Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught? Many MBAs Hope So

Last Updated Mar 28, 2010 11:44 PM EDT

Though many debate whether or not entrepreneurship can be taught, a good number of today's b-school students are banking on an MBA to help them start their own businesses.

BusinessWeek recently reported that as finance and consulting jobs have become harder to come by in the last few years, many MBAs are shifting to an entrepreneurial focus, as evidenced by the uptick in business plan competitions and packed entrepreneurship classes.

Appeals to risk takers
There are other reasons at play as well. As BusinessWeek's Alison Damast writes, "Driving the [entrepreneurial] trend are risk-tolerant members of the millennial generation, ages 18 to 29, who are entering B-schools in droves but don't want traditional careers."

Gives more control
Entrepreneurship is also appealing because it makes students feel as if they might have more control in their careers. As Thomas Kinnear, director of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business told Damast, "What they see around them now is that even successful companies are letting people go. I think what has happened is the practicalities of the financial meltdown over the past 18 months have driven a lot of smart people who thought they were going to Wall Street to head instead into entrepreneurship."
Brings more opportunities
Once these b-school grads start their own companies, they often find more traditional MBA opportunities opening up to them as well. Damast shares the story of one MBA who opened a successful martial arts wrestling gym and is now receiving consulting offers.

Are you an entrepreneur with an MBA? How did b-school help you get your business going?

Image courtesy of Flickr user Robert S. Donovan, CC 2.0.

  • Stacy Blackman

    Stacy Sukov Blackman is president of Stacy Blackman Consulting, where she consults on MBA admissions. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Stacy serves on the Board of Directors of AIGAC, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, and has published a guide to MBA Admissions, The MBA Application Roadmap.