Does an Entrepreneur need an MBA Degree?
As businesses across the country help drive positive economy, entrepreneurship is definitely something anyone should opt for. With the increase in success stories of variety of new ventures, most of the young minds today seem to have a “new idea” that will “change the world”. And with the sudden increase in inflow of entrepreneurs, comes a flick of a doubt that will traditional knowledge, training and education be enough to sustain a venture. There have been stories of start ups like Taxi For Sure who have prospered in their set up years but have eventually died down, not being able to cope with the changing business trends and markets. But there are also ventures like Ola and Paytm, Flipkart which are still running strong with visible growth each year.
The number of start ups seems to be on the rise in the past few years with cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai having start-ups in every alley of the cities. Some feel if the traditional knowledge, Graduation and education has got them this far, they are better off without an MBA degree. However, others seem thoughtful of a doubt that once a venture is set up, will the knowledge be sufficient to keep the business afloat? Today, we will analyse do entrepreneurs really need an MBA?
For starters, let us consider this.
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Most of the students going for a full time MBA are fresh out of college graduates, friends of whom are the very few entrepreneurs fixed on making a difference in their life and the world. These entrepreneurs spend years to set up a base for their ventures and toiling days after days to make sure they stay afloat. After years of hard work, finally the start up gets some revenue, profits and recognition. Can we after all this say to that entrepreneur that it is not enough because he isn’t a management graduate and there is nothing more he can do? Of course not.
An MBA is not needed for a passionate entrepreneur to know that he/she will have to work twice as hard, be available 24X7, give countless presentations to potential investors and go to meeting after meetings. The horizons of a start up are spread till the limit of its founder’s potential and will.
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And so it beings us to another update in the management education section where there are some new ventures like General Assembly, Starter School and Startup Institute which have specialised courses for entrepreneurs. These institutes teach stripped MBA modules to customize it for entrepreneurs with advantage in background knowledge of market. These courses are not accredited but they teach basics of accounting, market analysis, business skills, web development and coding in the matter of weeks which is why there is a horde of 20 somethings aspiring entrepreneurs opting for such a course that does not take much time. This clearly indicates that the would-be businessmen and women would rather save time and money to get equipped with the tools to run a business than attain a degree.
An MBA degree is futile for someone who knows the ways to get things done, it does not teach you the attitude for business. Couple that with the six figure finance required to sponsor a two year program and entrepreneurs are left uninterested for no start up founder will leave his/her startup for so long.
But let us think in a different direction. If you have all the tools, attitude and knowledge required to run a business, would it still be useful doing an MBA for the future of the startup?
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Some experts say it definitely will. While traditional knowledge can be enough to start up a business, an MBA might just be of importance to keep the business growing. And running the everyday operations of a business is what an MBA degree stands for. However, one thing worth noticing is that an MBA degree may lead to end of the start up. This is because the student either settles for a corporate life and joins an existing firm or he pursues a job to earn and learn the ways to start another venture years down the line. It is a cause of concern as it is a contributing factor to the failure of 80-90% start-ups failures.
When a candidate comes back from MBA to his/her own start up, the cost of investment is high but the returns are not, which means before going for an MBA you should carefully understand the need of an MBA if any and all the financial requirements for pursuing it. However, if you are inheriting a company, MBA makes it much more easier as the company is already established and you are well equipped with operational and administration skills/tools.