Embarking on an MBA as an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur without a previous business background means that you learn on the go – fast, and in most cases not in a really systematic manner. In the majority of cases, the time constraints will push you to search for the solution of the specific issue, often without a good understanding of the broader context. That was my case.

After 20 years of running different businesses – from a little retail chain to a virtual cell operator and a leading marketing automation platform in the ex-USSR market – I realised that I have a lot of intertwined, but incomplete knowledge in my head. I can understand and work with the Profit & Loss system of a SaaS company, but got stuck when things come to, say, inventory management.

Moreover, with the growth of my last company, I’ve encountered completely new pastures for an entrepreneur with my level of experience. I wanted to learn more about investment, borrowing, M&A deals, company culture and strategy. I have reached a stage in which I need to plan the next steps of my company’s growth, such as looking into new markets and new verticals, and errors could be costly. At this stage, it became clear that it was time to invest in education to benefit the growth of my company.

I started to look at different courses, trying to find something holistic – enabling me both to close my knowledge gaps and organise my existing knowledge better in an academic manner. Obviously, the option to learn over the evenings or weekends was a must-have feature to continue running my business.

From this perspective, studying the part-time Modular Executive MBA at the Business School (formerly Cass) appeared as a great option, so after a thorough selection process, I chose this programme.

So far – it is great. I’ve definitely got what I was looking for and even more. During my selection process, I underestimated the essence of cross-cultural team collaboration experience. Joining the programme and meeting my cohort has opened me up to the ability to expose my company to peers and get extremely useful feedback. The way the MBA is conducted is an excellent way to hone my personal communication style and management skills as well, as learn from others.

I’m approaching my second exams on this course now and am incredibly happy with my choice to study a Modular Executive MBA at the Business School.

Ivan Borovikov, Modular Executive MBA (2022)