Australia’s 5 Best MBA’s For Entrepreneurs

entrepreneursAustralia’s latest Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is all about entrepreneurs and innovation.

Shortly after taking the top job Mr Turnbull – a former investment banker and multi-millionaire tech investor – declared his support for Australia’s tech and startup scene.

“The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative,” he said.

In December he backed up his words with the launch of a National Science and Innovation Agenda that aims to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia by creating an ‘ideas boom’

While media conferences and white papers are one thing, having the underlying culture and skills to make it happen is another. It is no secret that most undergraduate, and many postgraduate, qualifications fail to deliver even the basics required to achieve entrepreneurial success.

Danny Sampson, Professor of Management at the University of Melbourne believes most of Australia’s 1.4 million higher education students get little or no education, knowledge or capability about how to “do” innovation and how to be entrepreneurial, whether it is in a startup or as an employee.

“The innovation skills and capabilities involve knowing how to think laterally and creatively, knowing how to evaluate ideas in terms of their potential business value and practical ability to be scaled up to succeed in markets, knowing how to participate in innovation project teams, how to manage change and risk, how to finance, lead and strategise innovation and entrepreneurial activities,” he said.

“Our deep research has shown that these characteristics are core to sustainable innovation capability. They can be taught and experientially practised.”

This is why an MBA is quickly becoming a must-have for entrepreneurs looking to improve their chances of success in the cutthroat world of start-ups and take advantage of the ‘ideas boom’

We’ve chosen five MBAs (or postgraduate business/management degrees) specifically designed for entrepreneurs.

UTS Business School
MBA in Entrepreneurship (MBAe)
1-year – $43,560 (full fee paying domestic students)

The UTS MBA in Entrepreneurship (MBAe) will be offered for the first time in 2016. UTS is Australia’s top young university, ranked 1st in Australia and 21st globally in the latest Times Higher Education Rankings for universities under 50.

The MBAe program is designed to deliver the skills, knowledge and networks needed to:

  • take business ideas up to venture capital grade;
  • understand what makes entrepreneurs succeed;
  • immerse yourself in an entrepreneurial environment working on live projects; and
  • develop, test and launch your own ideas, in collaboration with aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators.

Uniquely constructed as three short courses you can choose how, when and what you need to know whilst developing, with increasing confidence, your own enterprise ideas. the three courses are:

  • Graduate Certificate in Commercialisation (March to June)
  • Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship (July to November)
  • Graduate Certificate in New Venture Funding (December to February)

You can complete the courses individually or combined to achieve the full MBAe.

The program is offered from the new Frank Gehry designed Dr Chau Chak Wing building at Ultimo in Sydney, which UTS claims has three-times the amount of start-up activity then the country’s next highest precinct in Melbourne.

University of Melbourne
Master of Entrepreneurship
1 year – $48,000 (full fee paying domestic students)

The Melbourne Business School Master of Entrepreneurship program is offered separately to the School’s flagship MBA program.

The Master of Entrepreneurship consists of 9 core subjects comprising 2 foundation subjects, 6 entrepreneurship core subjects, 1 capstone subject (25 points) and 2 elective subjects. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop, launch and grow innovative enterprises and to successfully commercialise products and services.

Students will learn how to design new products and services using the latest in design thinking as well as how to develop a successful business model. The program is about learning by doing and is highly practical. Students will meet a wide range of entrepreneurs, have the opportunity to be mentored by them and get experience inside existing start-ups.

During the course of the year, students will develop their own start-up initiatives to pitch for real funding to launch their enterprise.

QUT Business School
MBA (Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
1.5 years – $53,400 (full fee paying domestic students)

The QUT MBA offers a concentrated Entrepreneurship and Innovation stream as part of its highly-rated program.

The 24-unit program is delivered in four parts, each building on the other. MBA units (each worth six credit points) are delivered in seven-week modules. The four parts comprise:

  1. Building foundations—eight units focusing on the foundations of business leadership.
  2. Multi-disciplinary decision making—eight units covering a variety of topics targeted at cross-discipline decision making in complex business environments.
  3. Concentrations— You can specialise in entrepreneurship and innovation, or leadership and strategy.
  4. Integrated workplace project— providing real-world examples for real-world impact, this final component focuses on enabling you to apply what you have learned to real opportunities in a new venture or within an organisation

Entrepreneurship and Innovation subjects cover the full gamut of knowledge required to embark on the path of an entrepreneur, including;

  • Systems Thinking for Managers
  • Investment Strategies for Technology
  • Negotiation Skills and Strategies
  • New Venture Funding
  • New Venture Growth and Transitions
  • Services Innovation

The QUT MBA is ranked in the top five in Australia by The Australian Financial Review, and has achieved a five-star rating from the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA).

Swinburne University of Technology
Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
1.5 years (full-time) – $36,600 (full fee paying domestic students)

The Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is targeted at those who are active in, or intend to enter, the entrepreneurship field. Study areas include opportunity discovery and evaluation, creativity and innovation, finance, entrepreneurial marketing, corporate and contemporary challenges in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Swinburne’s unique entrepreneurship program offers students the opportunity to commercialise new ideas and learn how visionary attitudes can transform existing organisations. It is designed to help students understand the hurdles, opportunities and fundamental requirements and specialist skills needed to lead and manage the process of innovation, business startups, high growth and rapid change.

This program has been comprehensively redeveloped to include a broad range of relevant case studies and knowledge areas, with many opportunities for students to work on projects that have direct relevance and interest to their work. Students develop skills in entrepreneurship and innovation and in the practice of innovation leadership.

The program is delivered by commercially experienced practitioners and academics carefully selected for their practicality, excellence in teaching and business practice.

Students also have the opportunity to combine studies in entrepreneurship and innovation with other studies to qualify for a double degree, the Master of Business Administration / Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Western Sydney University
MBA (Innovation & Entrepreneurship)
1-year – $44,000 (full fee paying domestic students)

Offered through the Sydney Graduate School of Management (SGSM) the Western Sydney University MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is one of a number of specialisations available and is relatively unique has it has no work experienced required for entry.

The course is based around four foundation units, four core units, six specialist knowledge units and two capstone units. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialist knowledge units include;

  • Innovation for new markets
  • Innovation, Creativity and Foresight
  • New venture Finance
  • Entrepreneurial Management Capabilities
  • Innovation through Digital Technology
  • Governance, Ethics and Social Entrepreneurship

The University completely redesigned its MBA in 2013 to encompass a broader scope of disciplines and to better reflect the realities of modern business.

To help design the program, UWS recruited a panel of experienced business people currently working in Western Sydney. The panel is involved in ongoing consultation to provide the employers’ perspective on real world trends and challenges affecting business.

The Sydney Graduate School of Management (SGSM) is located in the centre of Parramatta, a city fast becoming an economic force to be reckoned with, as more businesses – from large multinationals to small and medium enterprises – choose to locate their operations here.



Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (