Does an entrepreneur need an MBA?
With so many rapidly expanding business opportunities, many are wondering what exactly does it take to become an entrepreneur. While there are a multiplicity of opinions in regards to what education, skills or career background it takes to become an entrepreneur, the reality is that a good solid business education is probably the best way to prepare for your potential entrepreneurial ambitions. While some may disagree that undergoing a traditional business education isn't necessary, many would agree that having an MBA would be highly advantageous. Here are a list of some pros and cons as to whether or not pursuing a MBA is advantageous if you are looking to start your own business.
Education is always an advantage
This should be a no brainer. Having a bachelor's degree and more importantly, a MBA from a reputable business school will help out tremendously if you are looking to start your own business. Having a MBA would give you access to a well-rounded business education by teaching you everything from finance, accounting, information technology, management, business law, logistics and much more. Many entrepreneurs who are having to start their own business may not have an understanding of various aspects of a business operation and would need to rely on outsourced talent to help them start and run a smooth business operation.
Time is of the essence
One thing however most people need to consider is that one of the most valuable assets that a business owner has is time. Time is something that is far more valuable than money and someone who is serious about pursuing their entrepreneurial ambitions need to weigh whether or not it's worth their time to get a degree that may not help them advance their business idea. Most MBA programs are going to require at least a two to three year full-time commitment. That amount of time could be invested back into start your own business. However, depending on the type of business you aim to start, the time spent in school might be worth it if you intend to use the knowledge you gain in school to further your business.
Other school-based resources
Nonetheless, an additional benefit of going after a MBA is that it would allow you to network with other students who have similar ideas, meet venture capital firms through school social networking events and possibly utilize the resources of an university in order to enter business competitions. Not to mention, many universities have business incubator programs that allow students to gain access to knowledgeable professors, successful entrepreneurs and others who have the dedication and skills to help small start-up businesses thrive and succeed.
Final, one other consideration you should consider is whether or not going back to school to obtain a MBA is worth the financial investment. Most reputable MBA programs are going to cost an average of $100,000 or more. This would include tuition, housing, books and other related expenses. While you could easily get scholarships and other forms of financial aid to minimize school-related costs, the reality is that most will not get this type of help and will face large sums of school debt upon graduation. For someone who is extremely serious about investing in their business, it might be more advantageous to opt out of school and rather borrow money from a bank to invest in a business versus borrowing for an education.
In conclusion, you should do a thorough assessment to see whether or not an MBA would advantageous towards helping you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. School can be a highly valuable asset towards getting a well-rounded understanding of business, but the debt may not be worth it. However, there are a lot of serious risks of being a business owner but it may be worth it for many.