Sneak Peek: P&Q’s 2021 Best MBA Programs For Entrepreneurship

Nathan Allen
·3 min read

On Tuesday, October 27, Poets&Quants will publish its second annual entrepreneurship ranking of MBA programs. This year’s list has expanded to 50 schools. Last year’s inaugural ranking featured 27 schools. The ranking is the result of a partnership with Inc magazine, the leading publication for entrepreneurs. In addition to being published on Poets&Quants, the list will be published on Inc.com and in Inc‘s November print magazine, available on newsstands starting October 27.

To be expected with a ranking that nearly doubles in size, there was a lot of movement this year compared to last year. But there were also some familiar names that remained in the top 10. All of last year’s top-six schools remained in the top 10. Those included last year’s winner, Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School, Babson College, ESADE, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

There are four newcomers to this year’s top 10. They include IE Business School, Cornell University’s Tech MBA, Harvard Business School, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. IE Business School in Spain and Cornell’s tech MBA in New York City did not participate in last year’s ranking. Harvard Business School and Northwestern’s Kellogg placed 12th and 17th, respectively, last year.

CEIBS, the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, the University of California-Los Angeles (Anderson), and the University of California-Berkeley (Haas) placed seventh through 10th in last year’s ranking, respectively, and all fell out of this year’s top 10.

THIS YEAR’S MBA ENTREPRENEURSHIP RANKINGS SIZE UP PROGRAMS ON TEN METRICS

This year’s ranking included 10 core metrics weighted from 5% to 20%. Those categories included areas like the average percentage of MBAs to launch startups within three months of graduation for the graduating classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019; the percentage of MBA elective courses with 100% of the curriculum focused on entrepreneurship and innovation; ration of accelerator space per MBA student, total startup award money available to MBAs; and the percentage of full-time MBA faculty teaching entrepreneurship or innovation courses, among others.

Other major rankings of business schools with a focus on entrepreneurship include U.S. News, The Princeton Review, and The Financial Times. They all have some flaws. The U.S. News ranking, for example, simply asks deans and senior faculty to rate programs on a one-to-five scale and is nothing more than a popularity contest. The Princeton Review ranking has a muddled and confusing methodology that uses raw numbers instead of percentages and ratios, which favors larger schools. And The Financial Times list is essentially an extension of the alumni survey the publication uses for its MBA rankings.

This year’s top 10 MBA programs for entrepreneurship (in alphabetical order):

  • Babson College

  • Cornell University (Johnson)

  • ESADE

  • Harvard Business School

  • IE Business School

  • MIT (Sloan)

  • Northwestern University (Kellogg)

  • Stanford’s Graduate School of Business

  • University of Michigan (Ross)

  • Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)

DON’T MISS: BEST MBA ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS: THE DATA DUMP or THE MOST DISRUPTIVE MBA STARTUPS OF 2019

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