What Resources Do Business Schools Provide to Aspiring Entrepreneurs?

With so many candidates interested in launching start-ups, business schools themselves are innovating to connect students with resources.

Apr 18, 2017

Curriculum & Delivery

Business school professor instructs student

More than ever, entrepreneurship is a major focus of learning and practice on business school campuses around the world. Data from the 2016 mba.com Prospective Students Survey indicates that 1 in 4 business school candidates (25%) are pursuing a degree in order to develop the skills needed to run their own business. To attract these candidates, schools have made a concerted effort over the past several years to provide their entrepreneurially minded students with more resources to support their professional aspirations.

Through the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey, GMAC Research polled more than 1,500 alumni entrepreneurs spanning several generations to better understand how their business school experience helped them launch their business. In total, 3 in 4 four alumni entrepreneurs (73%) had access to resources at their university to support their entrepreneurial endeavors. Breaking down their responses between those who graduated before 2010 and those who graduated between 2010 and 2016 reveals how business schools themselves are innovating to connect their students with the resources they need to be successful.

Start-up help graph

Of all the on-campus resources listed in the survey, a larger share of 2010–2016 graduates report having access to them compared with alumni who graduated before 2010. The majority of 2010–2016 alumni entrepreneurs report having accessed faculty guidance (58%) and experts/mentors from the entrepreneurial community (56%) compared with fewer than 4 in 10 alumni entrepreneurs from earlier graduation years. Recent graduates also report greater access to specific entrepreneurship courses beyond the regular curriculum, access to specialists in other fields, and funding. Roughly equal shares report having access to dedicated work spaces.

One more resource some entrepreneur alumni found on campus: a business partner. Overall, about 1 in 8 business school alumni who started their own business partnered with a business school classmate. For more on business school alumni entrepreneurs, download the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report at gmac.com/alumniperspectives