Top 5 Online MBAs in Entrepreneurship 2021

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An MBA in entrepreneurship equips learners with the knowledge and tools to start their own businesses or advance into leadership roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates nearly 600,000 new jobs in finance and business from 2018-2028. This outlook bodes well for self-starting, enthusiastic professionals looking to branch out on their own.

Traditional MBAs include coursework in management, marketing, and related business fundamentals. Specializations in entrepreneurship train students to move ahead in their current positions or to work independently.

Choosing the right MBA in entrepreneurship requires careful consideration of curricula, cost, and degree requirements. This page covers what goes into an MBA in entrepreneurship, plus opportunities and resources related to the degree.

What Is an MBA in Entrepreneurship?

An MBA in entrepreneurship benefits individuals working across economic sectors. MBA in entrepreneurship graduates can advance to chief executive roles, which should see a 6% growth rate in employment from 2018-2028. Entrepreneurship allows for innovators to strike out on their own. It also gives freelancers, travelers, and workers seeking new opportunities the skills to create their own flexible, fulfilling careers.

According to the BLS, local government, corporate management, and education employ the highest numbers of top executives in the United States. Executives in investment services and extraction, distribution, and transportation of natural resources earn the highest salaries in the profession.

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Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Entrepreneurship?

Through convenient, flexible coursework, top online MBAs in entrepreneurship build managerial and critical thinking skills. Working professionals can earn MBAs in entrepreneurship while maintaining their current positions, perhaps with the goal to run a business of their own.

The expanding gig economy continues to change professional landscapes around the world. Self-employment continues to thrive, as do startups in technology and related industries. MBAs prepare professionals to develop business plans, design budgets, and communicate effectively with investors and collaborators, all essential skills for entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship MBAs also foster growth in organizations by training student employees to coordinate among departments, manage finances, and serve as leaders. With MBA degrees, entry-level marketers, financial professionals, and sales workers move into managerial roles. In 2018, purchasing agents, who should hold bachelor’s degrees, earned an annual median wage of $67,600. Sales managers, holding MBAs, made a median annual salary exceeding $124,000.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Entrepreneurship?

  • Chief Executive Officer

    Chief executive officers (CEOs) are the highest-ranking officials in their organizations. By developing and coordinating strategic plans, CEOs make sure that their organizations meet their goals. They make decisions regarding management, budgets, and policies, collaborating with managers across departments or subsidiaries.

    CEOs possess comprehensive business knowledge. They also communicate with boards of directors and relay information to investors and stakeholders. These professionals monitor markets, competitors, and industry developments. The BLS reports that CEOs earned a mean annual wage of over $200,000 in 2018.

  • President

    Company and organization presidents develop, plan, and implement their institution’s vision. Presidents serve as leaders, cooperating and coordinating with departments under their authority to meet short- and long-term goals.

    Much like CEOs, presidents oversee budgets and financial management within their organizations, and they may have additional insights into daily operations. They work closely with boards of directors and report about their organizations’ financial health to shareholders. PayScale found that entry-level presidents earn a median annual salary of over $102,000. Senior-level presidents earn nearly $165,000 annually.

  • Small Business Owner

    Small-business owners work for themselves, overseeing their companies’ operations. Small businesses cover a range of industries, with popular areas including childcare, cosmetology, and landscaping. Graduates with their MBA in entrepreneurship can start their businesses with a full understanding of the financial demands and challenges, increasing their chances at success.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), self-employed workers across all industries earned a median annual income of $32,020. Those working in areas such as personal care and service, management, and transportation earned a median annual salary exceeding $60,000.

  • General and Operations Manager

    General and operations managers plan and oversee their organizations’ day-to-day operations. They deal with staffing, scheduling, materials, and administration. This particular job title encompasses diverse tasks across many industries. Employees who hold an MBA in entrepreneurship boast skills in leadership, financial oversight, and business structures, helping them to succeed in their respective fields.

    The BLS reports an annual median wage of $100,780 for general and operations managers as of May 2019.

  • Management Analyst

    Often working for consulting firms or as self-employed workers, management analysts assess companies’ financial data and budgets, interview staff, and suggest improvements. Because management analysts are often self-employed, MBAs in entrepreneurship can provide them with the necessary skills to run successful businesses and analyze other organizations’ success.

    According to the BLS, management analysts earned an annual median wage of $85,260 as of 2019. The BLS also projects demand for management analysts to increase by 14% from 2018-2028.

Online MBA in Entrepreneurship Curriculum

MBA curricula vary by program. Core coursework focuses on subsets of business administration to build a comprehensive understanding of the field. Learners study accounting, business communication, and business strategy alongside marketing, managerial economics, and applied statistics. MBAs in entrepreneurship build on foundational coursework with classes designed to help learners start their own businesses or advance into leadership roles. Topics include business innovation and entrepreneurial finance.

  • Business Innovation

    Business innovation coursework focuses on strategies, techniques, and tools to change and introduce new ideas in a business setting. Students learn to create business models, capitalize on new markets, and effectively manage employees in an innovative business setting.

  • Franchising and Licensing

    Courses in franchising and licensing explain the differences between the two concepts and how to participate in each process. Learners explore the legal and ethical aspects of intellectual property, trademarks, and business contracts as they relate to franchises and licenses.

  • Entrepreneurial Planning and Feasibility

    Entrepreneurial planning and feasibility classes train students to plan and implement new business ventures effectively and efficiently. Learners study theories of business planning, focusing on budgets and markets for specific types of goods and services. Often based on case studies and practical exercises, planning and feasibility coursework builds analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Entrepreneurship Program

When choosing an online MBA in entrepreneurship, learners need to consider several factors. Cost, convenience, and curricula weigh heavily into one’s choice, while graduation requirements and accreditation status help students decide which degree best meets their personal and professional goals.

An online degree allows students to complete an MBA program on a flexible, convenient schedule. Traditional MBAs include coursework that full-time students complete in two years. Online coursework may allow learners to earn their MBAs in as few as 18 months. Part-time students benefit from online programs by taking coursework over 3-5 years.

Many institutions offer flat-rate online tuition. Out-of-state students benefit from this, paying the same for their degrees as in-state students. Per-semester tuition gives learners the option to take additional credit hours without accruing additional costs.

Learners who want to earn MBAs in entrepreneurship should look at each program’s class offerings, along with the institution’s instructors and graduation requirements. Students focusing on the technology sector might find programs with coursework geared toward that industry, while individuals interested in healthcare or finance should find programs pertaining to those fields.

Most MBA programs culminate in an internship, thesis, or research project. Students may find opportunities to complete these requirements in cooperation with their current places of work. Entrepreneurs who want to branch out on their own may use these requirements to build their new businesses. Business administration degrees may hold programmatic accreditation. Colleges and universities maintain regional or national accreditation, but programmatic accreditation attests to high academic standards within a specific program.

Scholarships for Entrepreneurship MBA Programs

Graduate students can apply for scholarships available to all learners. Students in MBA programs procure financial assistance through scholarships, grants, and fellowship programs. Many scholarships provide aid specifically to business administration learners, while future entrepreneurs benefit from funding opportunities geared toward their specific goals.

  • Looka Student Entrepreneur Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Looka Student Entrepreneur Scholarship supports full-time students studying business, marketing, or design. Applicants must own a small business, submit a short essay, and provide a brief business plan for consideration.

    Amount: $1,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Offered through the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship supports students studying business administration from accredited institutions. Learners must enroll full-time and demonstrate a minimum 3.25 GPA for consideration.

    Amount: $2,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • National Black MBA Association Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The NBMBAA scholarship program offers funding through partnerships with educational institutions around the world. Applicants must be members of the NBMBAA and complete online applications for consideration.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Rising Farmworker Dream Fund Fellowship

    Who Can Apply: Designed to support the children of farmworkers in the United States, the RFDF fellowship provides aid to MBA students to facilitate financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and business activities. Recipients of the RFDF fellowship return home after completing their MBA in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty among farmworkers and their communities.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply for Scholarship

  • HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: As a leading search engine optimization company, HubShout offers financial support to future internet marketing professionals. Applicants must have at least one year of college, hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate a passion for internet marketing.

    Amount: $1,000

    Apply for Scholarship

Professional Organizations for Entrepreneurship

Professional organizations for entrepreneurs bring together like-minded business innovators. Members benefit from opportunities to attend annual events and engage with online communities, building essential networks in the process. Professional organizations also offer entrepreneurs career guidance, webinars, professional development programs, and trend and research updates.

National Association for the Self Employed

Founded in 1981, the NASE offers guidance to self-employed individuals and small business owners. Resources include a small business locator, subscriptions to publications and newsletters, and access to expert advice. The NASE also houses an extensive online business learning and resource center.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization

EO unites 14,000 entrepreneurs from around the world through mentorship, education, and event opportunities. Members gain access to EO’s chapter events, leadership training, and career accelerator resources. The organization also offers a global student award program for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Young Entrepreneur Council

As a fee-based, invitation-only organization, YEC supports entrepreneurs under the age of 45. Bringing together entrepreneurs from across economic sectors, YEC strives to improve policies surrounding entrepreneurship, build mentorship relationships, and promote free enterprise.

Social Enterprise Alliance

The SEA promotes the U.S. social enterprise movement through mentorship and educational programs, a knowledge center, and discount programs. Members gain access to the SEA’s member directory alongside resources to grow and advocate for social entrepreneurship on a national scale.

Vistage

As a coaching organization for small and mid-size businesses, Vistage supports more than 23,000 CEOs, business owners, and key executives with purpose-built programs and an extensive research center. Members build leadership skills through Vistage’s peer group and professional guidance-based approach.

