Small Business Startup News

An MBA Isn't A Requirement For Entrepreneurs

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 2/24/2010

Appetite for risk and sound business judgment are more important indicators of entrepreneurial success than MBAs or advanced degrees.

Colleges and universities in the United States have started implementing coursework in entrepreneurship to provide a solid base to students planning to go into business for themselves after college. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, an MBA is not something that every entrepreneur needs.

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A majority of small business owners in the U.S. do not have advanced graduate degrees in any subject. MBAs are in high demand at large firms, and, as a result, many of them never test the entrepreneurial avenue.
The skills people learn while pursuing MBAs often makes them struggle as entrepreneurs.

"MBAs are trained to assess and attempt to mitigate risk and determine value of an investment in the future, a tricky thing to do in the best of times," Wall Street Journal blogger Sanjay Anadaram writes.

"An entrepreneur needs to take several leaps of faith at various points (which unfortunately cannot be modeled), needs to be a good judge of people and situations (experience is a great teacher here) and be able to persevere, motivate and excite his team and partners to deliver (no MBA program teaches this)."

According to, however, the number of MBAs pursuing entrepreneurial ventures rose 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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