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The Best MBAs For Entrepreneurship, According To The Financial Times

Latest MBA ranking lists business schools with the best startup successes, most female entrepreneurs, and access to funding

Mon Jul 2 2018

The Financial Times has just released its Top MBAs for entrepreneurship 2018 ranking with Stanford sitting on top of the pile.

The UK and the US were represented in the top-10 with four schools each—Lancaster University Management School (4th), Cass Business School (5th), Oxford Saïd Business School (8th), and Cambridge Judge Business School (10th) from the UK, and Babson:Olin (2nd), Tuck School of Business (3rd), and Harvard (9th) joining Stanford from the US. WHU Beisheim in Germany (6th), and IMD in Switzerland (7th) are the two representatives from mainland Europe in the top 10.

IESE and ESADE in Spain (35th and 37th respectively), and EDHEC and HEC Paris in France (32nd and 44th respectively) confirm a solid European base for entrepreneurs. But the list contains a mixture of schools all around the world, showing the idea of entrepreneurship and innovation to be a truly global phenomenon.

READ: How An MBA From HEC Paris Took My Startup From Seed Stage To Station F


China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), and the University of Hong Kong (30th and 31st respectively) hail from Asia. Joining them in the top-50 are Melbourne Business School (42nd) and the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales (AGSM UNSW) in 43rd place, from Australia. India is also represented, by the Indian School of Business (46th) and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (50th).

The Financial Times considers several factors when creating the ranking—the percentage of MBA students who started their own company and the percentage of female entrepreneurs on each school’s program included.

The UK dominates the top 10 schools for MBAs launching their own companies straight after graduating. The University of Bath’s School of Management is the top-ranked UK school and 2nd overall for the percentage of entrepreneurs graduating straight out of the MBA—35% of graduating students started their own companies. It is followed closely by Cass Business School (3rd), where 34% of graduating MBAs were entrepreneurs.

Lancaster University Management School comes in 4th place—33% of MBAs launched their own companies. Durham University Business School follows in 5th, where 31% of graduating MBAs went down the entrepreneurship route.  

The list is completed by Cranfield School of Management in 7th place—31% of graduating MBAs founded their own ventures—and Cambridge Judge Business School in 8th place, which saw 31% of graduating MBAs start their own companies.

READ: Introducing ESADE’s Entrepreneurship Campus In Barcelona—The ‘Rambla Of Innovation’


Durham University Business School is also the top-ranked business school for female entrepreneurs. When looking at the Financial Times’ ranking in this category, the UK is also dominant.

Dr Julie Hodges, associate dean for MBA programs at Durham, said that their MBA is a “challenging and transformational” experience for any budding entrepreneur.

“In a global environment where the world of work is being impacted by velocity trends, it is vital that MBA students gain the capabilities to work in an entrepreneurial, agile way, in order to improve the effectiveness of organizations or to help them to build their own companies,” she continued.

50% of graduating MBA entrepreneurs from Durham are female. In 2nd place in the UK and 3rd overall in this category is London Business School—44% of graduating MBA entrepreneurs from the school are female.

Bath places 4th overall in that list, and 3rd in the UK. 38% of the school’s MBA entrepreneurs are female, and they join the 36% of female entrepreneurs graduating from Cranfield School of Management.

The last two schools to make up the top 10 business schools for female entrepreneurs are Imperial College, London, in 9th place with 30% of its graduating MBA entrepreneurs being female. Cass Business School completes the top 10, also on 30%.

No business school is complete without an intellect of alumni waiting in the wings to help budding entrepreneurs attract capital. Another of the Financial Times’ criterion is the extent to which alumni helped MBAs secure funding for their ventures. The top 10 in this list is overwhelmingly dominated by the US—eight out of the 10 schools hail from the States.

Michigan Ross tops the list, followed by Tuck School of Business (2nd), Stanford (3rd), and Yale School of Management (4th). Then, UCLA Anderson is in 6th place, followed by Wharton in 7th, USC Marshall in 9th, and the University of Rochester Simon Business School in 10th place.