2021’s Top Five Online MBA Programs in Entrepreneurship

The following list ranks the top five online MBA in entrepreneurship programs for 2021. All the listed schools hold regional accreditation from independent accrediting agencies. Some programs also hold specialized accreditation.

Accreditation ensures that the program and the school meet educational standards developed by third-party accreditation bodies. Some of the noteworthy accrediting agencies endorsing MBA schools and programs include:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Our Ranking Methodology

  1. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    John Hopkins is a private university located in Baltimore, Maryland. The 145-year-old institution is America’s first research university which enrolls over 24,000 full/part-time students within nine academic divisions annually.

    John Hopkins' Carey Business School offers a master of business administration program designed for experienced professionals. The online/hybrid program offers seven concentrations, four of which are online.

    Online students must take three courses on-campus at Carey Business School’s Harbor East Campus in Baltimore. Students can complete the 54-credit program within three years. However, the maximum time to complete the required credits is six years.

    Applying to John Hopkins

    Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and two years of work experience. Prospective students must submit their official transcripts, essays, and recommendations. The admission process may also include an interview.

    Program at a Glance

    School type: Private
    Accreditation: MSCHE
    Tuition: $1,650 per credit
    Required credits: 54 credits
    Program length: 3-6 years
    Delivery format: Online/hybrid (synchronous and asynchronous)

  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    UNC is a public university system with a campus located in Chapel Hill. The university opened its doors to students back in 1789. Today, it offers 74 bachelor programs and 104 graduate and 65 postgraduate programs.

    UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School offers a master of business administration program with customizable curriculum options. Students can choose from 25 electives and five concentrations, including entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing.

    Online students must complete two in-person summits and immersive experience programs conducted in cities around the world or on-campus. MBA students also get personalized assistance and 24/7 access to course materials. The flexible 62-credit program takes 18 to 36 months to complete. It is accredited by the AACSB.

    Applying to UNC-Chapel Hill

    All students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and a minimum of two years of experience. Other requirements include transcripts, two recommendations, a resume, and essays. Prospective students with less than five years of experience must also submit their GRE/GMAT scores. Eligible students will also need to complete a personal interview via a webcam.

    Program at a Glance

    School type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC and AACSB
    Tuition: $125,590 total
    Required credits: 62 credits
    Program length: 1.5 to 3 years
    Delivery format: Online/hybrid (asynchronous)

  3. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    A public university located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, U of I is home to 29 Pulitzer Prize-winning alumni. The university also enrolls more than 47,000 students representing 50 states and over a hundred countries.

    Gies College of Business at U of I offers a master of business administration with six specializations, including business analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship, managerial economics, and digital marketing. After completion of the 72-credit coursework, students finish a capstone project.

    Learning takes place through Coursera and includes a combination of the online global classroom and a series of team projects. The college of business partnered with Coursera to offer a limited number of need-based scholarships, covering 70% of tuition for qualified students.

    Applying to U of I

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and three years of full-time work experience to be eligible for admission. Other graduate application materials include transcripts, a resume, a personal statement/essay, and references.

    Program at a Glance

    School type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC
    Tuition: $302 per credit
    Required credits: 72 credits
    Program length: Not specified
    Delivery format: 100% Online (asynchronous)

  4. Ohio University-Main Campus
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Located in Athens, Ohio, OU is the state’s first public university, established in 1804. OU boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. The institution includes more than ten campuses and centers across the state.

    The online master of business administration program specializes in business venturing and entrepreneurship. The coursework is 100% online. However, students can attend the on-campus leadership development program (LDP), a two-day event conducted multiple times a year at the main campus.

    The 35-credit curriculum comprises 11 three-credit courses and one two-credit course. With an asynchronous study module, OU provides a flexible distance learning experience to students. The business program is accredited by the AACSB.

    Applying to OU

    All students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Other requirements include official transcripts, two or more years of professional experience, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

    Program at a Glance

    School type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC and AACSB
    Tuition: $1,028 per credit (in-state); $1,047 per credit (out-of-state)
    Required credits: 35 credits
    Program length: 2 years
    Delivery format: Online/hybrid (asynchronous)

  5. University of Massachusetts - Amherst
    Location

    Amherst, MA

    UMass Amherst is a public university located in Amherst, Massachusetts. It offers 110 undergraduate 127 graduate programs available online and on-campus.

    UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Business offers a master of business administration with a focus on entrepreneurship. The program comprises general business and entrepreneurship elective courses. Over 1,400 professionals, some with more than 10 years of work experience, are enrolled in this program. This program is accredited by the AACSB.

    The 100% online MBA is designed for working professionals and requires no on-campus visits. Students can also choose from in-person or hybrid options.

    Applying to UMass Amherst

    Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA to qualify for the program. Enrollees must also submit transcripts, a resume, and a letter of recommendation when submitting their applications.

    Program at a Glance

    School type: Public
    Accreditation: NECHE and AACSB
    Tuition: $900 per credit
    Required credits: 45 credits
    Program length: Not specified
    Delivery format: Online/hybrid (synchronous and asynchronous)

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