Do B-Schools Teach You To Run a Start-up?

The start-up sentiment is on a roar. It is hotter than ever before. Even top notch investors from around the world have paid heed to it and are a part of this wave. It poses a huge dilemma for the young aspiring entrepreneurs to choose between a B-School and equip themselves with business fundamentals or kick start their entrepreneurial journey right away. Would a full time MBA program help you become a successful entrepreneur? Read on to know…

1. MBA Pedagogy

Good B schools have a decent mix of pedagogy to enhance students’ learning like role-plays, case studies etc. But most of the material used for teaching focus on problems faced by huge multi-million dollar companies. They teach us about tough business situations which are tackled by huge corporations. But how many of these B school students actually r   each there in real life scenarios? Most of the B school students end up getting a decent job and where the responsibilities are too fragmented for anyone to get the kind of exposure where one could apply their B school learnings.

2. Business Fundamentals

An MBA program could never expose you to ground level challenges of any business. For e.g. it would teach you the framework to create your business model. But the acumen needed to create a feasible and viable business model could not be taught by any pedagogy. It is something that comes with experience, the entrepreneurial drive within you, and seeking guidance from your network.


3. Established Businesses vs. Start-ups

entrepreneur-593372__180A full time MBA program would teach you about various Financial Management, Accounting, and Cash Flow Management techniques. It teaches you about Capital Structure and Capital budgeting that are vital for large corporations. But is there any course that would teach you about how to get the necessary funds for starting your business? How to strategize while you approach a bank or a venture capitalist for funding? Or what should be the capital structure of a start-up (Seed funding vs. venture fund)? Not yet!

4. Lessons from Failures

A famous quote by Ellen DeGeneres – “its failure that gives you the proper perspective on success”. Most of the B Schools invite industry leaders to inspire the students with their success stories. These stories really enlighten the students of ‘what’ is there to achieve. Leaders speak on what milestones of successes they have achieved to reach where they are. But these stories never reveal the ‘how’ part. Do they? Has any B school ever invited a CEO of a bankrupt organization to speak on what went wrong? How did they fail? A successful start-up is a result of learnings applied from failures and the academic orientation of B schools do not embrace this.
However at some point your entrepreneurial career, business fundamentals would prove indispensable. Learning from a B School can be very well applied to run an established organization but it can’t provide the exposure to the ground level realities for running a start-up.

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