Entrepreneurship MBA Grows in Popularity

Entrepreneurship has become an increasingly popular concentration among MBA students who are interested in starting their own businesses as well as those who are hoping to develop innovative business ideas. According to The Independent, “in the past big employers might have been reluctant to hire MBA graduates with significant entrepreneurship coursework for fear that the new recruits would use the job to learn the ropes before leaving to start ventures of their own, today’s large firms are increasingly recognising that innovation and entrepreneurial skills are vital to enable them to compete.” explains that completing an MBA in Entrepreneurship has been a controversial decision. “For some, the degree will be a huge help in building a professional network, seeking venture capital and building a successful startup. It also affords you a rare chance to fail in a safe environment, whereas a failed venture outside of a business school environment can be devastating.”

The Rutgers Business School, Newark-New Brunswick offers the MBA in Entrepreneurship for students. Students in the MBA in Entrepreneurship program at Rutgers learn how to create new enterprises and innovative business ideas. Classes for this program cover technology ventures, creativity in Business Decision-Making, Managing Growing Ventures and Social Entrepreneurship. Students in the MBA program at Rutgers have access to the Center for urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.

This is the first center of its kind in to integrate scholarly works with private capital, government and non-profit sectors to develop citywide resources and bring renewed economic growth and vitality through urban entrepreneurship. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Business Plan Competition, where they can pitch their ideas and potentially receive funding for start up ideas.

Rutgers isn’t the only school that provides students with the opportunity to participate in business plan competitions. Start up competitions are some of the most popular events that are held at business schools across the country. Hen Hatch is the Lerner College of Business‘s startup funding competition. The competition gives entrepreneurial students, alumni, faculty, and staff the opportunity to network and to collect feedback on business ideas while competing for startup cash and prizes totaling $50,000. Lerner also offers a concentration in Entrepreneurship for students.

The concentration in entrepreneurship at Lerner also features a technology innovation component. Students at Lerner are encouraged to participate in the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship. In addition to the entrepreneurship concentration, the school also offers a minor in entrepreneurship, MS in Entrepreneurship and Design and a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship.

Fortune published an article that describes the increase in the demand for entrepreneurship courses and startup funding options among business school students. Fortune explains, “MBA program officials are seeing dramatic growth in student demand, including, for example, annual increases of 20 percent to 30 percent at Harvard Business School, for entrepreneurship-related offerings.”

The increase in startup technology companies has also helped to push the Entrepreneurship MBA. According to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business‘s website, “more than 50 percent of U.S. and over 1/3 of global venture capital is invested here.” Haas has been ranked no. 4 in entrepreneurship according by Businessweek and no. 2 in Social Entrepreneurship by U.S. News.

The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at Haas offers students the opportunity to participate in three different business competitions and multiple lecture series and forums. Haas also offers a non-profit startup accelerator for UC Berkeley entrepreneurs, called SkyDeck. SkyDeck is one of the first in-house public research university accelerator programs. The incubator program is a joint venture between the Berkeley College of Engineering, Haas School of Business and the Vice Chancellor for Research Office.

Even if an entrepreneurship concentration or specialization isn’t available at your school, many MBA programs offer elective courses in entrepreneurship. explains that choosing between a concentration or an MBA in Entrepreneurship, “really depends on how clearly you know your goals before enrolling. As ever, ensure you thoroughly research the school and the program before applying to make sure you get what you need.”

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About the Author

Erin Purcell

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

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