Small businesses can be the realization of a lifelong dream. For anyone who has a visionary idea, wishes to pursue a dream, or simply wants to be their own boss, entrepreneurship can offer both immediate and lasting rewards. And the economic impact of small businesses is anything but small. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, through the first three quarters of 2014, small businesses hired nearly 1.5 million new employees, outpacing large businesses in adding jobs to the economy. During the 2014-2015 period, the amount of venture capital invested in startups exceeded $13 billion.
Whether your goal is to establish a new business or keep the traditions of an inherited family business alive, you will need a solid foundation in business management and leadership. An MBA can prepare you for the challenge of running your own business by introducing you to the principles of modern accounting, finance, business informatics, marketing and organizational efficiency. But Louisiana State University Shreveport’s online MBA is unique in offering a convenient and affordable option for students to specialize in entrepreneurship and family enterprise.
Essential Entrepreneurial Skills
As an MBA candidate in this program, you will learn how to do the following:
- Identify market needs not otherwise being met and transform them into opportunities for your venture.
- Create and follow a well-articulated business plan that states your mission, vision, and values as well as concrete goals.
- Develop a working business model that, regardless of whether you will be supplying goods or services, maps out your business’s supply chain.
- Finance your venture via a variety of fundraising activities (small business loans, pitch competitions, etc.).
- Assemble your business’s management team based on core competencies you’ve defined.
- Cultivate a workplace culture that encourages creativity, collaboration and solution-oriented thinking.
- Build systems and interfaces that will inspire and nurture a loyal customer base.
- Design and implement a strong brand with a consistent presence across multiple marketing channels (e.g., your business’s packaging, website and social media).
- Prepare for and respond with agility to an evolving business environment.
- Pursue strategies for growth.
- Manage the unique personal and interpersonal demands of working closely alongside friends and family in an entrepreneurial setting.
Entrepreneurship as Leadership
The LSUS MBA with an Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise specialization also places a firm emphasis on leadership. Entrepreneurs such as Apple’s Steve Jobs or cosmetics magnate Mary Kay Ash are famous for propelling themselves to industry leader status thanks to the runaway success of their small businesses. Not all entrepreneurs are alike, but many of these most accomplished entrepreneurs do share a number of characteristics in common. They often do the following:
- Take risks willingly.
- Believe that failures have something to teach them.
- Try to understand their business from the customer’s point of view.
- Frame their products or services in terms of an experience, lifestyle or other important intangible.
- Refuse to quit.
- Plan extensively and meticulously.
Making the Most of Your Entrepreneurship MBA
Being a successful small business owner means knowing yourself, being honest with yourself about what motivates you, and accepting both your strengths and weakness. LSUS’s online MBA with an Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise specialization doesn’t just approach leadership from a theoretical perspective; it also provides you with invaluable hands-on experience. For example, our faculty encourage MBA candidates to extend their education outside the classroom by attending annual events and conferences for entrepreneurs. These conferences can help you bolster your professional network, give you a stage on which to practice communicating your business philosophy, introduce you to the latest, cutting-edge ideas in the field, and perhaps most importantly, stimulate you to push your own boundaries and innovate.
Learn more about the LSUS online MBA in entrepreneurship program.
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