Do Entrepreneurs Need to Earn an MBA?

Do Entrepreneurs Need to Earn an MBA?

Many who decide to run their own business feel they don’t need to earn an MBA. However, an MBA that focuses on entrepreneurship can help students develop advanced business skills, focus on creating an entrepreneurial mindset, learn how to operate a business for the long term, and offer the chance to network with fellow entrepreneurs.

All this supports an entrepreneur to achieve success in a very competitive environment. It’s why schools have created MBA programs that focus on entrepreneurship.

What You Learn in an MBA Entrepreneurship Program

Every entrepreneur wants a competitive edge. A quality MBA program offers that edge by offering both advanced business skills and courses that focus completely on the elements of entrepreneurship that lead to success.

For example, an online MBA program that concentrates on entrepreneurship offers students coursework in such advanced business areas as ethics, law and communication in decision making; global marketing in the digital era; economics for management; organizational behavior; and digital strategy and planning.

But it also focuses on innovation in entrepreneurship and other facets of creating and running your own business. These include:

  • Business planning for entrepreneurial opportunity
  • Strategic, analytical, and tactical skills necessary for leading organizations
  • Real-world entrepreneurial skill development
  • Internships and experience working with entrepreneurs

Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Spending the time in an MBA program gives students the chance to focus completely on the type of challenges that face entrepreneurs and the skills needed to solve them. U.S. News calls business school “the best incubator for budding entrepreneurs,” partly for this reason. The chance to focus on these issues for an extended period helps to create the mindset that will support success in the coming years as entrepreneurs launch and maintain their businesses.

Running a Business

Most entrepreneurs dream about launching their own businesses and the challenges involved: product design and development, raising the funds needed to start a company, finding the right consumer market, and developing efficient product manufacturing and delivery, to name a few.

Earning an MBA gives students the foundational knowledge they need in maintaining the business for the long term once its launched. This includes issues such as marketing, managing growth, expanding into new markets, and further product development. These will all become key issues once a startup becomes a success.


An MBA degree program offers students the chance to meet others who share their dream. On a personal level, it can create friendships that last a lifetime. On a professional level, it can create connections that help you down the road. For example, Getaway founder Jon Staff wrote for the Harvard Business School blog that 60% of the $1.2 million raised to start the company “was directly a result” of being in an MBA program.

Many entrepreneurs are in a rush to get into the real world and become actual entrepreneurs. That’s understandable. But for many, the expertise and opportunities offered with an MBA program make taking the time to earn a graduate degree worthwhile. It can also lead to a better chance for success down the road.

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