Europe has birthed all sorts of fantastic innovations including railways, antibiotics, and motorcars, while nowadays it leads the way in areas like sustainability and healthcare.
If you’re looking to jump into the continent’s startup scene, then you’re in luck, the online platform PitchBook has put together a comprehensive ranking of the best MBAs for entrepreneurs in Europe, to help you decide just where to go.
Analyzing the period between 2013 and 2023, Pitchbook factored in the number of startup founders who received a first round of venture capital funding, the number of companies created, and the amount of capital raised by said companies during the ten-year window.
So, what are the top 10 MBAs for entrepreneurs in Europe?
10 Best MBAs For Entrepreneurs In Europe
10. IMD Business School
Situated in the Swiss lakeside town of Lausanne, it could be the crisp mountain air that makes IMD Business School an opportune location for aspiring business moguls.
As part of its eco-conscious MBA program, students are sent up into the Alps, where they spend two-and-half days brainstorming ideas to help save the planet.
It sounds extreme, but clearly IMD’s unorthodox approach works. Over the past 10 years, 42 graduates of its reputed MBA degree have gone on to found 47 companies, generating an impressive collective sum of $2.5 billion.
IMD graduate startups include the autonomous driving company Inceptio Technology (which has raised $688 million), the cybersecurity engine Claroty, and Atlas Agro, a sustainability-focused company that produces renewable nitrogen fertilizers for plants.
9. Imperial College London
First conceived by Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert—an historic champion of some of the world’s greatest inventions—Imperial College London has firmly placed itself amongst Europe’s top business schools.
Not only does Imperial boast the FT-ranked fourth best MBA program in the UK, but it offers a specialization pathway specifically dedicated to entrepreneurship.
Graduates of the prestigious course have proceeded to launch 55 different companies, raising an impressive combined revenue of $701 million.
The highest-earning companies include group insurance company, YuLife, the environmental home-building company, Mighty Homes—which claims to have produced the first 3D-printed house—and the automated security software developer, Tines.
8. ESSEC Business School
Located in the outskirts of Paris, ESSEC Business School has long earned a name for itself as a center for business and economics education. Boasting the fifth best Master in Management program in the world, the school has produced some of Europe’s top leadership talent.
Graduates of the school’s flagship MBA program have gone on to start 79 different companies, together generating a net capital of $2.8 billion.
The largest of these is Doctolib, a cloud-based appointment scheduling tool that has generated an astounding capital of $1 billion alone. This is closely followed by the biotech company, Ynsect, and the innovative investing platform, Moonfare.
7. University of Cambridge
Where better to concoct new ideas than in the UK’s arguably most quintessential university town? Filled with lush British countryside, animated pubs, and centuries-old legends, the university has inspired scholars ranging from Sir Isaac Newton to King Charles III.
It’s also home to the Judge Business School MBA program, which is affiliated with a cluster of over 5,000 companies that earn billions of dollars in revenue. Over the past 10 years, esteemed MBA grads have gone on to start 80 unique companies raising $1.8 billion in capital.
They include the meal kit retailer Gousto, the investment holding business ClouDr., and the aptly named Indian car-sharing platform Zoomcar.
6. HEC Paris
There are few cities in the world more synonymous with romance than Paris—but its highly acclaimed top-ranked b-school proves that love and business can coincide too.
Every year thousands of entrepreneurial spirits apply to HEC Paris, entranced by both its world number one Master in Management program, and its FT-ranked top 20 MBA degree.
With a host of opportunities open to students upon graduation, 112 HEC Paris MBA grads have started their own companies, together raking in $1.4 billion in capital.
Currently the most successful is Evidation Health, followed by Asia Innovation Groups Limited—a Singapore-based mobile social company—and then Genetron Health, a service portfolio dedicated to cancer-care.
5. ESADE Business School
Barcelona is certainly a city to sing about—Freddie Mercury famously did in an operatic ballad dedicated to the Catalan capital. While the cultural hub has inspired many an artist, so too do many hopeful business leaders realize their dreams at its ESADE Business School.
Not only is ESADE home to one of the top 10 Master in Management programs in the world, the school has also produced a wealth of entrepreneurs with 128 MBA graduates having founded companies generating a total of $1.9 billion in income.
Top ESADE startups include Creditas, the vehicle financial broker (which has earned $882 million), Paack, a parcel delivery service, and The Good Glamm Group, a company that sells personal care and cosmetics products.
4. IE Business School
Positioned in the heart of Madrid’s financial district, IE Business School is known not just for producing top leadership talent, but also for a dedication to sustainability.
In 2023, IE was named one of Europe’s very first carbon neutral universities, a feat achieved through a longstanding effort to cut down on paper and water consumption.
Unsurprisingly, the school’s initiative-taking attitude has produced an impressive 164 self-starters, with 147 companies earning a combined total of $4.4 billion.
The highest earner is the widely used food delivery app, Glovo, which has amassed a grand total of $1.2 billion. Following not far behind is the Spanish online Marketplace, Wallapop, and JOKR, an American-based grocery delivery platform.
3. University of Oxford Said Business School
With its majestic stone walls, needle-thin turrets, and winding Gothic arches, it’s no wonder that this university—the second oldest in the world—was the location of choice to film the fantastical adventures of Harry Potter.
For those who haven’t received their letter from Hogwarts just yet, University of Oxford is still capable of teaching magic in the realm of entrepreneurship. Oxford’s Saïd Business School is home to one of the UK’s top MBA programs, where 187 graduates have launched companies accumulating over $5.3 billion in revenue.
The largest of these is undoubtedly Kavak, an online marketplace for used cars that has generated $2 billion in capital. Other noteworthy startups include the health benefits platform Collective Health and the energy company Crusoe, which have both accumulated well over $700 million each.
2. London Business School
There are few better places to study the art of business than in one of Europe’s largest economic centers. Home to almost nine million people and some of the world’s largest corporations, London is a hub for food, arts, culture, and—most importantly—opportunity.
One particularly lucrative avenue comes in the form of the renowned London Business School, which boasts one of the world’s top 20 MBA programs. Notably 406 graduates of its entrepreneur-focused degree have launched no less than 378 companies, collectively amassing a jaw-dropping capital of $8.6 billion.
The most successful of these is Zepz, a money transferring app that has produced earnings of $680 million, which is closely followed by the neo bank Upgrade (Customer Finance), and Livspace, a home and renovation company with headquarters in Singapore.
With global campuses straddling the bustling markets of both France and Singapore, INSEAD tops Pitchbook’s list as the number one European MBA for entrepreneurs—that’s alongside being the FT-ranked second best program in the world.
Students on the highly accredited course learn management skills in an intense, multicultural environment, leaving them well prepared for the fast-paced world of business outside of it. Over the past 10 years, 809 graduates have started 739 companies, collecting an insurmountable $23 billion in capital.
The crowning glory of INSEAD startups is inarguably Nubank, a Latin American neo-bank that has raked in revenue of $2.4 billion over the past decade. However, both the payment software developer, Teya, and the course provider, Eruditus Executive Education, are equally impressive, respectively drawing capital of $995 million and $881 million.