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Small Business Management Masters Degree Program Overview

If you dream of becoming a small business owner, you can improve your chances of success by enrolling in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Learn more about the training these programs provide for entrepreneurs.

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Essential Information

Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are designed to help students gain management skills, and some allow students to concentrate their studies on small- and medium-sized businesses. By pursuing this specialization, students will gain an advanced understanding of the issues facing family businesses, start-ups, and other independent entrepreneurial endeavors. Most programs take two years to complete and include a combination of theoretical coursework and practical experience. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small Business Management and Operations

Master's Degree in Small Business Management

Core coursework in MBA programs typically involves advanced business studies in financial and managerial accounting, management, business law, and data analysis. Elective courses aimed at students who are interested in small business management may include some of the following:

  • Design and change in organizations
  • Processes of entrepreneurialism
  • Planning, structuring and financing a small business
  • Entrepreneurship and small business management survey
  • Innovation and technology in entrepreneurship
  • Using the internet for new small businesses

Popular Careers

Many opportunities exist for graduates of these programs, whether they choose to work for themselves or for others, because of the broad business training that MBA programs provide. Students may seek employment in a wide variety of industries, including the following:

  • Hospitality
  • Entertainment
  • Retail business
  • Computer repair

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that administrative services managers, also called business officer managers, could expect to experience an 8% increase in employment from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as average. Administrative services managers earned a mean yearly salary of $94,840 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education

Graduates who wish to continue their education can earn certifications through two agencies. The Association of Professionals in Business Management (APBM) grants a Certified Business Manager (CBM) credential. Certification must be renewed annually, with 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit hours required. The National Association of Business Management Professionals (NABMP) offers the Certified Business Management Professional (CBMP). As of 2010, there was no renewal policy. In order to earn either of these certifications, MBA-holders must pass an exam.

By earning an MBA with a focus in small business management, aspiring entrepreneurs can gain the advanced business skills they need to open businesses of their own or pursue leadership positions within established businesses.

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