MBA@UNC Blog RSS
6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from Earning an MBA
Perhaps you have an idea for a product or service that could change the world. Whether you’re interested in launching your own startup, designing a new product to fill a gap in the market or even stepping in to lead an existing business, entrepreneurship is an exciting path. However, without keen business acumen to complement your idea, your venture may not succeed. For this reason, many ambitious entrepreneurs are earning Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees to augment their ideas and improve their prospects for success.
- Going Your Own Way
- Learning from Others
- Exploring the Business Life Cycle
- Focusing Your Passion
- Becoming a Success Story
- Making Connections
Starting a commercial venture is hard work — and that’s before you even consider the financial implications of launching your own enterprise. Earning an MBA empowers you to take the initiative and accomplish more without the need to hire additional personnel. The less money you need to invest in talent, the more funding you can allocate to product development, testing cycles and marketing projects. In addition, the knowledge you’ll acquire during your MBA program could enable you to make better decisions about your venture’s future, understand the risks involved more fully and be thoroughly prepared for the rigors of launching and running your next commercial enterprise.
Even students whose business plans are not yet commercially viable can learn from alumni and established entrepreneurs to further refine their ideas and learn from the experiences of those who came before them. Fellow classmates who are working in fields such as marketing and operations can provide valuable insights as well. This kind of mentorship can be invaluable to individuals who may have a strong idea but lack the knowledge or resources to develop their plans. For business students, the sense of community offered by entrepreneur incubators at many business schools can mean the difference between success and failure, but even ventures that fail to get off the ground can be an immensely rewarding learning experience. Few entrepreneurs experience runaway success with their first idea, and discovering how to learn from previous enterprises is integral to the business school entrepreneurship experience.
Some entrepreneurs love the thrill of the first few days of launch. They live for the adrenaline rush of watching an idea come to life. Others, however, prefer other stages of the business life cycle, favoring management roles within larger organizations. Earning an MBA will allow you to explore different roles within the ecosystem of your business’s industry and even within the company itself. You’ll master new skills that could significantly alter your overall career trajectory or enable you to identify where you want to be professionally.
Earning an MBA is an excellent way to focus your passion through a wide range of experiences. Even the strongest ideas are likely to fail without the proper preparation, and earning an MBA can teach you invaluable skills such as how to prepare and adjust business models, how to find and secure sources of capital, and how to market your product or service effectively. Courses in operations management, financial accounting, and marketing strategy, analysis and development can give you a deeper understanding of key business management practices.
As increasing numbers of ambitious students have taken to entrepreneurship, some even before the conclusion of their studies, many business schools have evolved to meet the demand for MBA programs with a strong entrepreneurial focus. According to The Wall Street Journal, some of the country’s most successful startups have emerged from the nation’s top business schools, including Warby Parker, the civic-minded eyewear company, and online food delivery service GrubHub. Many business schools are embracing the startup culture by developing enterprise incubators designed to help students realize their ambitions and provide them with the support and guidance to launch their ventures.
In addition to the core skills and knowledge you will acquire by earning an MBA, you’ll begin to build a professional network of people who share your passion for entrepreneurship. These connections could open doors that may have remained closed had you not chosen to pursue an MBA. By forging relationships with talented people from all over the world, you could meet new potential business partners.