Enrolling in an executive MBA program is a big decision for most entrepreneurs. These rigorous part-time degree programs for high-level execs demand an enormous commitment of time -- up to two years of coursework. And throughout, those who entroll will have to juggle school with running a business and family responsibilities. They are a pricey proposition, too, with tuition ranging from about $34,000 to upwards of $100,000.
Still, many grads say the programs more than pay for themselves because students develop a valuable network of contacts while honing their skills in practical, hands-on classes. In BusinessWeek's 2001 survey of EMBA programs at B-schools in the U.S. and abroad, an overwhelming 72% of survey respondents from companies with 100 employees or less said that the EMBA degree was "definitely worth the money, time and effort."
That was certainly the case for Vipul Goel, CEO of NetAppl Inc., a Bay Area infotech software vendor and a 20001 grad of UCLA's EMBA program. Goel says he has used what he learned to boost his bottom line by 25%, and he has also turned some former classmates into clients
In BusinessWeek's first survey of EMBA programs in a decade, we asked 2001 grads from 82 B-schools to rate the programs they attended by various subject areas, including entrepreneurship. Below is a chart listing the top 15 schools for entrepreneurship training. To determine the best EMBA programs overall, BusinessWeek polled both program directors and grads. (Schools that earned top marks in entrepreneurship may have a lower overall score). Take a look at the complete EMBA rankings and profiles of 161 programs.
Best Executive MBA Programs for Entrepreneurs
% of students
from small companies:
Professor Jerry White's popular entrepreneurship class is required for
all EMBA students
Students consult to small companies in Latin America during a weeklong
Plans to provide alums with networking and faculty resources for startups
London Business School
Offers five electives, including law, finance, and venture capital
Wide range of entrepreneurship classes offered as electives
17 of their '00 students left big companies to create four startups
Students visit high-tech startups and use them for "live" case studies
Wharton West program now open in San Francisco; same courses, faculty
as Philly flagship
All students must complete a plan for a new venture in their second
Resources include Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies; family business
Entrepreneurship elective offered in the program's last semester
Required course in developing business ventures supplemented with electives
Students have to create a business plan for entrepreneurship class
Two courses devoted to entrepreneurship: one focused on planning, the
other on growth
EMBAs can tap partner Entreprise Development, Inc., a resource center
for entrepreneurial studies, for help with their own business problems
Entrepreneurship rankings were determined by a BusinessWeek
Online survey of more than 3,000 graduates of 82 B-schools. EMBA grads
were asked to rate their satisfaction with their school's efforts in entrepreneurship
from 1 (not satisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).
By Brian Hindo in New York
Edited by Robin D. Schatz