREE???

One of the interesting aspects of HP LIFE is that it is global and you can interact with other entrepreneurs around the world. Also, HP has partnered with Global Citizen, an online community devoted to ending world poverty, and when you complete a course, you earn points through Global Citizen that you can eventually redeem for prizes, like concert tickets. Bonus

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