What’s the difference between business schools for managers vs entrepreneurs? What are the top 5 business schools for entrepreneurs? I advice you read on to find out. I recently wrote an article titled “20 Top Best Business Schools in the World for Managers and CEOs” and now, I am bringing the part B which highlights the best business schools for entrepreneurs.

But before i proceed, i want to re-emphasize the point that the business schools attended by managers differ from the business schools attended by entrepreneurs. The difference is not in their choice of schools; the difference lies in their core value.

Just as managers and CEOs attend business schools; entrepreneurs also attend business schools. I dropped out of college but I never failed to attend a business school. My manager and business team members also went to business school but unfortunately, we did not attend the same kind of school because I am an entrepreneur and my team mates are managers.

Now are there special business schools strictly for entrepreneurs?

My answer is a resounding yes. I am also a student of such business schools for entrepreneurs but the problem with the business school for entrepreneurs I attended is that you don’t get a certificate or degree and there’s no graduation date.

Now did I attend this business school alone? My answer is no. I attend the same business school that the successful entrepreneurs and drop out billionaires attended. Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Giorgio Armani, Steve Jobs and Howard Hughes dropped out of college to attend the same business school I attended. Andrew Carnegie, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Mary Kay Ash also attended this same business school; the business school for entrepreneurs.

Now what’s the difference between the business schools for entrepreneurs and that of managers?

  • The fundamental difference between the two is the mode of teaching and learning. Secondly, the core values of these two students (entrepreneurs and managers) are different. While the managers are studying to climb the corporate ladder, the entrepreneurs are studying to build and own the corporate ladder.
  • In business schools for managers, you earn a certificate and you are probably awarded a degree but the schools for entrepreneurs award neither certificates nor degrees. Entrepreneurs are scored by the success of their businesses and the money made.
  • The business schools for managers have a set learning period, after which you become a graduate or degree holder. But in the business schools for entrepreneurs, there is no graduation date.
  • Unlike the managers, entrepreneurs are not taught in the comfort of classrooms. They are taught on the field.
  • Traditional business schools conduct tests and exams every semester. But in the business schools for entrepreneurs, everyday is a test time.

Are you an entrepreneur or business owner? Do you want to know the type of business school I enrolled in? Then read on as I reveal to you the top five business schools for entrepreneurs.

Top 5 Best Business Schools for Entrepreneurs

1. Your own business

“I have been within the four walls of school and I have been on the street. I can confidently tell you that the street is tougher, challenging, daring, exciting and more rewarding. In school; you play alone. But on the street, you play with the big boys.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

The best way an entrepreneur can learn how to grow a business and build a successful business is to start a small business. You can’t learn to build a business by sitting within the four walls of a building; you learn how to build a business by doing it. Do you want to become a successful entrepreneur? Then start a business even if it is a small one.

Your own business is the best business school you will ever attend because you will learn from your own real life experience, where every business mistake leaves a scar on you. The day I dropped out of college to start a business was the day I signed up at the business school for entrepreneurs; and despite how painful the process was, I have not regretted it.

2. Business Mentorship

Most successful entrepreneurs usually attend this business school unconsciously; while others attend it on purpose. I was born into a family of entrepreneurs and unconsciously; I became an entrepreneur. It wasn’t an overnight process; it was a gradual process that I didn’t even take notice of.

I remembered vividly a serious quarrel I had with my dad over joining the family business. My dad wanted me to handle the importation aspect of his business; while he handled the distribution and marketing angle of it. I vehemently refused this offer. I insisted I wanted to become an engineer and from that day onward, I began to see my dad as an agent of distraction.

But as I write this now; I don’t think I will ever become an engineer. I am now an entrepreneur and this decision wasn’t influenced by my dad or anyone. In fact, the day I dropped out of college to start a business; I did it without the knowledge of my parents. I became an entrepreneur because I felt a need to serve a higher calling; I felt the need to be me.

Now you might think I became an entrepreneur in college but you are wrong. I became an entrepreneur right from home, even before i knew i was an entrepreneur. The truth is that i was unconsciously groomed by my parents to become an entrepreneur. Independence and self reliance was a core value in my family.

I also had the opportunity to assist my dad in running his business at various capacity and all through that period, I never knew I was learning the rudiments of building a business; I felt I was just helping out. I have watched my mom and dad make millions and I have also watched them lose millions; and I took note of the way they handled their business failures. Now this process was my business school, a school I attended unconsciously.

Am i the only student of this business school?

My answer is no. Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, J. Paul Getty, Ingvar Kamprad, Henry Ford, Rachael Ray, Carl Linder and Cornelius Vanderbilt all attended this family business school for entrepreneurs.

Apart from the business lessons learned from my family, I also have business mentors and role models I look up to for lessons and advice. This is also a business school.

In the eastern part of Nigeria, it’s a common practice for youths and children to be taken under the custody of an entrepreneur for apprenticeship for the duration of five to seven years; after which they will be sent off with a certain amount of capital to start a business of their own. The seven years spent in apprenticeship was their business school because they were practically learning the rudiments of running a business from their master/mentor.

3. Network Marketing Company

In his book “The Business School, For People Who Like Helping People”, Robert Kiyosaki highlighted the true value of a network marketing business but prior to reading this book; I have been part of a network marketing company GNLD (Golden Neo Life Diamite). While I didn’t join this company with the aim of learning anything, I want to say that the process was highly educative.

The most important attribute I learned from a network marketing business was the ability to breakthrough my fears. Today, I can stand before thousands of people to speak without fear; I can prospect to anyone without having the fear of rejection. Though I didn’t succeed in the network marketing business; I left with valuable lifetime lessons that have made me a better entrepreneur.

4. Seminars

Another avenue where entrepreneurs access to seek knowledge is by attending seminars. A seminar is where you go to gain hardcore information; information that might take you years to learn if you are to go through the traditional college route. I have attended countless seminars to the extent that my dad began to think I was wasting his hard earned cash but I knew what I wanted.

I have attended seminars on selling, marketing, business opportunities, internet marketing and investing. I have even paid high fees for one on one consultations with experts. Though I did not utilize all the information I learned from the seminars I attended; the few I utilized have produced tremendous results.

5. Self Learned

The last business school for entrepreneurs is the school of self learning. Self learned is the best but most difficult method of knowledge acquisition. In fact, it’s the best business school for entrepreneurs. Most successful entrepreneurs and business owners went through this route; from Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Henry Ford to King Gillette and Mark Cuban, they all learned from the streets, the hard way.

To retire by the age of 35 was my goal. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there though. I knew I would end up owning my own business someday, so I figured my challenge was to learn as much as anyone about all businesses. I believed that every job I took was really me getting paid to learn about a new industry. I spent as much time as I could, learning and reading everything about business I could get my hands on. I used to go into the library for hours and hours reading business books and magazines.” – Mark Cuban

I have bought, read and listened to countless business books, business magazines, journal and audio tapes all in a quest to increase my entrepreneurial skills and gain new business insights. If you must know, the knowledge that brought about this business blog you are reading now was self learned. As an entrepreneur, you just can’t afford to stop learning because the world is changing rapidly. If you stop learning, you will be pushed aside and overtaken.

“A cup that is full is useless.” – Chinese proverb

This brings me to the end point of the best business schools for entrepreneurs. If you are an entrepreneur that have successfully built a business; then it’s very certain that you must have passed through at least one of these street smart business schools for entrepreneurs. But if not, then you are missing a great deal of experience and information.

For me, I attended the five business schools listed above and I still remain a student of these business schools because there’s no graduation date. The only proof i have got to showcase my years of hard work and study is a successful business; nothing more, nothing less.