Do you Need an MBA to Succeed as an Entrepreneur?

As someone who started out in Corporate America, received an MBA and is now an entrepreneur, here are a few things to consider before heading back to campus.

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Consider a “Master’s in Business Entrepreneurship” Instead

Despite all that I’ve just said, getting an MBA can work to your advantage because it’s a fantastic time to actually start your own business – if done correctly. You’ll find yourself pursuing what I call a “Master’s in Business Entrepreneurship:”

1. Ultimate access to resources.

Rarely ever again will you be surrounded by the resources you’ll have while in school.

Programs like Wharton, Harvard and Stanford offer terrific resources for aspiring entrepreneurs including cash, work space, exposure and mentoring. You’ll also find a huge base of expertise and know-how in your classmates, who will have experience ranging from finance to engineering.

2. Low risk startup environment.

Most MBA program offer two risk-free years. When launching a business during your school years, the worst possible outcome is that you graduate and end up getting a great job. But if you succeed, you can hit the ground running once you turn your tassel.

3. The perfect incubation period.

MBAs offer a fantastic incubation environment: it is a microcosm of the market. You’ll quickly find classmates willing to test your product and zealously support your company as it tries to scale.

In summary, an MBA can be incredibly powerful when leveraged properly. Holding an MBA can act as a solid hedge against the risky proposition of starting your own business, and will provide you with the network, confidence, and environment to succeed.

But be warned: the siren calls of MBA groupthink are powerful — you’ll need incredible focus and determination to turn that MBA into a “Master’s in Business Entrepreneurship.”

Connect with Tony on Twitter.

Do you think that entrepreneurs need an MBA to succeed? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Photo Credit: Samuel Windsor England

Tony Navarro is Founder and CEO of Streamcal, the “twitter for calendars and upcoming events”. He is originally from Colombia and strongly believes in the power of entrepreneurship to generate economic growth. He holds an MBA from Wharton and an MPA from Harvard, and currently lives in Boston with his wife.

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