If you’re wondering whether it’s worthwhile to pursue an MBA degree, you may think of how it can enhance a career in business. Especially if your goal is earning a leadership position in a company.

But what if you’re not in a large corporation, and instead want to start an enterprise of your own?

MBA Degree Benefits for Entrepreneurs

Conventional wisdom holds that an MBA degree is not helpful for entrepreneurs, many of whom are striving to be innovative and trailblazing. Becoming schooled in traditional business practices can only hinder the creative spark. Or so the theory says.

But, going to school to earn an MBA degree can prove beneficial for entrepreneurs in a number of ways.

Networking

While the romantic notion of the lone innovator creating a revolutionary new product is part of the business myth, the truth is almost every successful entrepreneur had plenty of help. From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, the people most associated with a specific entrepreneurial success actually had a team of people working with them.

In college, there are opportunities to meet people who could have a great influence on the rest of your life. The people you meet often give you an opportunity to have resources within your chosen industry. Depending on the school, these people could end up in places all around the country and perhaps the world. That’s an invaluable resource.

Getting to Know People Outside Your Business

The spark for many innovations occurs where two disciplines meet. Think of how technology has been linked with communications and healthcare, for example. This melding of two separate disciplines has led to an amazing array of inventions and new businesses over the past few decades.

In school, you get the chance to meet people learning in a wide variety of industries. This knowledge might help you make great leaps forward in thinking about your own industry.

Freedom to Explore and Create

School provides a sandbox to experiment and explore various options for your business plan without the pressures of money at stake. Even failure is acceptable, as school gives you the chance to see what doesn’t work (on your way to eventually finding what does). There’s a freedom in the academic world, where “outside the box” thinking is valued. This is not always something you find in the business world, where the bottom line is usually the focus.

Surrounded by Talent

MBA degree programs are very competitive. Getting in requires top notch grades and a stellar record in other areas. For example, many MBA students have already had success either in the corporate world or in ventures of their own. Surrounding yourself with that caliber of talent can only improve your knowledge of the world and, as mentioned above, help create a network of people and resources that will benefit you down the road. It also will help you maximize your own potential as you rise to the level of those around you.

A final consideration is the fact that many MBA degree programs now include a strong entrepreneurial component. Some colleges even include a focus on entrepreneurial endeavors. Others have a concentrations in areas like leadership, management, and operations. These are areas that will likely help those looking to start and manage their own business.

So, if you are folllowing an entrepreneurial path, consider what you might gain by earning your MBA degree