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Should Entrepreneurs Attend Business School?

Just tell me - should I walk the path to success without having formal education or not?

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A lot of entrepreneurs are eager to tell you the story of how they got their start in business, and many have managed to walk the path to success without having any formal education to act as a springboard.

While the notion of not learning the ropes of business except through the act of doing it yourself might seem romantic, it’s not for everyone.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of applying to business school if you have entrepreneurial ambitions burning away in your brain.


Costs are a common concern


One of the main reasons that some people are put off the idea of attending business school is because of how expensive it can be to complete your studies.

Student debt is something that can stay with you for decades, and then there’s the question of getting financing to pay for your studies in the first place.

Thankfully, it’s possible to find a private loan lender for students that will let you secure the funding you need to complete a course of study at business school, so money doesn’t have to be a stumbling block if the formal route to entrepreneurship seems right for you.


Networking is an aspect of the experience


Every business school brings together people who want to get into the world of founding and running companies in the future.

This means it’s also a brilliant place to form networks of contacts and get a foot in the door with the next generation of game-changing business leaders.

This adds real value to attending business school which goes beyond the basic benefits of learning how to handle everything from accounting and payroll to conflict resolution and brand-building.

Lots of business leaders even end up working alongside their fellow students, forming partnerships so that they have additional support in whatever ventures they decide to pursue once they graduate.


Concepts can be tested with little risk


One of the problems that entrepreneurs face when operating without the grounding provided by a business school education is that they might have a lot of ideas for potential projects, but no efficient or affordable way of putting these to the test.

Conversely, in a business school context, it’s normal for startups to emerge and have their viability explored, all while under the watchful eye of students and professors who will have valuable contributions to make.

Getting this kind of feedback, and even launching fully-fledged businesses, without necessarily needing to risk as much in the process, is obviously appealing.


Access to investors may be available


Business schools churn out a lot of successful people, and in turn, these individuals often want to give back to the institutions that helped them fulfill their ambitions.

This is why the alumni network is just as important for making contacts as the student body itself, and there can be specific mechanisms in place which allow past attendees of the school to invest in the startups that current students create.

Because of this, you might not need to go through the rigmarole of finding and pitching to prospective third-party investors, because the school will overcome this initial hurdle for you.

There’s no guarantee that your idea will receive investment this way, of course, but it’s a nice option to have even so.


Having a business degree is the norm


The ultimate reason to attend business school if you dream of being an entrepreneur is that this route to success in the world of business is a well-worn one, and others you meet along the way will give you more respect if you’ve got a degree under your belt.

So while it’s certainly not the only way to make a success of your entrepreneurial efforts, whatever shape they might take, applying to business school will give you a better chance of getting to where you want to be in the years to come.

Co-authors at ShineSheets.com

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