MBA Scholarship for Entrepreneurs Launched at Imperial College

Imperial College Business School launches MBA scholarship to attract entrepreneurs to its full-time program

London’s Imperial College Business School has launched a £23,500 (c. US$30,500) MBA scholarship to attract entrepreneurs to its full-time program.

The Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which covers half of the £47,000 (c. US$61,000) fees for Imperial’s one-year MBA, highlights the growing desire among business schools to lure entrepreneurs to their programs. The MBA scholarship, available to those applying for the program starting this September, is aimed specifically at established entrepreneurs looking to expand an existing business or develop a new entrepreneurial idea.

Need for scholarship targeting entrepreneurs “has never been greater” says associate dean

Diane Morgan, associate dean of Imperial College Business School, said the scholarship recognizes the value that entrepreneurs can bring to the classroom. “Entrepreneurship is at the heart of our teaching on the full-time MBA. We seek to equip students with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to succeed in business. The need for a scholarship aimed at entrepreneurs has never been greater, as more MBA graduates seek to set up their own businesses.” (You can read Diane Morgan’s thoughts on gender equality in business education in ‘The Female Deans’ Perspective’).

In a reversal of the trend to pursue a corporate career path, a growing number of MBAs are shunning big companies to launch or work at risky startups. Imperial does not break out the data on how many of its MBA graduates found companies — but worldwide figures from the Financial Times last year show that, among MBAs who graduated in 2012, around 19% went on to found companies.

What is the value of an MBA for existing entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs have in the past been skeptical of MBA programs. The high fees have been a deterrent to some cash-strapped startup founders, and some believe that the skills needed to run a startup are best acquired outside the classroom.

But Imperial MBA Byron McCaughey, founder of MBA Connect, which supports and provides mentoring for startups at the school, said: The aim of an MBA is to build a more rounded set of business skills and expose students to opinions and ways of thinking that challenge their own. Layer in these skills and new perspectives with the existing traits of entrepreneurs, such as vision and tenacity, and you have a powerful toolkit for building impactful businesses.”

McCaughey came up with the idea for the new MBA scholarship, which will be awarded to applicants based on their entrepreneurial experience and aspirations. Candidates need to demonstrate a strong track record through the ‘full lifecycle’ of a startup, from opportunity recognition through to market entry, growth and maturity.

Entrepreneurship resources at Imperial College Business School

Like many business schools, Imperial has strived to provide support for entrepreneurial students. Alongside this MBA scholarship, students can access a wide variety of support schemes including the Enterprise Lab, which fosters collaboration between entrepreneurial students, alumni and businesses. In addition, students have access to Imperial Innovations, which works to turn research from the wider university of Imperial College London (which ranks inside the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings® 2018) into viable business and technology opportunities.

Other initiatives include the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace, which gives students and staff access to technology, workshops and labs to test business ideas, and ACT Now, an incubator for socially-minded entrepreneurs. Additional support for female entrepreneurs is also available through the Althea-Imperial program.

Seb Murray
Written by Seb Murray

Seb is a journalist and consulting editor who has developed a successful track record writing about business, education and technology for the international press.

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