Whether you’re currently running a business or dreaming of bringing your ideas to life, a two-year MBA is not always necessary for entrepreneurs, especially those operating in nontraditional industries.
In fact, many mini-MBA programs provide the essential business acumen professionals need to level up their business skills, without the specialties or concentrations of a longer program. Instead, mini-MBAs focus on the transferable skills and concepts applicable to all business professionals.
Three ways a mini-MBA can help accelerate your business as an entrepreneur:
Mini-MBAs like the Invited MBA highlight case studies and provide real-life simulations for real-world practice.
While discussing business topics, attending lectures, and debating current events can be helpful, entrepreneurs will benefit more from a business curriculum focused on doing.
This form of experiential learning puts participants in the shoes of executives and people managers — something difficult to create in theory alone, and something that is directly applicable to the entrepreneurial experience. Rather than asking, “How would you act here?,” in a real-world simulation, participants are required to make quick decisions and learn from consequences in a safe space. This prevents real-life blunders that could dramatically hinder a new business venture.
Mackenzie Chilton, Owner of Love Your Mondays, completed the Invited MBA in 2021. She said, “My mini-MBA had real-world examples and exercises throughout to help solidify the business concepts in practice and my memory. It had practical applications of changes I can make right now to become a better leader and business person. I didn’t need to go back to school for two years and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the skills I needed to enhance my career.”
Mini-MBAs prioritize upskilling, which never becomes outdated.
Upskilling is the process of learning new and advanced competencies to close a skills gap or expand an existing one. Many rising leaders and entrepreneurs seek upskilling options to improve their communication, people management, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and teamwork. Education options that focus on skills improvements are important for new or successful business owners because startups and smaller organizations often operate with a lean team, and founders must play many roles in the early stages of a company.
“The practical learning in my mini-MBA directly mirrored the daily challenges of owning a business. Since the Invited MBA, I’ve been able to lock in three new long-term clients, and I can without a doubt attribute that to my experience and the skills I learned in the program,” Chilton said after graduating from the Invited MBA.
Becoming an entrepreneur does not require a degree. However, to stay on top of their game, successful entrepreneurs often seek out upskilling opportunities to provide the expertise and confidence needed to overcome the necessary risks of starting a business.
“My mini-MBA helped me feel more comfortable in proactively creating financial projections for my own company and forecasting what things might be in terms of revenue. The experience has given me more understanding of business as a whole and a greater sense of comfort with taking the initiative in my organization,” Invited MBA alum and owner of CarAdvisor Andrew Overby said.
Mini-MBAs provide networking opportunities with other rising leaders and business professionals, which can be a huge advantage for entrepreneurs.
One of the biggest challenges facing new entrepreneurs is establishing the legitimacy of their endeavors, companies, or ideas. According to Invesp, “Word of Mouth marketing impressions result in 5 times more sales than paid media impressions.” Networking opportunities like a mini-MBA or other business program benefit the reputation and word-of-mouth marketing of your new endeavors.
Another advantage of participating in a program with other influential business professionals is the impact of cohort-based learning.
Online courses you work through on your own time have a place in learning business skills, but live, synchronous conversation is more impactful in retention and can help entrepreneurs solve challenges they are facing in their organizations. A good mini-MBA provides ample time to talk and work with classmates, learn from mentors who have founded successful businesses, and ask questions of peers. Having other like-minded people to bounce ideas off of, problem-solve with, and learn from can have a huge impact on your success as an entrepreneur.
Regardless of where you may be in your entrepreneurial journey, a mini-MBA can benefit you both now and in the future, from the practical experiences, it provides to the invaluable networking and upskilling opportunities. To learn more about how you can accelerate your business with the Invited MBA, click here.
Katelyn Powell is a social media and content strategist, lifelong learner, and career development enthusiast living in Houston, Texas. She is passionate about equitable access to education and the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing or binge-reading true crime, she enjoys afternoon naps and providing wedding photography to Texas brides.