Education Blog

Entrepreneurs, You Should Go to School to Stay in Business | M.B.A.

July 27, 2010 by Joel Milani

“Entrepreneurs are risk-takers by definition,” writes Chad Troutwine in a recent WSJ article.

They’d have to be. Below is a graph, showing the percentage of failed start-up businesses over a ten-year period:

It’s a tough world out there for the small-business owner. According to the statistics found at, 25% of startup businesses go under during their first year. Half are gone in four years, and after ten years, only 29% remain in business.

Anyone interested in starting a business should know what it entails, and according to Troutwine’s article, a master’s in business administration gives you the best chance of making it to that ten-year mark.

A commonly held belief among small business owners is that M.B.A. programs are “a waste of time and moneyŚresources that they could better apply to a business venture, rather than a university.” But programs have changed over the years. Graduate business schools have come a long way to accommodate the interests of entrepreneurs:

Recently, however, a new perspective has emerged . . . Whether it is the relevant M.B.A. coursework, enviable networking opportunities, real-world laboratory conditions or the lure of business-plan competitions, aspiring entrepreneurs are gambling that the time they spend in an M.B.A. classroom is time well spent.

An M.B.A. degree should be considered an investment, just like your first store or office. The up-front cost may be high, but the knowledge you gain while earning your degree could be what propels your business to that slim 29%.

Category: Career, MBA

Share |
About the Author: Joel Milani copywriter. A graduate of Hiram College, he writes about going to school, and, more importantly, getting out with a degree. He can be contacted at joel [at] youshouldgotoschool [dot] com.


4 Comments so far

  1. Scot Lowry - July 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Starting a business from scratch is very difficult and I’m not surprised that the failure rate is so high. However, starting a business is only one way an entrepreneur can become a successful business owner. Buying a small proven business and growing it, spinning off a division of an existing business, buying a franchise, starting a business that complements and existing business or customer are all ways entrepreneurs can “make it happen”. Getting an MBA is an investment that will help would be entrepreneurs develop skills and knowledge that will make them better risk managers and increase the odds they will become successful business owners.

  2. Jeanne Prichard - August 12, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Great Article, thanks for sharing. I am thrilled you suggest continuing education for entrepreneurs, as this is the leading cause for business failure in our State. However, after earning my MBA ,and from a good graduate school to boot, I was surprised just how little was taught about business startup. It needs to become a sub-specialty starting in High School.

  3. [...] management. You can also read our take on The Economist 2010 MBA rankings, MBAs and green jobs, the importance of an MBA to entrepreneurs, and prestigious MBA schools with social media [...]

  4. Admissions Essays - December 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I agree with Jeanne about teaching entrepreneurship at a young age. We also need to develop a formal structure for teaching soft skills – the kind that MBA students have an opportunity to develop.

4 Responses to “Entrepreneurs, You Should Go to School to Stay in Business | M.B.A.”

* required


 Subscribe to our blog
Subscribe to YSGTS Blog by Email

Education Marketing Council