Is an MBA Worth It for Entrepreneurs?

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By DeVry University

January 4, 2023
6 min read

Entrepreneurship requires resilience, confidence, boundless energy and the determination to take an idea and transform it into a tangible, profitable and growing business. Entrepreneurs march to the beat of their own drum and hear an inner voice that says, “Let’s start something.” For them, success comes from building a business based on their own vision and built on their own terms.

If you want to prepare to succeed as an entrepreneur, you may be wondering what kind of post-graduate business degree would be best, and what are the benefits of an MBA. You may be asking, is an MBA worth it for entrepreneurs?

This article will provide 7 reasons why the right MBA program can prepare you to pursue your entrepreneurial goals by helping you build a well-rounded skillset. 

1. Establishes a Level of Credibility

In today’s complex, fast-moving and sometimes unpredictable global economy, new business concepts require more than great ideas and exuberant pitches to make them work. Your passion, creativity and energy as an entrepreneur may be powerful, but earning an MBA can help establish a level of credibility with prospective business partners and investors who may be vital to your startup. You may find these individuals, who are likely to have already achieved success with their own companies, might be MBA graduates themselves. In this context, earning an MBA could enable you to:

  • Demonstrate skills and perspectives that individuals without an MBA may not have.
  • Practice communication skills to pitch your ideas with more confidence.
  • Provide comparisons and contexts that convey your understanding of the business ecosystems in which you plan to compete. 

2. Expands Your Professional Network

Having a well-developed professional network is vital in any career. An MBA program can help expose you to other growing professionals, entrepreneurs or business leaders who could be instrumental in helping you to launch and grow your own business ventures.

Team projects within MBA programs give you a chance to form relationships with classmates, and many schools offer various opportunities to network with alumni who could also become important connections.

Working in teams, equally talented MBA students from varying backgrounds can brainstorm ideas from multiple perspectives and pool their strengths. This collaboration allows you to understand cultural differences and points of view, improve communication and increase the quality of project deliverables.

3. Creates a Solid Foundation (or Framework) of Knowledge

Earning an MBA can prepare you to pursue a broad variety of options to begin your career or to help you pursue new heights after gaining several years of hands-on experience. Coursework in a general MBA program, encompassing accounting and finance, marketing, operations management, organizational leadership and other core business principles, can help you develop skills that you might find in any industry or management position. This provides a solid foundation of business administration knowledge without emphasizing any specific area of business.

Later in this article we’ll describe how MBA programs can be augmented by specializations in various business disciplines and introduce you to our MBA entrepreneurship specialization here at DeVry.

4. Allows Access to Experienced Mentors

MBA programs can sometimes provide access to business leaders who contribute to the program as guest lecturers, adjunct faculty or in some other capacity. These established business professionals may function as mentors to MBA students. According to the employment website Indeed, mentorship is important for both mentee and mentor for reasons that include:

  • Relevant experience: Mentors with experience related to your professional goals can offer lessons about their successes and missteps, allowing you to learn from those missteps without the consequences. A mentor can also offer insights that may help you anticipate future challenges.
  • Sustained accountability: A good mentor will hold you accountable for your goals and track your progress toward completing them.
  • Encouragement: Mentors can provide encouragement and crucial confidence building during times when you may be faced with challenges.
  • Connections: An effective mentor can help you build your professional network. As you identify your personal and professional goals, a good mentor will strive to connect you with beneficial individuals or opportunities.

5. Provides Leadership Training

As outlined by Indeed, an MBA program can help you to develop skills like critical thinking, communication, teamwork, time management and leadership that could make you a great asset in a variety of roles— that’s why they’re called transferable skills. Developing them successfully could make a significant difference in your ability to meet your career goals.

Leadership is a particularly important skill for any aspiring entrepreneur, because you must have the ability to rally individuals and teams around a core ideology and keep them motivated as they work to achieve a series of incremental goals.

6. Enhances Understanding of Diverse Cultures

The importance of learning business administration concepts, methods and practices in the context of a global economy cannot be overstated. Aspiring entrepreneurs realize they may find themselves trading in a highly competitive global marketplace, or managing global supply chains to manufacture and deliver their products.

MBA programs sometimes attract students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and different parts of the world. This can be especially true in online learning environments. Exposure to this diversity helps expand your awareness of business practices beyond what you’re familiar with, enhancing your understanding of different cultures, points of view and business practices.    

7. Offers a Variety of Specializations

The traditional MBA provides education in a broad skillset, intended to prepare business professionals for success in any industry, from financial services to tech and anywhere in between.

When you add a specialization to your MBA at DeVry, core courses are followed by a wider selection of electives that allow for additional education in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, information systems management and project management, among others.

Here at DeVry, we offer several MBA program specializations, including an Entrepreneurship Specialization.

Your Journey, Your MBA

To those who ask, is an MBA worth it for entrepreneurs, we emphatically say, “Yes.” Potential MBA benefits like expanded networking, diversity, leadership training and access to experienced mentors can be indispensable to entrepreneurs as they pitch ideas, plan new ventures and map out strategies for funding and growth. In some cases, entrepreneurs may break new ground, developing business models for which there are no established benchmarks. As an entrepreneur with an MBA, you may be better equipped to navigate against the headwinds of conventionality and those who say, “It’s never been done that way before.”

An MBA Built for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Focusing on the new venture lifecycle from conceptualization through planning, funding and execution of a business idea, our MBA Entrepreneurship Specialization can help you acquire the skills needed to launch and grow a successful enterprise. Our program features the core business administration skills of a traditional MBA program, with a concentration in the unique characteristics of entrepreneurship.

If you have the desire to work in business consulting, at a venture capital firm or launch your own business, our MBA specialization can help prepare you for your journey. Classes start every 8 weeks.

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