What do Capital One, Nike, Tesla, Match.com, Trader Joe’s, CVS, and StubHub all have in common?
These companies have had a transformative impact on their respective industries, and they were all started by MBAs. Among the many reasons for prospective entrepreneurs to consider enhancing their skills in an MBA program, there may be none more important or inspiring than what other MBAs have achieved.
Your germ of an idea or your fledgling company could become the next great American success story. Your challenge is to combine your innate entrepreneurial traits and talents with fundamental business skills that you can learn in an online MBA program.
Are you determined, tenacious, assertive and bold enough to embrace uncertainty? Then you possess the same qualities as Elon Musk of Tesla, Joe Coulombe of Trader Joe’s, and the countless other entrepreneurs whose businesses form the backbone of the world’s strongest economy.
The Facts About MBA Entrepreneurial Graduates
America needs you to become all that you can be, so consider what becomes of MBAs who focus on entrepreneurship. According to the 2016 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey, one in ten alumni are self-employed. These graduates have much in common:
- They create small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
- They create opportunities in products and services (31 percent), consulting (25 percent), finance and accounting (16 percent), and technology (12 percent).
- They work 49 hours per week on average and take home the equivalent of $145,000 annually.
- They have high job satisfaction levels, rivaling that of C-suite employees.
Do You Fit the MBA Entrepreneur Profile?
Does your motivation for considering an MBA correlate with the facts above? According to the GMAC report, the motivations for alumni who planned to launch their own businesses after graduating were far different from those of traditional corporate employees. Their key motives were to increase self-confidence (33 percent vs. 29 percent) and, not surprisingly, to start their own business (45 percent vs. 17 percent).
Career-Enhancing MBA Skills and Benefits for Entrepreneurs
If you identify with these motivations, you may be an ideal candidate for an online master of business administration degree program with a focus on entrepreneurship. Should you make the investment in yourself, here are some of the benefits you may gain by investing in your future:
Think Like a Businessperson: Entrepreneurs with decades of experience make sound business decisions and transactions in hours or days, compared to weeks. A specialized MBA compresses knowledge in research, analysis, accounting, marketing and other disciplines, along with core entrepreneurial expertise into a program that can have you functioning at this level in as few as 12 months. Many entrepreneurs fail for lack of this vital knowledge.
Test Your Business Ideas in the “Lab”: In science, hypotheses are tested in lab environments. Similarly, you can test your business ideas in an environment that can prove them viable before you take painful risks. Your classmates and professors in an MBA program have work experience which will help you test your ideas and weigh advice from different sources. This ability to vet ideas is a skill you will need to start and grow a business.
Conduct Research and Informational Interviews: Making mistakes in the real world carries a tremendous opportunity cost. Learning to conduct proper research and to tap the minds of people who can help you are skills that will reduce your risk and prepare you to plan and execute successfully on your business ideas.
Collaborate and Build an Entrepreneurial Network: MBA entrepreneur programs attract like-minded people who form relationships, alliances and partnerships. During the program, you learn to collaborate and network effectively. The peers, professors, entrepreneurs and executives you work with can become valuable connections and a business support structure.
For all the valuable skills you have to gain in a specialized MBA, the best value in a business school education may be the confidence in knowing you are ready to achieve your dreams.
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship program.
Entrepreneur: To MBA or Not to MBA
Forbes: Should Entrepreneurs Get an MBA?
Financial Times: Do Entrepreneurs Need an MBA?
Fortune: At Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, MBA Startup Fever Takes Hold
GMAC 2016 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report