Just look at the facts gathered for the ranking. Nearly half of all the MBA elective courses at Stanford GSB are focused solely on entrepreneurship and innovation in the 2018-2019 academic year. The actual number is 47.1%. That’s more than double the percentage of Harvard’s 20.1% (see The Best MBA Entrepreneurship Programs: The Data Dump).
Or take a peek at the percentage of graduating MBAs who actually launch businesses before or within three months of graduation between 2016 and 2018. At Stanford, the percentage is 15.7%. At HBS it’s less than half that at 7.3%. It’s worth noting that WashU’s Olin School topped this metric, with 20.7% of its MBA grads creating startups before or just after graduating.
And when it comes to campus culture and interest in entrepreneurship, at least 17 other business school have HBS beat. About 24% of Harvard’s MBAs are members of the school’s entrepreneurship club. That compares with 83% at UCLA, 75% at WashU, 74% at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and 70% at MIT Sloan.
Another fascinating metric is the ratio of entrepreneurs-in-residence available to full-time MBAs. At the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School there was a little more than half of an entrepreneur-in-residence available for each enrolled full-time MBA student in 2018-2019. Carlson topped this measure, followed by Wash U. Harvard came in behind 12 other business schools, including Berkeley, Yale, and Michigan.
HBS did much better when it came to the total award money available to full-time MBAs through new venture and startup competitions. HBS has a treasure pot of $700,000 for this purpose each year. But even here, it’s way behind the leader: Rice University that has amassed more than $2.9 million in award money or WashU which now has nearly $1 million set aside to fund student startups.
The takeaway is not that HBS is an entrepreneurship laggard. It’s not. But the lesson is that there are a wide variety of business schools all over the world whose resources for would-be entrepreneurs are just as good if not better than the school in Boston that tends to get a lot of attention.
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