Entrepreneurs: Why Mini MBA Programs are Worthy of Your Consideration

This is a guest post by Brian Jenkins, who writes about MBA programs, among other college degree programs, for BrainTrack.com.

Many companies operate using old business theories, and this can lead to a stagnant performance. Mini MBA programs provide valuable business administration skills, explore current business theory and practice, and provide an understanding of how a business works and how it sustains and increases profitability over time.

Mini MBA programs vary in length (from three days to three months) and in cost (from $1,000 to $10,000). Many business schools that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) offer mini MBA programs. However, some of these school don't actually use the term "mini MBA".

It should be noted that a mini MBA is not an actual MBA. These programs consist of several continuing education courses that don't result in a degree. Students usually obtain continuing education credit for the courses, although some schools let students earn credit hours towards an actual degree. Also, mini MBA program applicants at some schools are not required to have a business degree or to take an admissions test.

Here are some of the benefits that entrepreneurs may receive from taking a mini MBA program:

  • The opportunity to test ideas with instructors and peers.
  • Improve in their weak areas.
  • Find inspiration for new ideas for their businesses.
  • Learn new marketing strategies.
  • Networking opportunities. Expand their network of suppliers, vendors, and clients.
  • Classes are often taught by instructors who have powerful connections in the business world.
  • Learn alternative ways of running their business.
  • Mentoring from faculty members.
  • Learn to structure complex financing.

Primary Topics Covered

The programs provide a condensed overview of important subjects and concepts. Mini MBA programs cover topics like:

  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • General business administration
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Corporate strategy

Most Mini MBA programs include elective courses and workshops. Most schools let students tailor the program to meet their needs, and some let students create their own program from a la carte segments.

There are a few schools that offer a mini MBA-type program focused on entrepreneurship:

Rutgers Mini MBA Entrepreneurship program

The Mini MBA Entrepreneurship program is taught by Rutgers faculty members and experienced entrepreneurs. The program blends real-world entrepreneurial training with theory from traditional MBA programs.

Students learn how to evaluate new venture opportunities and create a comprehensive business plan. They benefit from nine months of advisory support and coaching after completing the classroom segment of the program.

Rutgers also offers a Mini MBA Global BioPharma Entrepreneurship program. It is designed for entrepreneurs looking to start a new business in biotech or in the pharmaceutical industry.

UCLA Anderson's Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) program, a version of a mini MBA program, helps transform an entrepreneurial organization into a professionally managed company. The program is taught by the same faculty members who teach UCLA Anderson's MBA programs.

Students learn to attract investors and customers, market products, increase revenues, increase market impact, structure complex financing, and oversee operations. The Business Improvement Project is designed to address specific issues that the student's company is dealing with.

(It should be noted the author has no connection with these schools.)

Mini MBA programs provide a condensed overview of important topics and concepts and offer a variety of electives. They provide entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve their businesses.