Want an MBA from an entrepreneurial hot spot? Look to Israel.
An Israeli MBA doesn't have the prestige of better-known programs, but it offers American-style academic rigor, a dynamic entrepreneurial atmosphere, and a lower price tag.
Dave McGeady did what you're supposed to do to get into an elite MBA program. Two years of investment banking with a top firm. Two years in consulting. Crushed the GMAT exam. And now he's studying for the MBA of his choice.Skip to next paragraph
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"If you want to be a great innovator and a great thinker, if you want to think like one of the guys who Harvard Business School invites to speak to the students, you have to do something different, you have to push your boundaries," says Mr. McGeady, an Irishman who studied engineering at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. "And by coming to Israel and by doing a course like this, I think that that will hopefully put me in a position for years to come."
Israel is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, but its business schools aren't typically included in the cadre of top international programs. Not one of the country's roughly dozen English-language MBA programs was ranked in The Economist in its 2009 list of the world's top 110 institutions.
But on the strength of the nation's economic dynamism, a diverse student experience, and academic programs with strong ties to established schools, an MBA in Israel could be a fruitful investment for Western students with a passion for entrepreneurship and a willingness to stomach an often turbulent political situation.
Consider the following. Israel has 60 companies listed on the high-tech heavy NASDAQ exchange, the largest contingent of non-US firms. That's compared with the so-called "BRIC" nations of Brazil (1), Russia (0), India (3), and China (0). It even beats the tax-friendly Cayman Islands (53). In terms of entrepreneurship and innovation, international investment firm Legatum ranked Israel 23rd worldwide in 2009, just below Taiwan. In 2008, Israel attracted as much foreign venture capital as France and Germany combined, according to The Economist.
In a global economic slowdown, entrepreneurial activity is at a premium. And few countries do innovation better than Israel, whose MBA programs focus on the subject and could be a great boost to students wanting to hone their business acumen. Let us know what you think by finding us on Twitter.