Germany’s Best MBA for Founders of Start-ups

The MBA programs at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management have been listed in the “Financial Times Top MBAs for Entrepreneurship” ranking for the first time. WHU ranked 6th globally, outperforming many well-known business schools such as Harvard, Yale and MIT Sloan. Europe-wide, WHU was ranked in third place. It is also the best German university in the ranking.

“We are very pleased that the high quality of our MBA programs is reflected in the Financial Times ranking,” Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU, remarked. “A result like this to accompany our first inclusion in the ranking is a confirmation of our aspiration to provide excellent academic education on par with the best universities in the world.”

The “FT Top MBAs for Entrepreneurship 2018” ranking lists the 50 best MBA programs for entrepreneurs. Universities are ranked based on their performance in two main areas: “Entrepreneurship” and “University and Alumni Contribution.” The ranking is based on disclosures by universities and on the results of surveys of program graduates.  

The ranking result confirms the high theoretical and practical relevance of WHU’s MBA programs for students interested in launching their own start-up. About one-third of the MBA graduates of the graduating class of 2014, which was considered for the ranking, founded a company after graduating; this is the world’s fifth-highest start-up rate. The success of the start-ups is clear, too: For example, WHU ranks first in the world in terms of the percentage of MBA alumni who have launched their own start-ups and derive their main source of income from their companies. The graduates surveyed also awarded an average of 9.3 out of 10 points in the “Motivation” category. This category measures the extent to which the skills acquired in the MBA program encouraged entrepreneurs to launch a start-up. Graduates also awarded an average of 8.8 points each to the decisive support they received from the University and the alumni network when creating their start-ups. 

The good ranking reflects the strong overall entrepreneurial orientation at WHU. There are four faculty chairs that deal mainly with entrepreneurial education and research, and another six chairs that deal with additional topics (marketing, digitalization, supply chain, etc.) that are of high relevance to founders. WHU is also the first university in Germany to offer its own Master of Science Program in Entrepreneurship, aimed at future founders and innovative managers alike. Indeed, the history of WHU and its graduates also offers a clear reflection of the start-up orientation: more than 500 start-ups have emerged from WHU over the course of its little more than 30-year history. WHU also holds an outstanding ranking among the Unicorns of Germany and Europe – the start-ups valued in the billions range. A full five in six founders of these unicorns are actually WHU alumni. There have also been more and more successful exits in the recent past as well; this illustrates the value of the entrepreneurial ideas of WHU alumni to major firms and the industrial sector. All of these activities are supported by a comprehensive Center for Entrepreneurship and an in-University incubator.

In its Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs, WHU trains successful executives for the global world of business. The award-winning quality of the degree program has already been confirmed, among other things, by the Financial Times’ “Global MBA Ranking 2018,” which rated WHU as the best German business school in terms of career services, the internationality of its degree programs and student satisfaction. The MBA Program can be completed by students who are enrolled either full-time or part-time.