Courses in entrepreneurship have gained popularity in business schools everywhere, but it is not clear just what should be taught and how. In contrast to accounting, for example, entrepreneurship lacks a defined technical base or discipline. Moreover, individuals and organizations ranging from street vendors to transnational corporations all espouse entrepreneurial activity, which suggests that the topic should permeate all of business education. What can the focus of a special course in entrepreneurship possibly be?
The mission adopted for the course is to prepare MBA students to start and nurture their own businesses. The mission is based on the premise that student interests lie mainly in starting and building ventures in which they have a significant equity stake. Business schools admit students with great talent and high long-term expectations of responsibility, autonomy, and financial reward. Historically, some MBA students have had an innate desire to run their own businesses, but even those who didn’t often turned to entrepreneurship after they confronted the realities of a pyramidal corporate world. Of the many that started in large corporations, only a few could rise to the top. The rest were subject to implicit or explicit up-or-out policies or shunted to positions that could not satisfy their natural ambition and drive.
Today, many MBAs are skeptical of long-term careers in large corporations. They belong to a culture that celebrates entrepreneurial individuals. They are also older and more cognizant of the realities of corporate ladders, and they may have directly witnessed the effects of downsizing. Therefore, although only a handful of MBA students start businesses right out of school, a large proportion expects to do so some years later. The course seeks to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will support and enhance their entrepreneurial activity.
Watch the below video for a brief introduction to the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course: