2024 Best Online MBA in Small Business Management

By Claire Abraham
Updated on December 23, 2023
Ready to start your journey?

If you want to learn how to grow your own business as an aspiring entrepreneur, you may be interested in earning your small business MBA.

Best Online MBA in Small Business Management

You might also find this degree helpful if you want to distinguish yourself as a business consultant or an expert in finance.

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The global business world continues to become more complex and oriented around rapidly evolving technology. Earning an entrepreneurship MBA can help you stay abreast of current trends and help you qualify for leadership opportunities in the industry.

Online MBA in Small Business Programs 

Online MBA in Small Business Programs

There are many entrepreneurial programs available online that can help you advance your small business expertise. These include, for example, an online associate’s degree in entrepreneurship, an online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship, an online master’s in entrepreneurship, and even an online PhD in Entrepreneurship.

Also, in addition to their online MBA programs in small business, a growing number of universities offer an online MBA in Entrepreneurship.

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Typical curricula in these online business degree programs are designed to teach you effective management techniques in marketing, technology, and finance. Knowledge in these areas might give your business the edge it needs to survive in a competitive economy. One advantage of enrolling in an online MBA program is that you may be able to continue your studies part-time while continuing to gain experience in the field.

Here are some of the potential core course topics that an entrepreneurial MBA program could feature:

  • Financial accounting
  • Marketing management
  • Strategic operations management
  • Managerial statistics
  • Information systems
  • Organizational research
  • Managerial accounting for decision making
  • Predictive analytics for business intelligence

In addition, many MBA programs offer specializations in such areas as data analytics, healthcare management, and emerging technology, among others. Specialized coursework could cover topics like:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence for business
  • Cloud strategy
  • Global supply chain management
  • Leadership essentials
  • Human resource management

Because of the flexibility of this particular degree program, your academic path can be strongly influenced by the interests you choose to pursue. For instance, what kind of business do you want to run? What kind of global scale do you envision? What technologies do you intend to use?

Your guidance counselor should be able to give you more information on which specific courses best suit your individual goals.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Careers & Salaries

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Careers & Salaries

Getting your MBA in Small Business could help you qualify for a number of different career paths related to sales, finance, marketing, and management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the potential career paths related to business administration.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $179,520
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Financial Managers $131,710
Sales Managers $127,490
Purchasing Managers $127,150
Human Resources Managers $126,230
General and Operations Managers $97,970
Management Analysts $93,000
Operations Research Analysts $82,360
Financial Analysts $81,410

Some graduates try to grow a small business, either by themselves or with partners. Other professionals in the field might act as consultants for small businesses that need expert advice. An MBA can often lead to additional opportunities in management as well.

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Your income in this field may be closely tied to the size of the company you work for, in addition to other factors. Salaries in this industry also tend to increase as you gain additional experience.

Small Business MBA Curriculum & Courses

Small Business MBA Curriculum

An MBA for entrepreneurs is a versatile degree, and the typical coursework for a small business MBA program reflects the wide range of skills and expertise required in business.

Here are some of the core courses you may come across when pursuing an MBA:

  • Accounting: You can learn techniques for creating and maintaining accurate financial records for your organization.
  • Business Strategy: This class covers methods for evaluating industry evolution, formulating profitable business strategies, and developing a business’s organizational infrastructure.
  • Marketing Management: You’ll learn how to devise and evaluate advertising strategies that respond to and accommodate consumer needs.
  • Business Ethics: You’ll cover how to maintain ethically and morally sound business practices in your organization.
  • Finance: This class is designed as an overview of fundamental economic principles.
  • Human Resource Management: You’ll study best practices for managing employees in a business organization.
  • Operations Management: This class is designed to teach techniques for increasing productivity and improving business processes.
  • Statistics: You’ll study methods for tracking and analyzing sales data.
  • Production: This class teaches effective practices for creating and distributing goods and services.
  • Information Systems: You’ll learn how to effectively use computers and digital information in your business organization.

Your coursework can differ depending on which particular specialization you choose to pursue.

Admissions Requirements

Small Business MBA requirements

Different entrepreneurial graduate programs vary in their prerequisites for admission. GMAT or GRE test scores used to be essential for any applicant, but now that requirement may be waived if a prospective student has acceptable work experience. Some schools do not require standardized test scores at all.

Here are some common requirements you are likely to encounter when you apply:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Essay or personal statement

Some programs offer special recruitment programs for students who are minorities or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Small Business MBA accreditation

In order to be competitive in the world of business, it is essential that your MBA degree comes from a regionally accredited school.

Accredited entrepreneurial graduate programs are recognized for meeting a high standard of academic quality. A school receives regional accreditation by fulfilling the accountability expectations enforced by regional accrediting boards.

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Many educational institutions will not recognize credits earned from schools that are not accredited. In addition, most employers prefer candidates who were trained at credible institutions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships 

Small Business MBA financial aid

There are numerous organizations and institutions that offer financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.

According to the US Department of Education, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can determine your eligibility for the following kinds of need-based aid:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work-study jobs
  • Student loans

Individual states may offer financial aid for graduate programs as well. Your school may also offer scholarships based on academic merit or your area of study.

Some employers are even willing to help their workers pay for a graduate degree, especially if it benefits their company. Typically, financial aid awards will be based on your income, assets, and the cost of your prospective program.

Do You Need an MBA for Small Business?

MBA for Small Business

There are many successful business owners who have not earned an MBA, but there are also some competitive advantages that you could gain by furthering your education.

Pursuing an MBA in Small Business might help you:

  • Gain a more holistic perspective on running a business
  • Increase your network of professional contacts
  • Identify and remedy your professional weaknesses
  • Improve your leadership and management skills
  • Improve your professional communication skills

In the end, the decision to earn a small business MBA is highly personal and will depend on your individual circumstances.

What Can You Do with an MBA in Small Business and Entrepreneurship? 

Because of its versatility, an MBA in Small Business and Entrepreneurship can help prepare you for career opportunities in a wide variety of areas. Whether your interest is in data analysis, upper management, or money management, an MBA in Small Business can help you develop foundational business and management skills.

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Some professionals utilize their knowledge to start or run their own business, while others pursue leadership roles at established companies. They might work as management analysts, HR managers, marketing managers, or general operations managers. A small business MBA might also help you lay the groundwork for a consulting career.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Small Business Management Online?

Small Business Management Online

Masters programs generally take 1 year to 2 years to complete. If a program requires 36 credit hours and does not include a thesis component, you may be able to earn your degree in 1 year if you attend school full-time, including during the summer term.

If you plan to take additional courses and complete a specialization, your course of study may take longer. A thesis requirement can add time to your completion date as well. Many schools have developed their MBA programs to accommodate the needs of people who are furthering their education while working full-time or part-time. You can consult your prospective programs to see what schedule options are available.

Is an MBA Worth It for Small Business?

Yes, an MBA for Small Business is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8% job growth for business and financial occupations and 9% job growth for management positions over the next ten years.

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An MBA can help you develop a deeper understanding of the various aspects of running a business. Business administration professionals often work as marketing managers, HR managers, management analysts, and general operations managers.

Universities Offering Online MBA in Small Business Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bay Path University

Bay Path University campus

Bay Path University offers an MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practices. The degree can be earned entirely online, entirely on campus, or in a combination of both. Concentrations are available in Management, Finance, Data Analytics, Healthcare Management, and Cybersecurity. The program uses small class sizes in a cohort model.

Bay Path University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University campus

Colorado Technical University offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship. The curriculum covers strategic business planning and portfolio building. Classes are 5 weeks long and have 9 start times a year. Students can potentially finish the degree in just one year.

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DeVry University

Devry University campus

DeVry University offers an MBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. The degree is available 100% online or in a combination of online and on-site classes. The program is designed to help students develop problem-solving skills and gain knowledge in technology and venture finance. Coursework includes Strategic Marketing, Innovation Through Technology, and Business Economics.

DeVry University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology campus

The Florida Institute of Technology offers an MBA in Business Administration. Students in the program are given networking and internship opportunities. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning and real-world business planning. The degree program is available in online, on-campus, and blended formats. Example courses include Managerial Economics, Financial Management, and Organizational Behavior.

Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

Southern New Hampshire University’s online MBA in Entrepreneurship program can potentially be finished in about 1 year. The program consists of 30 credits of coursework. It is designed to be highly flexible, with no set meeting times. There are five start dates each year, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Akron

university of akron campus

The University of Akron offers a 36 credit Master of Business Administration. Classes are 100% online but taught by the same instructors as those on campus. Full-time students can potentially finish in just 1 year. Students in the program can participate in internships as electives. The program is designed to provide flexibility for working professionals.

The University of Akron is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

University of Central Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas campus

The University of Central Arkansas offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration. To graduate, students must complete 30 credit hours, not including prerequisites. They can choose a concentration in Health Care Administration, Information Management, or Finance. Online classes cover the same content that is taught in on-campus classes.

The University of Central Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Louisiana – Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus

The University of Louisiana—Lafayette offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Courses are offered in an 8 week accelerated format, allowing full-time students to potentially finish in just 15 months. The program consists of 33 credit hours of coursework.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida campus

The University of West Florida offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. Full-time students can potentially finish in just 16 months. Coursework includes Business Process Integration, Information Resources and Industry Analysis, Accounting for Decision Making, and more.

The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

William Woods University

William Woods University campus

William Woods University offers an online Master of Business Administration program. Classes usually start approximately once every two months, and students can usually finish within 2 years. The program is geared toward working professionals. Coursework includes Economics for Managers, Financial Decisions, Business Strategies, and Human Resources and Organizational Behavior.

William Woods University is accredited by the Higher Learning Association, a Commission of the North Central Association.

Getting Your Small Business MBA Online

Small Business MBA Online

Getting your MBA in Small Business may be the key to advancing your business, finance, and management skills and qualifications.

Deepening your understanding of how business works could lead to new opportunities. In a graduate program, you could also engage with cutting-edge technologies and have the chance to network with like-minded professionals. Even if you have no plans to be an entrepreneur, the business administration expertise you can develop in an MBA in Small Business program is applicable and needed in organizations of all sizes.

If you are interested in pursuing a small business MBA online, you can research accredited universities to find out which online small business management degree programs offer the best course of study for you.

Ready to start your journey?
Claire holds a master's degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwestern University. She enjoyed a 25-year career helping people of all ages find information on every subject as a reference librarian. Now retired, she researches Bible history, acts as a lay minister for children in her congregation, and tutors students in English online.