What do you think of when you hear about entrepreneurship? If recent years have been anything to go by, entrepreneurship is continuously expanding – with more innovation and more roles in start-ups than ever before. Together with it, we’re growing the skills and attitudes that are specific to this sector and Romania is becoming a hotspot for new businesses launched.
And what’s more, entrepreneurship isn’t only limited to start-ups. Large companies also need the vision and drive to develop new projects that entrepreneurs have. This is usually seen in the form of intrapreneurship – where there is support from an organization to develop the new project. On both sides, intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship, the necessary skills to develop a successful project are similar (we will refer to both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs through the term entrepreneurs for the rest of the article). And their skills can be enhanced during an Executive MBA.
Student in class during the entrepreneurship course
What are the skills of an entrepreneur?
Firstly, in order to have an idea that can be further developed into a business, entrepreneurs need creativity and to work on those skills that allow them to recognize and evaluate opportunities. This means a good understanding of the market and a curiosity to understand the end consumer and their needs.
Then, entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with ambiguity and taking risks. Being comfortable, however, doesn’t make them very different from others. The same as other people, entrepreneurs do not love risk, we all work best with certainty. The difference is that entrepreneurs can move forward even in the face of risk, rather than be paralyzed by it.
Note taking during the courses
Then, skills such as negotiating, teamwork, persuasion and financial acumen are all relevant for entrepreneurs to set their business up for success. Add to that the determination to continue even when things don’t turn out as expected (and in the case of new business ventures, they rarely tend to stick to the plan). While these may all seem like a lot, in reality, a lot of managers have these skills, but may be unaware that they are there. Luckily, they can also be grown.
How are these developed during BISM’s Executive MBA?
The MBA is a learning intensive time, where you develop your soft and hard skills in and out of class. Through classes, discussions with lecturers and colleagues, projects and exams, you make the steps towards a leader that is better prepared for the current business world. The traits that make you a good leader make you a good entrepreneur too.
For example, in the finance course, you will learn about net present value (NPV) and how to evaluate whether a project is worth the investment. In accounting, you understand how to read reports like the cash flow, balance sheet and income statement and capture business information from them.
Discussing what idea to pitch on
The team dynamics course teaches you what are the common traits of performing teams and the leadership course discusses how they can be helped or hindered by company culture. But perhaps no course prepares you better for evaluating and getting involved in a new project as the entrepreneurship course does.
Taught by Andreas Antonopoulous, an angel investor and former entrepreneur, the course means 4 intensive days in which our students get a 360 degree view on entrepreneurship, with a focus on high-growth start-ups. Starting with an analysis of the start-up culture in different countries, students then understand windows of opportunity and how start-ups identify them, financing options and legal aspects to consider when setting up a business.
The investor panel for the final project
With this being the last course of the MBA, it can also be considered a sort of revision, making sure students think about what they’ve learned in the strategy, marketing, leadership, change management and the financial courses, to name a few.
What’s more, the group project for the course (most of our EMBA courses have a group and an individual project) consists of a business plan. Students have to pick an idea on which to develop a business plan, which is then presented in front of an investor panel. The goal isn’t to create a new business necessarily, but rather to go through the process to understand what areas need to be developed and get feedback on the thought process behind a new project.
RO12 students presenting their business idea
This also then gives them the confidence to approach further new ventures with a tested method, taking into account what they’ve learnt during the course and the project. Plus, the pitch takes place in Prague and it is a great opportunity to enjoy the city, not only stress about the project.
RO12 EMBA intake in Prague
Over the past 18 years, businesses and projects such as Evertoys and others have been the result of the entrepreneurship group projects, being co-founded by students. But regardless if you want to understand what it takes to start your own business or want to gain the skills to develop new projects in the company you’re working for, the entrepreneurship course and the full Executive MBA program will support you in that process.
Ready to find out more? Our next EMBA intake starts this autumn (and you might even catch the Early Bird discount if you hurry): https://bism.ro/emba.