Learning About The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Concentration

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Businesswoman working to become a successful entrepreneur.


Some entrepreneurs have ideas that propel them to success, but not every idea is enough to build a business upon. Given the fears of failure and competition, entrepreneurs can’t bank on their ideas; they must determine how to develop entrepreneurship and management skills. Along with a deeper understanding of how to lead a successful business, a Master of Business Administration program can provide budding entrepreneurs with the tools to overcome the fears that affect decision making, motivation, and behavior.

Here’s an overview of how Northeastern University’s Online MBA’s Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration can hone the knowledge and skills needed to be an entrepreneur, helping students gain confidence in their entrepreneurial abilities and endeavors.

The Concentration Curriculum

With the goal of preparing students to handle the fast-paced nature of business innovation, the Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration covers topics such as:

  • Concept development and testing
  • New business ventures
  • Operations management
  • Business plan development and implementation
  • Debt financing
  • Sustainable development and operations
  • Emerging market and economy opportunities
  • Social entrepreneurship

Experiential learning opportunities allow students to put these innovation and entrepreneurship concepts into practice, giving them the confidence to apply such knowledge beyond the classroom. For example, students have the option of experiencing business in action through domestic and international residency courses. Class discussions and projects fashioned from real business experiences allow students to engage in further hands-on learning.

The Coursework

Students who pursue an Online MBA in Innovation Entrepreneurship can choose from concentration-specific courses. These include:

  • Managing Operations in Early Stage Ventures: Students learn how to overcome operating problems common in new business endeavors to not only survive the first years but also develop a venture into an established company.
  • Entrepreneurship: Services and Retail Business Creation: Discusses new business ventures in the service and retail sectors, culminating in a project whereby students develop their own business plan. Such a project gives students an opportunity to make mistakes and gain feedback in a safe environment, setting them up for success when it matters.
  • New Venture Creation: Covers all aspects of successful business plans and gives students more practice developing their own.
  • Global Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Students learn about the latest innovation practices within a global context, gaining an understanding of the concepts entrepreneurs must know to balance their innovative thinking with business demands.
  • Entrepreneurial Finance for High Tech Companies: Covers topics like capital management, risk analysis, capital budgeting, sources of financing, valuation, and exit strategies. Students with entrepreneurial ideas for the tech industry will especially benefit from the knowledge and skills gained in this course.
  • New Product Development: Provides an overview of the new-product-development process, giving students the skills and knowledge to turn ideas into profitable products.

The Learning Outcomes

A study of entrepreneurs conducted by researchers at Warwick Business School and published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that learning and information seeking are among the most effective ways to overcome feelings of fear. This is because gaining new skills and knowledge mitigates doubts about one’s ability to succeed. As such, the goal of the Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration is to not only equip students with the necessary abilities but also instill confidence in those talents.

After completing the Online MBA entrepreneurship program, students are better prepared with the business strategies and management skills they will need to turn their current and future ideas into successful realities. Budding entrepreneurs can benefit from this focused learning in several ways, including:

Test and develop ideas

While stakes are high in the business world, the online classroom is a safe environment where students can test and develop ideas without the fear of failure, competition, or financial loss weighing over them. When they do make mistakes, they can focus on the lessons they take away from the experience rather than getting lost in the failure.

Turn ideas into long-term business strategies

Entrepreneurs who lack the necessary tools and understanding often fail to turn their ideas into successful businesses. Business students who choose to pursue the Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration learn how to build flexible and durable business plans, increasing the chances for business growth and survival beyond the initial launch.

Build a team

The business relationships students develop with their peers and professors can be highly beneficial in achieving post-graduation success. Entrepreneurs can’t build successful companies without the help of a high-performing team, and they might meet the ideal business partners and employees in their classes.

The Warwick study further revealed that entrepreneurs seek support when combating fears of failure or struggling with poor business performance. Mentors and colleagues can reassure entrepreneurs of their abilities as well as offer advice, suggestions, and inspiration. As such, professors and students in various focus areas can provide advice and feedback, as well as collaborate on business plans. Upon graduating, students also become privy to Northeastern’s network of over 235,000 distinguished alumni.

More than gaining such valuable connections, attending classes with like-minded business professionals gives entrepreneurs the chance to practice their networking skills. The ability to form meaningful business relationships when the opportunities present themselves serves entrepreneurs well throughout their careers.

Enhance business acumen

The most successful entrepreneurs touch all aspects of the business world, including concepting ideas, marketing products and services, managing finances, securing investors, and leading a team of professionals. Through both foundational and concentration-specific courses, Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business equips students with the enhanced business intelligence and leadership skills necessary for entrepreneurial success.

Increase employability

While many entrepreneurs choose to lead their own business ventures, graduates from the Online MBA in Innovation Entrepreneurship can also pursue many high-level business positions at other start-ups or established companies. These include:

  • Product development director
  • Vice president of business development
  • Director of operations
  • Chief technology officer
  • Chief operating officer
  • Chief executive officer

It’s also worth noting that working for another company can further enhance skills, experiences, and credibility before deciding to lead a new venture.

Reach out to an advisor to learn more about how the Online MBA program and Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business can facilitate the journey to becoming an entrepreneur who confidently achieves widespread business success.


Recommended Readings

What is Innovation Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneur or Employee?

Innovation Entrepreneurship MBA Concentration



How Fear Helps and Hurts Entrepreneurs by Harvard Business Review

Reasons Future Entrepreneurs Need an MBA by U.S. News and World Report