How an MBA can help entrepreneurs

Most people know that MBAs provide a great foundation for success in business management or consultancy careers. But, as an entrepreneur with different career goals, is this qualification relevant for you  

This may come as a surprisebut pioneering MBA programs at top business schools put entrepreneurship at the heart of the curriculum. 

A School for Startups  

There’s a big difference between having a great business idea and having a great business. Anyone can have an idea, but it takes an entrepreneur to see it through to a viable venture. The energy and drive of entrepreneurship may come naturally to some, but the ability to build a successful new company depends on knowing the fundamentals of management. 

The world’s best leaders recognize there is always something to learn. Even John F. Kennedy, one of history’s most recognizable leaders, said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  The way we do business has changed drastically since the days of JFK, but his words apply now more than ever. In an ever-shifting global digital landscape where change is constant, developing knowledge and acquiring insight are essential.  

To operate with the agility necessary for today’s fast-paced business environment, as a would-be entrepreneur you need to be 100% prepared. An MBA does just that, providing the bridge from the idea to the implementation. Here’s how.   

Acquire the knowledge  

An MBA qualification from a business school for entrepreneurs provides the tools that talented innovators need to achieve their potentialThe IESE full-fime MBA, for example, provides you with the comprehensive tool kit of knowledge and abilities you need to launch and grow a company. 

From economics to ethics, and capital markets to communications, an MBA from the right school covers the fundamentals every entrepreneur needs to knowSome people may have a natural affinity with entrepreneurship, but it’s not essential for business success. As the American football coach Vince Lombardi famously said, “Leaders are made, not born.” An MBA gives you the ability to avoid common mistakes, increases your ability to raise funds, boosts your leadership skills and helps you understand the markets you aim to disrupt.  

“Leaders are made, not born.” 

Vince Lombardi  

Live the life 

Entrepreneurship is about much more than creating a startup: it’s a mindset that should be nourished within an ecosystem of interplaying piecesThe world’s top business schools are hothouses of innovation, with decades of experience in creating successful business leaders and innovators. Their academic research creates new paradigms and opens up new ways of thinking. Some, such as IESE, have networks of angel investors, experienced entrepreneurs and clubs that can immerse you in specialist knowledge and provide valuable contacts.  

Outside the classroom, an MBA delivers valuable networks and important opportunities connecting you with a global community of alumni and giving you access to lifelong learning opportunities. As you prepare for your future as an entrepreneur, you can enjoy summer internships, activities and clubs that help develop complementary skills, and allow you to see new possibilities and perspectives 

Whether you’re thinking about startupsscale-ups or intrapreneurship within existing enterprises, an entrepreneurship-focused MBA environment provides the perfect backdrop for innovation and new ventures.  

Reach the goal 

The MBA is an ideal environment in which to fail. What do we mean? You’ll have the opportunity to explore and test different ideas as you find new ways to reach your goals. You’ll practice applying what you learn in the MBA at every step from developing a concept through to understanding feasibility reports, possible business models and potential markets. Guided by experts, you can iterate – experimenting, failing and repeating – learning more each time, becoming more robust, and increasing your chances of success when you do it for real. 

That isn’t just theory. IESE entrepreneurs have received over €1 billion in funding since completing their MBA qualification. In the last two years alone, our alumni have created 2,197 jobs, raised more than €544 million in capital and generated more than €250 million in annual revenue.  

An MBA might not be essential for entrepreneurs. But the right MBA program from an entrepreneurial business school is a big boost to the chances of success. 

Find out everything you should know about the MBA program.

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