What does everyone think about getting an MBA if the ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur and own a financial services business? Benefits of MBA for a future or current entrepreneur: - Gain a network - Increased credibility with clients and potential business partners - Backup plan if business fails - Knowledge/experience gained - What else? Counterpoints: - Could use capital for business instead - Network, credibility, knowledge over rated - What else? Assume that we are talking about a top 5 b-school… Discuss!
benefit-depending what you are starting a quality MBA may gain you access to capital/funding a bit easier. Chalk it up to credibility I guess, but not really.
That’s a good thought. In my particular case, capital requirements are fairly low.
To be honest, I think some of it is self taught being an entrepreneur. I know some people that do well going to a entrepreneurship school and others who have failed in businesses. Well, you can always try to go here, www.babson.edu
Babson has a good name for this…if you go Ivy I know someone that was at Harvard and switched to UPenn because he thought that program was better (he felt the former was too rigid). He has his own company now. However, his business really wouldnt need name recognition and cred that an MBA brings and the network may not help that much either (product based business to the masses).
Having worked in the real estate industry for a year (very short amount of time, I know), I can just tell that “raising capital” is not about your credentials or what you know per se, it’s about who you know. Living in a big city and getting out helps you meet people with money (real money–liquid assets). My best guess is that people in grad school tend to be in major debt rather than having a ton of liquid assets. So I’m skeptical about the efficacy of an MBA for 1) the benefit of the credential in raising capital and 2) networking for raising capital. I’ve met a TON of wealthy people (even a billionaire who invested $80 MM into my [older] friend’s real estate firm), and these people tend to be either far removed from graduate school or those without college degrees. Just my 2 cents. However, I believe a small business loan from a neighborhood bank is often given with credentials taken into consideration, but I don’t believe they dsitinquish necessarily between a Harvard MBA and a University of Phoenix MBA.
I agree with kkent for the most part. I don’t really see how an MBA will add significant value to an entrepreneur. Going to school to learn about how to run a business runs counter to the mindset of most successful business owners. The go-getter, self-starter types run successful businesses and going to school to learn how to be a business owner is almost contradictory. They just dive right in.
You need angel investors for many entrepreneur or start up businesses. An ivy league network would help in raising capital based on that network rather than having to sell yourself to every investor each time.
I know several people who went to Tepper (CMU) to get their MBA and then opened their own places up and have told me that they wouldn’t do it again. Because the MBA program was slanted heavily toward corporate life, it didn’t help all the much with running their small business. In their case I guess the network didn’t outweigh the mountain of new debt.
If I was in college again, i would have immediately started my own internet business. However, with a few years real corporate experience, it is clear to me that many “entpreneurs” are sole traders who are struggling to break even. This is not entreprenuership. Entreprenurship (damn it is difficult to spell!) is about building networks and effective business systems. A few years of corporate experience and an MBA certainly doesnt hurt, however, nor is it a prerequisite. If you are a good people person or sit on a good idea, you always have the opportunity to attract people with those skills who are willing to work for you.
mwvt9 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I know several people who went to Tepper (CMU) to > get their MBA and then opened their own places up > and have told me that they wouldn’t do it again. > Because the MBA program was slanted heavily toward > corporate life, it didn’t help all the much with > running their small business. > +1 i went to a top tier MBA program, and i feel exactly the same way. these schools are designed to create corporate managers, not entrepreneurs. they didn’t teach anything about critical skills - sales & sales mgmt, valuation of private biz, private capital mkts, general ledger accounting, legal contracts, etc. you’d need to do a pretty well funded startup (think VC-backed) to get away without these skills. if you’re bootstrapping, you have to deal with all this stuff.
Name some of the good entrepreneurs you can think of. I bet they never went to B-school. Branson, Bill Gates, Ellison, Jerry Yang, the google guys, and etc.
babson and linked in. done
Babson has a 1 year MBA program btw.
Some of the above posts addressed general entrepreneurship and start-ups, but what about specifically a financial services firm? I am also curious about the value of an MBA or other graduate degree (MA econ, etc.) with respect to a financial services firm, like a PWM shop. I would imagine having an MBA from a solid school would be beneficial in raising capital, attracting investors, etc. but is it necessary?
Continuing in that vein, is this a place where a part time MBA might not be terribly looked down upon? You mentioned in your first post that maybe you could use the MBA tuition more effectively as seed capital - maybe part time could be a possible solution. Sorry to quasi-hijack…I think this adds enough to the discussion to be worthwhile though…
Pox Americana Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > I would imagine having an MBA from a solid school > would be beneficial in raising capital, attracting > investors, etc. but is it necessary? yes, it helps. but relationships and track record matter more. Ron Insana has no MBA, but b/c of his CNBC connections, raised $100M in a matter of months. He has no MBA