Entrepreneurs are known for their impacts in society. They contribute immensely to national and global economic development, technological advancement, job creation and human capacity development. While there are a good number of successful entrepreneurs across the world, they are outnumbered by those whose businesses failed.
Although a few entrepreneurs have built successful businesses without obtaining MBA degrees, inadequate business skills and knowledge is one of the major causes of business failure. Little wonder MBA candidates gain employment with top companies before completing their programmes.
Accordingly, prospective entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking MBA degrees to acquire the necessary skills, resources, knowledge, mentorship and network to launch and successfully grow their own ventures. A survey revealed more than 80% of MBA candidates plan to start their own businesses upon graduation.
In this article, we examine the challenges of entrepreneurs, crucial entrepreneurial skills, factors entrepreneurs should consider before choosing an MBA programme and the best MBA programmes for entrepreneurs.
The challenges of entrepreneurship
A call to entrepreneurship is a call to address challenges and solve problems. Starting out with this mindset is necessary for remaining calm, optimistic and persistent during tough times. Below are some of the challenges entrepreneurs encounter.
1. Identifying needs and developing solutions
The first challenge of would-be entrepreneurs is to identify unmet needs, problems or business opportunities. Market research and brainstorming sessions can reveal these unmet needs and lead to possible solutions in the form of products or services. Therefore, coming up with a product or service is the first of a series of challenges entrepreneurs face.
An MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation adequately equips would-be entrepreneurs for this task.
2. Taking risks
Risk taking is an integral part of entrepreneurship. The ability to take effective risks distinguishes those who have passion for entrepreneurship from actual entrepreneurs. A similar distinction exists between successful entrepreneurs and those whose businesses fail to fly. Many entrepreneurs take their first risks by quitting their jobs to launch a business with their savings and loans from family and friends.
Moreover, the business environment is often characterised by uncertainty and instability, including phenomena like recession, inflation, industry disruption and pandemic. By acquiring an MBA degree, you can become a smart decision-maker and better manage risks.
3. Raising funds
Fundraising is one of the earliest challenges entrepreneurs encounter. The process of raising capital for startups is often daunting and time-consuming. Startups owners typically get rejections multiple times while seeking funds.
Earning an MBA in Accounting and Finance will empower you with the necessary skills to carry out due diligence while seeking funding and drastically increase your credibility. You will also demonstrate advanced expertise in financial risk management, setting you up for success in business financing.
4. Developing strategies
Developing and executing effective strategies is an unavoidable task for entrepreneurs. This is required to build a strong brand awareness, generate sales, increase revenues and maximise profits. Having an effective strategy will also enable a business to successfully compete with established brands. An MBA in Marketing or Strategy can provide you with the relevant skills, techniques and capabilities.
5. Expanding the business
If an established business continues to perform well, the need to expand may soon arise. This introduces a new series of challenges and opportunities. In addition to meeting local demands, entrepreneurs may explore international markets.
Taking a business across borders requires specific skills and knowledge of cultural diversity, existing economic laws and policies in other countries, international business management, global financing and advanced knowledge of logistics and supply chain management.
An MBA in international business management or international marketing can equip you with the skills and techniques to provide effective international business leadership.
Entrepreneurial skills you will gain from an MBA programme
Entrepreneurial skills are a broad range of soft and hard skills needed to successfully manage and grow a business. Some of the crucial skills you will develop as an MBA student include:
1. Effective communication
A typical MBA programme will equip you with the ability to communicate your vision, inspire employees, pitch business ideas to investors and negotiate deals. You will develop the ability to speak clearly, confidently and persuasively with clients and connect with different categories of audience.
2. Strategic thinking
Every business is launched with its own strategy and will only continue to survive with an effective strategy. An effective strategy helps to identify opportunities and pave the way for growth and expansion. Strategic thinking is critical to product design, decision-making, marketing, increasing revenue and achieving organisational goals. Gaining this acumen from an MBA programme will help you to launch a successful business.
