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Education for a Career in Entrepreneurship

Get ready for a career in entrepreneurship by finding the right education program.

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Entrepreneurs have many options: they can be business owners and managers, venture capitalists, or small business consultants. Though in some ways creativity, determination, and innovation are an entrepreneur's most prized characteristics, successful entrepreneurs need a solid entrepreneurship education background in business skills, standards and practices. Here's what you'll need to do to get ready for a career in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Education

Most entrepreneurs begin with a business bachelor's degree or a more specific bachelor's in entrepreneurship, and then hone their skills in an MBA program. In entrepreneurship MBA programs, students are encouraged to draw upon their creative potential as they learn to build ventures. You will learn to manage a business enterprise's stages of growth and see how to bring an early stage company or small business to life.

In addition to the core MBA courses most programs require, you may take classes in the following:

  • Entrepreneurial management
  • Growth strategies
  • Venture financing
  • Cash flow management
  • Market research

Many MBA programs also offer students the chance to work with small businesses; some also give top MBA students opportunities to launch their own ventures in the second year of study.

Skills for Success in a Career in Entrepreneurship

Although some entrepreneurs have not attended graduate school, others believe that an MBA provides small business managers with invaluable administration skills. This business savvy only comes into play, however, if you are able to turn your ideas into reality. Here are some skills that make ordinary business people into entrepreneurs:

  • Innovation and creativity: How will your business stand out from its competition? Your venture may benefit from the introduction of new products, public relations techniques or even new management practices. It is up to you to determine what is best for your business.
  • People skills: As an entrepreneur, you will be the one who pitches products to potential investors or assists customers during sales. Understanding the needs of clients is crucial to your success, as is the ability to communicate with your partners, investors and supporters.
  • The ability to multitask: You will probably have to tackle a range of tasks in different areas before the venture returns enough capital to hire additional employees. You may, for example meet with potential clients in the morning, then design advertisements at the office during the evening.
  • Willingness to take risks: Starting your own business is always an uncertain venture. You will have to donate significant personal time and effort to build a customer base. Moreover, a new business requires a sizable financial investment. Running a start-up is not easy, but the opportunity to manage business operations and the possibility of great success often make it worth the risk.

Entrepreneurship Career Outlook

As an entrepreneur, you will be a leader in the business community, whether you take over the family business or purchase or start your own venture. Unlike many business fields, it is difficult to pinpoint the rates of growth or decline among entrepreneurs—business history has proven, however, that innovative business ideas are always in demand and can literally change industries.