June 14, 2016
If you've been dreaming about starting your own business, better managing an existing business or simply earning a promotion at work, an entrepreneur degree program can help you further your career.
Entrepreneurship is a long-standing part of the American dream. But having an innovative idea for a product or service isn't always enough to guarantee success. Entrepreneurs need a strong foundation of business knowledge to follow their passion, and with the broad business education provided in Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) online MBA in Entrepreneurship, business ownership can become a reality.
SNHU's online Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship will teach you key skills required for success when launching a new business, growing an existing establishment or launching a new product line or service within an existing company.
As a student in SNHU's entrepreneur degree program, you will explore strategies for launching and operating consulting businesses, learn how to evaluate potential and existing franchise operations and learn best practices being used by today's most successful entrepreneurs.
Designed for aspiring entrepreneurs, current business owners and even corporate executives, an SNHU entrepreneur degree will give you the opportunity to learn from business professionals with specialized experience in their given disciplines.
Throughout the program, you'll develop projects that serve your business needs and work with adjunct instructors who are practicing in their fields and are able to offer insight into entrepreneurial ventures. These experiences will help you apply the knowledge developed in your courses to real-world situations and challenges.
The United States is home to many entrepreneurial success stories. From Microsoft's Bill Gates to Apple's Steve Jobs, our society reveres these successful business owners and holds them up as examples to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our country today, and entrepreneurship is a key driver of the nation's economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),* in the year ending March 2015, start-up firms less than a year old created 1.7 million jobs, making up 60 percent of total employment growth in the U.S. that year.
But building a successful business of your own can be a challenge.
Only 78 percent of new businesses launched in 2010 were still in operation just one year later, according to BLS data. In 2015, only 51 percent of the businesses founded in 2010 were still operating.
Bruce Stetar, executive director of Graduate Business Programs in SNHU's College of Online and Continuing Education (COCE), said many entrepreneurs fail because they simply don't understand the challenges they will face when launching a new business.
"Most small businesses go under in a short amount of time not because the idea, product or service is bad," Stetar said. "They generally go under because the people who run the company don't know how to manage a business or misinterpreted the actual need and market there is for the good or service they are selling."
While many small business owners expect to learn key management and financial skills on the job, earning an entrepreneur degree, Stetar said, could mean the difference between a successful business launch and a failed startup.
"You can't teach someone to have an entrepreneurial spirit," Stetar said. "But what an MBA in Entrepreneurship teaches is the skill sets and knowledge that someone who wants to be a successful entrepreneur needs to give themselves a better chance of launching a successful company."
An MBA is a highly sought-after degree for the flexibility it offers students. Across many industries, demand for workers with MBAs is growing. Employees with a master's degree can earn an average of 20 percent more than those with a bachelor's degree, and almost 80 percent more than those without a higher education degree, according to BLS data.*
For aspiring entrepreneurs, an MBA offers a strong foundation of business skills and knowledge that will help you tackle real-world challenges faced when starting a new business or launching a new product or service.
By earning an MBA, entrepreneurship will become a more achievable dream. You'll explore key areas of business that you can apply directly toward your entrepreneurial goals, including:
The MBA is an ideal program for students those who are seeking broad business knowledge that can be applied across a wide range of industries. Courses in management and strategy can help you become a stronger leader and prepare you to take on leadership roles in your own company or in an existing job.
When you join SNHU's entrepreneur degree program, you'll also explore the process of creating your own business or launching a new product or service within an existing company. You'll study small business management, and learn the ins and outs of building up a new company. You'll learn how to evaluate business opportunities, explore options to finance your business and find investors, learn more about employment law and learn how to measure your new company's financial success.
SNHU's entrepreneur degree program will also introduce you to two growing fields for entrepreneurs: consulting and franchise operation.
As part of SNHU's MBA in Entrepreneurship, you'll explore the growing field of consulting, from defining what a consultant is to analyzing the problems and expenses involved in starting a consulting business. You'll learn how to establish a client list and how to write and negotiate a contract for consulting services.
Consultants offer specialized advice to other businesses, and are in high demand across many industries. In the recent years of economic downturn, many companies facing layoffs and lean internal teams have turned to consultants to assist with strategic decision-making, marketing, information technology and management.
According to data from the U.S. BLS, employment opportunities in consulting are expected to grow by 83 percent between 2011 and 2018, representing a gain of more than 800,000 jobs - the largest expected job growth among similar industries.*
In addition to a growing employment market, consulting also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn wages significantly higher than the national average. Management consultants, for example, who advise businesses on how to make their organizations more efficient and more profitable, earn an average annual salary of more than $81,000, according to the U.S. BLS. That's significantly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, $35,540.*
Another growing industry to which you can apply your entrepreneur degree is franchise operation. As part of your MBA, entrepreneurship opportunities available through existing and developing franchises in the U.S. and internationally will be a primary focus of study.
You'll learn how to research, evaluate and finance existing and potential franchises, explore the legal requirements of a franchise operation and understand the franchise operation manual. Your learning will be applied to a research project based on a real or proposed franchise, giving you the chance to test your marketing, management and strategy knowledge in real-world applications.
Like consulting, franchise management is a growing field that offers many opportunities to students with an entrepreneur degree. The franchising industry has added nearly 1 million jobs to the economy over the past five years, and franchise businesses are expected to grow by 3.1 percent, or 278,000 jobs, in 2016, according to a 2016 Economic Outlook from the Franchise Education and Research Foundation.*
One of the biggest benefits you'll experience as a student in SNHU's online MBA program is the opportunity to bring your learning into the real world through your MBA Capstone project.