Entrepreneurs rely on effective leadership skills to motivate and inspire their teams. The quality of leadership in an organisation can impact the morale and productivity of employees. As an MBA student, you will learn to provide effective leadership, delegate tasks and inspire your team to achieve organisational goals.
The ability to network is one of the qualities of a successful entrepreneur. MBA programmes provide would-be entrepreneurs with the opportunities to develop strong networking skills. You will connect with other professionals, alumni and business leaders from various fields and industries. You will plan and execute joint projects and gain valuable connections that can provide the needed support, mentorship, opportunities, resources, potential clients and partnerships for your proposed ventures.
5. Financial management
Financial management skills are crucial for entrepreneurs to manage financial resources efficiently and make smart financial decisions. An MBA programme will equip you with skills in financial analysis, forecasting, accounting, reporting and budgeting. Acquiring adequate financial management skills will enable you to minimise financial risks, reduce costs, increase revenues and ultimately maintain a favourable financial record.
6. Problem-solving and decision-making
As already mentioned, challenges are an inextricable part of business. Entrepreneurs encounter challenges repeatedly and their ability or inability to tackle them can determine whether their businesses survive or fail. Accordingly, MBA programmes are designed to help intending entrepreneurs develop strong problem-solving and decision-making acumen. You will also learn from the mistakes, failures and successes of mentors.
Choosing the right MBA for entrepreneurship
Below are factors you should consider in choosing an MBA programme for the purpose of entrepreneurship.
1. Specialisation and curriculum
There is MBA in specific specialisations, including the MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. An MBA with specialisation in entrepreneurship will provide the right depth and a curriculum that will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to launch and grow your venture. This concentration can bring you in contact with like-minded individuals with whom you may partner or exchange ideas.
2. Industry and field
Many MBA specialisations are industry-tailored. So, it is recommended that you consider the industry of your venture. Enroling in an MBA in your chosen industry will give you a deep understanding of industry trends, developments and operational techniques. You will also gain industry-specific skills, quality resources, mentors, partners and connections that can provide much-need support and guidance.
Many MBA candidates launch their businesses before graduation while others enrol as business owners. To effectively combine learning with entrepreneurship, a considerable level of flexibility is required. Therefore, you should consider an MBA programme that will enable you to balance your entrepreneurship with your studies. An online MBA programme can provide the required flexibility.
4. Specific business needs
The specific needs of a business should be considered in choosing an MBA programme. For example, an MBA in international business, international marketing or global financing would be suitable for entrepreneurs who are considering expanding their businesses beyond their home countries.
Best MBA for Entrepreneurs
This MBA is suitable for business owners and would-be entrepreneurs. It is designed to equip students with the necessary skills for providing leadership, innovative solutions, developing new products and resolving organisational challenges. It is also recommended for CEOs and professionals who want to prepare for leadership roles in top organisations.
The MBA in business management provides candidates with comprehensive business knowledge. It covers different topics in business like finance, operations, marketing, communication and leadership. Learners gain crucial business skills to manage and grow their businesses.
Similar to the MBA in business management, the general MBA prepares candidates for entrepreneurship and careers in any industry. They also acquire solid business skills and knowledge in a range of fields. Enroling in a general MBA will make you a thoroughbred business expert.
An MBA in Marketing will equip you with the skills and techniques necessary for designing, developing and marketing products and services. You will successfully create brand awareness and effectively communicate products’ value. In addition, you will be able to sell your ideas to investors and speak persuasively with clients.
An MBA in global banking and finance is suitable for entrepreneurs trying to expand their businesses to other countries. Students acquire critical skills and knowledge required to finance international businesses.
Enrol in flexible MBA
Choosing a flexible MBA programme that accommodates your busy schedule will help you to achieve a balance between entrepreneurship and studies. Whether you want to manage and grow your own business or advance your career, our online MBA options enable you to study at your own pace and personal schedule. Enrol in our self-paced online MBA and acquire cutting-edge business skills to achieve your career or business goals.