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MBA Rankings: Best Global MBA Programs For Entrepreneurship — FT

US business schools top new ranking for entrepreneurs. Start-ups say alumni networks, access to funding key to success.

Mon Jun 29 2015

If you want to launch a start-up, go to a US business school. Five US schools have topped a ranking of the best MBA programs for entrepreneurs, a table which also reveals alumni networks are key to entrepreneurial success.

Data from the FT’s Global MBA Rankings reveal Stanford GSB’s MBA is the best for entrepreneurship. Five other US based business schools are in the top-10; three from Europe; one from China.

The criteria used to assess MBA programs included the percentage of graduates who launched their own ventures; the percentage of companies still operating at the end of last year; and whether it was the graduates’ main source of income.

Stanford scored high marks for the level of support provided by its alumni network for both starting a company and financing it. 40% of Stanford MBAs launched a start-up during the program, or have since graduating — nearly double the global average of 22%.

MIT Sloan School of Management came second in the ranking. Based in Massachusetts, MIT Sloan is one of three schools from the US state featured in the top-10.

Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, said there are entrepreneurs, the venture capital community, and the service providers, such as lawyers, accountants and banks, nearby.

“There are the professors that encourage entrepreneurship…And the external community is very supportive of what’s going on here,” he said.

Massachusetts’ Harvard Business School and Babson College, which specializes in entrepreneurship, came in fifth and eighth in the table respectively.

“We teach our students to be entrepreneurially in all that they do,” said Dr Andrew Corbett, professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College. Nearly 40% of the school’s MBAs launched start-ups and 90% were still operating last year.

California, where Stanford is based, boasts a further two ranked business schools: University of San Diego School of Business and University of Southern California’s Marshall School, in third and fourth places.

“Entrepreneurship has generated tremendous interest,” said Dr Andrea Belz, director of the MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USC Marshall, a result of a more challenging jobs market and a global focus on innovation, she added.

Only 26% of the USC Marshall cohort started companies. But the business school scored top marks for solvency, with 100% still operating, the same figure posted for San Diego.

San Diego also scored the highest among the top-10 programs for female entrepreneurs, with 38% of its female MBAs founding companies.

China’s Fudan University School of Management is the only business school from Asia to be ranked, at sixth in the table. Alumni in the survey cited its Shanghai location as offering plentiful opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

A similar tale was told of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, the only UK based business school ranked by the FT for entrepreneurship. At seventh in the ranking, Saïd is part of the so called “golden triangle” of start-up clusters around Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Elsewhere for Europe, Vlerick Business School in Belgium, and ESADE Business School of Spain are ranked in ninth and tenth places respectively. ESADE’s Entrepreneurship Institute was highlighted as a provider of resources for entrepreneurial students. ESADE also scored highly for its alumni network.

For the full ranking, see this link: