MBA Degree: Waste of Money for Would-Be Entrepreneurs?

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SurePayroll survey finds most entrepreneurs don't believe that people who get an MBA will have more success as entrepreneurs.

That's the beauty of entrepreneurship

A recent survey of small business owners conducted by SurePayroll, the nation's leading online payroll service, found that most entrepreneurs don't believe an MBA is essential to entrepreneurial success.

70 percent of the small business owners who participated in the survey indicated that an MBA degree isn't a big factor in determining entrepreneurial success.

SurePayroll President Michael Alter says that the survey results are not surprising.

"That's the beauty of entrepreneurship," says Alter. "Anybody can go into business regardless of their education. A person's level of education is isn't a big determinant of success. The things that matter are having a good business plan, finding a niche, being passionate about what you do, and working hard and smart to achieve your business goals."

The entrepreneurs who were surveyed clearly agree that formal education is not an essential ingredient for entrepreneurial success. Only 44 percent said that formal education is very important in preparing entrepreneurs for success. 51 percent said that education is only somewhat important and 5 percent said that education is not important. In a ranking of entrepreneurial success factors, formal education came in last.

The respondents indicated that having an undergraduate degree is much more important than having an MBA. 57 percent of respondents agreed that people who get a college degree will have more success as entrepreneurs than people who do not.

While the MBA degree did not get much love from survey respondents, the wrath was especially strong for Ivy League MBA degrees. 91 percent of the surveyed entrepreneurs said that those who get an MBA from an Ivy League school have no advantage over entrepreneurs who get an MBA from another school.

Drivers of Entrepreneurial Success

So if formal education isn't a big contributor to entrepreneurial success, what is?

Drive and ambition appears to be the biggest factor, according to the surveyed entrepreneurs. Survey respondents ranked entrepreneurial success factors in the following way:
1. Person's drive and ambition    27.2%
2. Person's passion for a specific business venture    14.9%
3. Hands-on experience in the industry    13.5%
4. Easy access to capital to start a business    13.1%
5. Personal connections    11.5%
6. Family members who are entrepreneurs    10.0%
7. Formal education    9.9%

Educational Advice from Entrepreneurs:
When asked what educational advice they would give to a high school student who is an aspiring to be an entrepreneur, a large percentage answered that they would benefit from classes that help them learn how to think logically and solve problems, such as math and engineering. Additionally, many entrepreneurs said they recommend reading self-help books, studying successful business leaders and getting experience in the field they'd like to enter.

About SurePayroll:
SurePayroll is America's largest full-service online payroll service. In addition to its payroll and ClickFREEâ„¢ tax file and pay service - which allows a user to complete the entire payroll process in minutes - SurePayroll provides HR and compliance resources, workers' compensation products and 401(k) retirement solutions designed specifically for small businesses.

SurePayroll also offers a private-label and co-branded payroll service to accounting and banking partners to offer payroll processing to their small business clients.

SurePayroll is passionate about small businesses and their payroll. The company is dedicated to providing an extremely friendly and simple payroll experience - at a price small business owners can afford. For more information, visit

For Media Inquiries Contact:
Frank Krolicki
Walker Sands Communications
Phone: (312) 546-4127


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