The project runs throughout the entire entrepreneur degree program, incorporating learning from each new course- from finance and accounting to marketing and strategy and applies this knowledge to real world challenges.
As a student in the entrepreneurship MBA, your project will challenge you to come up with an innovative idea for a new business or a new product or service within an existing business. You'll work throughout the MBA program to develop this idea further, researching whether there is a market for the company or service, exploring financing options and planning for marketing and development of the company.
By the time you've completed your entrepreneur degree, you will have not simply a portfolio of your work, you'll have a fully ready-to-implement business plan that can be presented to an employer, loan officer or potential investor.
Throughout the project, you will be guided by adjunct instructors, many of whom have worked as entrepreneurs themselves and can offer unique insight. Experienced in their given industry, your instructors can share first-hand knowledge of the challenges you may encounter when launching a new business venture and help you find ways to overcome these challenges.
"It's kind of a reality check," said Stetar. "It's great to hear from someone who has started their own company and has been successful, but it's also good to learn the reality of it and learn from their mistakes."
SNHU's entrepreneur degree is not just for students with a dream of launching their own business. According to Stetar, just as many students in the entrepreneurship program are simply looking to launch a new good or service, earn a promotion or start a new department at their current place of employment.
The knowledge learned through studying small business management and consulting, and the insights gained when learning how to research and evaluate franchise opportunities, he said, can be used across industries and professions.
"Those same skills you might apply as an entrepreneur to start your own company could just as easily be employed inside a company to launch new ideas, gain promotions or come up with new products," Stetar said. "The underlying skills are basically identical. A lot of the people who go through this program don't ever start their own businesses, but they do use those skills to become successful."
As a graduate of SNHU's online MBA, entrepreneurship could be just around the corner. Students earning an entrepreneur degree have gone on to launch their own companies, have become stronger leaders of existing companies and have launched new services and departments for their employers.
For MBA graduate Jason Visor '15, the entrepreneur degree program helped him develop his independent real estate brokerage in Fort Worth, Texas, even while balancing family life and day-to-day business operations.
"I am grateful to have found the online program at SNHU," Visor said. "Getting my MBA has always been a personal goal of mine...I know that I will fulfill that commitment to myself."
MBA graduate Suzanne Delica '15 said she had always planned to earn an entrepreneur degree and a graduate certificate in marketing. With the help and support of her graduate school advisors, and the constant encouragement of her mother, Delica said she has been able to see her dreams come to life.
"My mother has instilled in me an entrepreneurial drive that allows me to overcome a challenge no matter how momentous the vision seems," she said. "And SNHU has been a great place to build the foundation."
By enrolling in SNHU's online MBA program, you're joining an educational community committed to your professional success.
As an aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of starting your own company, you don't want to spend more money than necessary on your education. SNHU is proud to offer some of the most affordable tuition rates in the country, and has not raised its tuition rates in the past four years.
Whether you're already running your own small business or holding down a full-time job while completing an MBA, your time is valuable.
The application process for the online MBA program is simple and can be completed in as little as two weeks, and no GMAT or GRE is required for admission. You can complete the MBA program in as few as 15 months by taking two courses per 10-week term. Working full-time and balancing your continuing education? SNHU will work with you to balance your course load each term as your work toward your degree.
Because the entrepreneur degree program is online, you can attend class when it's convenient for you. Online education means you have 24/7 access to your coursework and assignments and are able to work at your own pace, whether you're working at 5 a.m. before your kids wake up or at 10 p.m. after a full day of work.
For MBA graduate Peter Mead '14, it was this flexibility that ultimately made the completion of an entrepreneur degree possible.
"I'm extremely happy and I attribute my career success to the lessons and skills that I've learned from the great professors at SNHU," Mead said. "I have young kids and a fresh career, and the flexibility that this type of education has offered me has been unique and considerably rewarding by allowing me to have independence in my education and to be the master of my success or failure."
As long as you have a computer with internet access, you can complete the MBA degree in entrepreneurship. Weekly assignment deadlines will keep you on track with your studies, while online discussion forums will help you connect with and learn from your classmates, many of whom are engaging with SNHU's online degree programs from countries around the world.
This diverse learning environment will help you connect with other students and business professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and work experiences, all of whom bring unique perspectives to assignments and discussions.
In addition to offering flexible online programs and schedules for MBA students, SNHU also offers a robust advising system to all online students. SNHU prioritizes working professionals when designing classes and establishing degree requirements and works hard to help you the make the most of your learning in your degree program.
Every student in the online MBA program works with an advisor who is committed to his or her academic and professional success. Your advisors get to know you personally, and will work with you one-on-one to determine your goals and interests and help you select the best courses to help you reach your goals. Advisors are always available to answer questions or listen to your concerns, offering vital support throughout your degree program.
SNHU's support services don't end when students graduate. Even before you complete your entrepreneur degree, a university career advisor is available to help you find employment opportunities in your area. To prepare for these new opportunities, you can work with your career advisor to perfect your resume and practice your interviewing skills.
Your career adviser can also help you connect with the global network of SNHU alumni, giving you the opportunity to connect with fellow alumni from companies like Liberty Mutual, Fidelity Investments, State Street Corp, IBM and Boston Scientific.
Interested in SNHU's MBA in Entrepreneurship? If you're ready to build a strong business foundation to help you reach your entrepreneurial goals, contact the SNHU Admission team to find out how you can get started in your path toward entrepreneurship.
*Job market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. SNHU cannot guarantee employment.
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