5 Best Entrepreneurial Skills You’ll Learn During an MBA
If you’ve always dreamed of running a successful business on a global scale, a career in entrepreneurship might be for you.
Entrepreneurs need to combine a variety of skills when launching a new product or business, but determining which entrepreneurial skills are needed in a changing business world can be difficult.
An MBA offers the perfect opportunity to discover the best skills you need, having the opportunity to test your ideas before entering the real world of business.
Here are five entrepreneurial skills you’ll develop during an MBA.
1. Data-driven decision making
While entrepreneurs must be brimming with innovative ideas and creativity, these ideas must also be carefully considered. Successful entrepreneurs will need to embrace data-driven decision-making when developing a plan for a new business.
Awal Suddeeq, African MBA entrepreneur, Asia School of Business (ASB) alum and founder of cosmetics manufacturing company, Kasi Naturals, improved his technical acumen during his business degree.
During the Entrepreneurship Trek, part of the ASB MBA Summer Associate Program (SAP), Awal traveled to his native Ghana to participate in content analysis and market research to inform its mark.
The ASB MBA offers courses such as “Data, Optimization Models and Decisions” and “Data Science for Managers” to help students hone their data skills.
“I was able to apply the marketing analysis tools I had learned [at ASB] directly to my business and see the value of my business increase many times over,” he says.
Serial entrepreneur and MBA ASB graduate, Awal founded a cosmetics manufacturing company
Adaptability is one of the key skills of an entrepreneur that will help you thrive in an uncertain climate.
ASB MBA alumnus Vedant Biyani (pictured) learned the true meaning of adaptability during his business degree. Having always been interested in peopleon hygiene, he decided to turn this interest into a successful business that could benefit society. Vedant’s idea was to use UltraViolet-C (UVC) lighting to sterilize personal items.
Leveraging the knowledge and business exposure gained through the ASB MBA action learning program – where students undertake five immersive projects with ASB corporate hosts throughout the 20-month MBA – Vedant created an initial prototype during his MBA.
He adds that trying to start a new business during the pandemic has been difficult at times, but by adopting the “smart” skill of adaptability and perseverance, he has finally made waves in the market.
His product is now used by some medical clinics and even by a police force based in the Middle East.
3. Willingness to take risks
The scariest part of launching a new product is that you can never guarantee its success. However, those who can use this risk-taking attitude to their advantage will reap the rewards.
During the ASB MBA, students can learn to take risks and embody the skills of an entrepreneur in the ASB101K Entrepreneurship Competition. Offering two distinct tracks for students and startup founders, the ASB101K invites students and entrepreneurs from across Southeast Asia to tackle a market gap or problem that needs solving.
Budding entrepreneurs can get involved to present their product to a panel of experts while receiving personalized advice to improve their projects.
4. Openness to new perspectives
Pursuing entrepreneurship will mean being open to new thoughts and ideas. Getting feedback from your peers helps you refine your ideas and develop your entrepreneurial skills.
This is something that Zoe Tate (entrepreneur), an entrepreneur who has implemented social enterprise initiatives in the field of sustainability, has learned throughout the ASB MBA Action Learning projects. During consulting projects, she has teamed up with a variety of people, including those in the traditional corporate world, as well as unconventional entrepreneurs like herself.
One of the MBA projects was to conduct a market entry strategy with an e-commerce platform in Myanmar.
“It’s interesting to talk to people who have diverse ideas and think differently, which definitely comes to life during action learning projects,” she says.
She also credits the diversity of different cultural perspectives as something that has helped her in her entrepreneurial ventures. On average, 23 different nationalities make up the MBA ASB.
5. The ability to understand system dynamics
To thrive in the future world of work, learning systems dynamics will be essential.
“System dynamics talks about the relationship between how an action generates a reaction and how that reaction will generate another action and another reaction,” explains Loredana Padurean, Faculty Director for Action Learning at ASB.
Thinking about a problem holistically is something data science company Vasavah founder and CEO Matthew Roman (pictured) has embraced in his action learning projects.
“The most important things that keep me up at night are: what don’t we think about? What are we not anticipating?” he says.
Using this embrace of key ‘Sharp’ skills as system dynamics has informed how Matthew leads Vasavah, which helps clients in the energy and retail industries automate and analyze data.
Entrepreneurship is not just about having good ideas. Studying an MBA program with an emphasis on hands-on learning can help you gain the entrepreneurial skills you need to succeed, while building a global network.