Five Ways an MBA Supports ‘Could-Be’ Entrepreneurs

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MBA Supports

Many of us have, at one point in our lives, had ambitions of starting a business that serves customers with an amazing product or a solution we can’t believe nobody’s thought of that solves a problem that’s annoyed us for years. However, when it comes down to it, many people don’t follow these entrepreneurial ambitions as it can often appear too good to be true to turn a business idea into a successful business.

Of course, this hesitation is not unwarranted, as the road towards owning a company is fraught with danger and for every start-up success, there are many more failures. We’ve all heard the stats that only one in every 10 attempts at a start-up is successful.
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So this begs the question; does formal education – such as an MBA – stack the odds in your favor or is it even possible to teach entrepreneurship? It’s certainly hard, or impossible, to teach some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur – you’ll struggle, for example, to teach an inherently risk-averse person to be risk-tolerant. But, for those who have the entrepreneur’s mindset, there’s a wealth of fundamentals that can absolutely be taught.

1. A Catalyst For Change

From a “career-path” perspective, an MBA is a crucial catalyst for change. It literally wipes your career canvas clean and gives you the opportunity to paint whatever future you’ve been putting off.

We also love that many classes started with a particular picture of the company they would work for following the MBA, but after their experience, many have turned to entrepreneurship.

We regularly hear people say they wished they’d gone out on their own earlier in life and started ‘that business’, perhaps opened the boutique café they always wanted or pursued the cool tech idea – but for one reason or another, never took the leap.

2. An Enhanced Toolkit

An MBA gives you a toolkit of additional skills and knowledge that helps to instill the confidence in you to take that first step towards entrepreneurship. Not to mention, a better chance to handle the opportunities and the knock-downs that will come with running any business.

An MBA augments a person’s natural skills with a practical toolkit such as:

  • How to define a target market
  • Build and market a brand
  • Design a VC-ready business model
  • The management skills to run a big organization.

It also addresses the softer skills such as emotional intelligence and ways to better understand yourself. It makes you consider what makes you tick, your biases, and ultimately gives you the necessary self-awareness to create and run a successful business.

3. A Different Perspective

An MBA exposes you to different cultures, industries, and ways of thinking – in short, it hugely challenges the way you view the world.

You meet ambitious people, entrepreneurs, and experts who can help to re-evaluate and reconfigure your thinking. It opens your mind to different ways of doing things, solving problems, interacting with all kinds of knowledgeable and inspirational people, and puts you in circumstances within, and outside of, your comfort zone.

All this gives you the mindset to find solutions where others haven’t, to connect two seemingly unconnected things to create an amazing product. The people you meet during your MBA who help create this ‘new you’ will likely become colleagues, advisors, investors, or even co-founders of your business venture.

4. An Entrepreneurial Training Ground

It’s not often in life that you get a year to think of problems and throw different solutions against the wall to see what sticks. In our time completing an MBA, we’ve played around with business ideas ranging from debt finance to wine and real estate.

You’re thrust into situations where you are pushed to be creative and innovative. Solutions are then found because you’re surrounded by like-minded people who have access to technology, innovation, and research from a scientific perspective. The environment is a safe one where without much risk you can explore business ventures and opportunities.

As far as we’re concerned, we don’t think there is a better environment to realize your entrepreneurial potential – and who knows, you might decide it’s not for you, but at least you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you gave it a go.

5. Headspace

All of us are leading busier and busier lives and, for those wishing to pursue an entrepreneurial career, it’s very difficult to find time for a change. Not only is it difficult to find time to decide what you want to do, but it’s also a challenge to find time to execute what you want to do. No doubt this lack of time is a big factor that stops people from starting a business.

One of the great things about doing a full-time MBA is that, while it’s a busy year, you’re away from the pressures of a day job and there’s time to reflect and think about what you’re doing or want to do. That’s a luxury you simply don’t get when you’re in full-time work mode and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly in helping to have a significant impact on the chances of you running with your entrepreneurial idea – and (hopefully) making it a success!