Can Business Graduates Become Successful Entrepreneurs?

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Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur? Well, join the club. It seems that entrepreneurship is spreading across the globe like wild fire as more and more people in different economies are feeling the urge to start their own business. And it is impacting the leading business schools in the world in a big way. However, where once there were only a handful of entrepreneurs, now a growing bunch of corporate managers are rapidly rushing to the start-up sphere across different sectors, specifically in technology.

Rise of Entrepreneurs

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Currently, this trend is the most prominent across North America, especially in institutes like Berkeley Haas School of Business and Babson College. Moreover, as the economy grows stronger, graduates across Europe from global B-schools like London Business School and INSEAD, are also flocking in. But the question that remains for most MBA students is whether they should start-up? Margaux Pelen, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Center at the renowned European business school HEC Paris, says “It’s never been so cheap to launch a company, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so.”

At present, you can observe that education is making heavy investments in in-house solutions in order to pacify company creation. There are some who are determined to compete with establishments like the Silicon Valley venture capital group, Khosla Ventures and Andreesen Horowitz, to offer finance. Last year University of Cambridge invested around £2.7 million in various tech start-ups which include ARM, the semiconductor firm whose chips provide juice to the iPhones.

Achieving Success

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Some have already tasted success. The Stanford-based start-up Skybox, which offers satellite imagery, was bought by Google for $500 million in the past year. Moreover, the biotech company Kolltan Pharmaceuticals was all set to join the Nasdaq in January but ended up pulling an IPO worth $86 million. Lending Club also made its mark on the NYSE this last Christmas. Margaux believes that the low restriction in entry and abundant success stories inspires others with the so-called “why not me” effect. According to the new entrepreneurship barometer, recently published by HEC Paris, 25 per cent of the 8,500 graduates in the school are entrepreneurs, which has increased significantly from only 9 per cent a decade ago. Further more, almost 45 per cent of the executive MBA graduates have already started their own companies, which is about 4 times the French national average.

Entrepreneurs Are Here To Stay

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Running a start-up with a shoestring budget can certainly be challenging, but business tend to survive for many years after the founders have graduated. Pedro Nueno, professor of entrepreneurship at IESE Business School in Spain claims that 80 per cent of the ventures started by IESE students still existed even after 5 years of graduation.

According to Professor Justin Jansen, faculty of corporate entrepreneurship at Rotterdam School of Management, founders often conduct lectures and their businesses are also utilised as exemplary case studies. He says “They give back to the school with their enthusiasm and energy.” He says that entrepreneurs eventually become role models for students.

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