Getting an MBA in Entrepreneurship Is Worth It. Here’s Why

Clemson University MBA Program
4 min readOct 27, 2020

Jumpstarting your own business can begin in a variety of ways. While the romanticized “started inside of a garage” story captures the imagination, most businesses begin before that. They start when a person has an idea but needs a plan.

The classroom is the best place to create and initiate that plan. Unlike an undergraduate degree with several general education courses to complete, every course in an MBA program serves a purpose to help students achieve their business goals.

So the real question becomes, is getting an MBA in entrepreneurship worth it?

Yes, getting an MBA in entrepreneurship is worth it for a variety of reasons. The first is the network of current and future business leaders that has been curated for you to make connections. You will also be taught by someone who has created a successful business from the ground up. Finally, and most importantly, the classroom is a great testing ground for a business plan.

How Does an MBA Help in Entrepreneurship?

1. MBA in Entrepreneurship Helps Build Your Network

Every student in the MBA in entrepreneurship (MBAe) program has a different background. While most have on-the-job experience, no two roles are the same. It’s this collection of experience that makes creating connections within your MBA cohort so valuable.

Entrepreneurs need different perspectives. They also need the skills to connect with individuals of any background. This is what students get when they join an MBA program. The classroom becomes a training ground for listening to and creating new ideas.

This new network of business-minded people can also bring you out of your shell. Brian Stearns, founder and CEO of RingoFire, credits his cohort within the Clemson Entrepreneurship MBA program for getting him outside of his comfort zone. In his conversation with Gail DePriest, he explains how his classmates made him a better entrepreneur.

RingoFire CEO Brian Stearns explains his MBA experience.

2. Mentorship from Real, Successful Entrepreneurs

Effective mentors are few and far between. While inspiration can be found through a LinkedIn influencer, having a real connection with someone who can listen to and understand your challenges, then advise your next move, can be nearly impossible to find. This is where an MBA program can help.

Another reason why getting an MBA in entrepreneurship is worth it is because students get the chance to learn from professors and advisors who have been there before. This real-world perspective could be valuable for your development as an entrepreneur. Learning from their missteps and getting strategic advice, whether it’s marketing or supply chain management, could be the difference in the success of your company.

Clemson’s MBAe program concludes with the EnterPrize Awards, a capstone course and pitch competition that gives students the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an audience of business owners, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs over multiple sessions. The valuable feedback provided by business leaders during this process is something only an entrepreneurship program can offer.

3. Test Your Business Plan

Great ideas don’t turn into Fortune 500 companies overnight. Just like you wouldn’t go to a business meeting without prepping, entrepreneurs can’t be successful without a handful of critical tools and semblance of a plan.

Transitioning an idea to a plan can begin immediately within your first semester in an Entrepreneurship MBA program. Not only will the coursework apply to your business plan, but you can also receive feedback from the individuals who have built a business themselves. This is valuable information for someone looking to avoid early roadblocks.

Conversely, Brian Stearns’ business plan grew out of the connections he made while in the MBAe program. He didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do when he entered the classroom for the first time, but he found where he wanted to go. This journey has been replicated by other aspiring entrepreneurs who needed help finding their niche.

Stearns on taking the leap to start his own business.

What Does an MBA in Entrepreneurship Look Like?

The Clemson MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation (MBAe) program is designed to bring your idea to life. The curriculum is structured so that students get to see first-hand the day-in, day-out challenges every entrepreneur faces. We pair students with existing start-ups for required internship credit hours so you can analyze real-life business scenarios.

Next is the foundation for starting a business. What’s the business’s strategy? What are the best practices for a new venture? This will include courses on accounting, operations and logistics and entrepreneurial law.

These foundational elements help lift any new business off the ground before they make their first dollar. Once these principles are understood, we move students to management and strategy tactics.

Finally, the program ends with a business plan capstone. This course is built around finalizing your business plan and delivering elevator pitches to business leaders selected by the professors. This capstone will give you the practice you need to present to future investors in your ideas — whether it’s a singular business plan or an investment in you as an individual.

At Clemson, the full-time MBAe program takes just over 1 year to complete. For working professionals, a part-time MBAe program is available and takes just over 2 years to complete.

If building a business from the ground up has ever crossed your mind, you need to know where to start. An MBA in Entrepreneurship could be the nudge you need to start building your dream.



Clemson University MBA Program

An innovative approach to advanced business topics with a curriculum designed to foster optimal student-teacher interaction and real-world business experiences.