There’s nothing more satisfying than investing yourself in an enterprise and watching it grow – this is at the very heart of entrepreneurship. It is what propelled Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg from obscurity to unimaginable heights. It is what millions dream of – to take a seed of an idea, nurture it to maturity and have the world take note of your accomplishments.
And ultimately, it is about carving your own path in the world – self-expression through business; a reflection of your ambition and character. But successful entrepreneurship is more than just an outburst of passion or even an act of will. It requires knowledge, skill, and opportunity that often can only be found through academia.
Why? Because first and foremost, entrepreneurs have to be adept in the many nuances of management. Businesses are complex beasts, and even more so as they grow and expand. Entrepreneurs are expected to draw up long-term and short-term business plans, contend with expenditures and revenue projections, hire capable and trustworthy staff, and more. Running a business can be a bewildering and overwhelming experience – knowing when to take charge and when to delegate is one of the key challenges for any entrepreneur.
Managing businesses today requires an interdisciplinary approach. Knowing the fundamentals of economics can be crucial in evaluating market conditions and trends, and adapting accordingly. Being knowledgeable in information technology can be tremendously useful in setting up automated and digital systems that save cost and time, and organising a targeted and effective marketing campaign. So while academic training is not a prerequisite for success, it is one of the only avenues of receiving the well-rounded education needed for real-world management.
Formal academic education can also provide entrepreneurs with the language skills they require in today’s increasingly globalised business environment. For example, with the rise of China, it’s incredibly advantageous to have some competency in Mandarin. As trade barriers fall and businesses scramble to expand across borders, it makes sense for entrepreneurs to adopt a second or third language in order to stay competitive.
University education is also a tremendous help when entrepreneurs need to understand different cultural and social environments – cultural studies and time spent abroad as part of your degree can help you to understand local customs and preferences, social taboos, and more. After all, it is both difficult and risky to operate in a place you don’t understand.
In addition to cultural illiteracy, a lack of industry connections can be a serious impediment to success, but having even just a few can be a massive boost. Every business needs partners and benefactors – at the very least, they could give you a head start in the initial stages.
That’s where universities come in, often playing the middleperson between student and employer, and between student and industry stakeholder. Through classes, talks, seminars and other university initiatives, aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to meet industry veterans and stakeholders. These are great opportunities to learn and receive insight from the industry’s best and brightest, and network for future opportunities. Students also form lifelong bonds amongst their peers that transcend national borders and allow them to leave university with an established global network.
So where should entrepreneurs go to if they want to gain the managerial knowledge and skills, cultural literacy, and connections they need to succeed? They may want to consider Regent’s University London, a prestigious, independent, not-for-profit university located in the heart of London. The university’s Faculty of Business & Management offers all the ingredients of entrepreneurial success: a comprehensive and rigorous management curriculum, world-class language classes, and excellent relations with industry. London, a financial and cultural capital, is also a prime location in which to mingle with business experts, industry players, and potential funders.
Regent’s offers an impressive array of specialist management programmes that provide a balance of industry-relevant academic knowledge with practical hands-on experience that is well-suited to any budding entrepreneur.
The university’s well-regarded MA Management programme equips students with all the essential business and life skills needed in an entrepreneurial or managerial role. Students are given a broad and exhaustive overview of management that covers theory, practice, and ethical values. With a strong emphasis on teamwork, students learn to cooperate with others while having the full opportunity to exercise leadership in industry-relevant situations. Graduates will emerge with highly transferable skills that are applicable across a variety of sectors and organisational contexts – whether starting a business, running a family business, management consulting, or training and coaching.
The MA International Business programme gives students a solid understanding of international business, taking into account related disciplines like international marketing, human resource management, finance and entrepreneurship. With a proudly global outlook, it examines everything from emerging economies to trade policies. The option to study a language is a key feature of this programme, enabling students to communicate effectively in an international business context. Language options include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
The luxury industry has evolved and grown rapidly over the last decade, with brands aggressively expanding in emerging markets like China. This makes Regent’s MA Luxury Brand Management programme especially relevant to the times. It considers the dynamic characteristics and opportunities within the global luxury goods and services industry, preparing students to manage leading brands in highly competitive environments. Taught material is further enhanced with hands-on projects and regular contact with industry experts.
The oil and gas industry can be incredibly lucrative, but is also exposed to a lot of risk. The MSc Oil & Gas Trade Management programme will prepare students to demonstrate leadership, strategic thinking and the ability to manage risk in complex business situations. Concerned with the ‘downstream’ side of the industry (the management of trade in oil and gas products), the programme considers the key themes of risk management, strategy, and added value, exploring the process of trade in oil and gas from seller, buyer and intermediary perspectives.
In addition to its specialist postgraduate programmes Regent’s provides outstanding enterprise support services through its Careers & Business Relations Department. The Department gives tailored business and start-up advice to entrepreneurs, helps them research their target markets, and provides them with access to experienced business professionals. So right after graduation, students are well-positioned to work on their entrepreneurial goals. After all, why wait if you have so many things to accomplish?
The article was sponsored by Regent’s University London. It is London’s only independent, not-for-profit university, with a highly cosmopolitan community based in royal Regent’s Park and Marylebone. A hive for innovative thinkers, the university offers both UK and American-style degree programmes in a wide range of fields, including business and management, finance, humanities, creative arts, social sciences and design. The university, through its programmes and initiatives, is committed to producing entrepreneurs and leaders who think and operate globally. With just under 5,000 students on campus, students and staff get to know each other by name, and students benefit from plenty of one-to-one contact with their tutors.