Data Insights for Global Entrepreneurship Week

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For prospective business school students with entrepreneurial aspirations, here are five data insights that may help fuel your ambitions.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is an international initiative to educate, empower, and inspire people with entrepreneurial ideas. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Network, this year’s eighth annual celebration will be the largest yet, with roughly 10 million people participating in events taking place in 160 countries.1 For prospective business school students with entrepreneurial aspirations, here are five data insights related to entrepreneurship and business school that may help fuel your ambitions:
  • Interest in entrepreneurship is at an all-time high among registrants. Over the past five years, interest in entrepreneurship has grown steadily among individuals who register on – the portal to the GMAT exam. Last year, 28 percent of surveyed registrants indicated they plan to start their own business either before, during, or after earning their degree. This proportion has risen from 19 percent five years ago and is the largest it’s ever been since this data has been collected. Interest in entrepreneurship is particularly high in the world regions of Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where 40 percent of prospective students indicated their career goal is to start their own business.2

  • B-school alumni entrepreneurs express very high satisfaction with their career experiences. Among more than 12,000 business school alumni from the classes of 1959 to 2014 surveyed in October-November 2014, 12 percent reported being self-employed. Among them, 90 percent report being either satisfied (39%) or very satisfied (52%) with their experience as an entrepreneur.3 Satisfaction was even higher among class of 2015 alumni entrepreneurs—97 percent indicated they were satisfied (26%) or very satisfied (71%) with their experience.

  • B-school alumni entrepreneurs create jobs. Of more than 1,500 self-employed business school alumni surveyed last year, 45 percent employ 10 or more people and 14 percent employ 50 or more people. Alumni entrepreneurs of the business school class of 2015 are already getting busy hiring employees as well. When polled in September and October, 79 percent indicated they currently have a median of five employees. Even more (88%) expressed plans to make new hires in the next 12 months—expecting to hire a median of five new employees.4

  • Recent b-school alumni entrepreneurs gravitate toward the products and services industry, while more experienced alumni lean toward consulting. Across all graduation years, consulting and products and services are the industries b-school alumni entrepreneurs most frequently target for launching new businesses. As the table shows, more recent graduates tend to be in products and services, whereas earlier graduates can be seen in greater numbers in consulting.
GMAC: Top Industries for Alumni Entrepreneurs
  • The number of business school programs devoted to entrepreneurship has grown considerably in recent years. On, you’ll find a current list of about 70 MBA, master’s, or doctoral degree programs  in entrepreneurship or related areas that have GMAT codes—nearly double the number of programs listed just three years ago. And if you visit the School Finder Tool on, and search “areas of study” by entrepreneurship, you’ll bring up a list of 500 programs worldwide that offer entrepreneurship as an area of elective study or concentration.

Explore these options today to begin your journey towards being a successful entrepreneur! Turn your dream to reality and discover your inner entrepreneur.

[1] “Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 Tops 160 Country Mark.” Global Entrepreneurship Network. November 6, 2015.
[2] GMAC (2015). Prospective Student Survey Report.
[3] GMAC (2015). Alumni Perspectives Survey Report. Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.
[4] GMAC (2015) B-School Follow-Up: Class of 2015 Alumni

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