Business Basics: Business Studies vs Entrepreneurship

When we talk about business basics, two core concepts that come to mind are business studies and entrepreneurship. While business studies lay the foundation for how businesses operate and make decisions, entrepreneurship is about making money by running or starting your own business. Both fields complement each other, with Business Studies providing theoretical knowledge and Entrepreneurship offering the hands-on skills needed to navigate the dynamic and competitive business landscape. Together, they form a powerful combination for individuals seeking to thrive in the ever-evolving world of commerce.

While business studies and management knowledge is needed for carrying out a business, entrepreneurship, on the other hand, focuses on innovation and originality. In layman's terms, the objective of a business is primarily to make profits. In contrast, entrepreneurship aims to make a profit while making a difference by addressing a need or a problem. Risks are an inevitable part of an entrepreneur’s journey, they are risk takers. Businessmen take calculated risks, after analysing various aspects, running tests, and gauging the results accordingly. Whether one chooses to work within existing organisations or embark on an entrepreneurial journey, combining these two approaches forms a robust preparation for success in the multifaceted business world.

Course duration:
For a business studies degree, the amount of time you spend depends on the type, earning a bachelor's degree can take up to three to four years, while getting a graduate degree like an MBA can take another year and a half to two.

For a degree in entrepreneurship, you can expect the bachelor’s to be completed in under four years on-campus, whereas, for a degree at the graduate level, it can take up to two years, which means most students who want to undertake this path, can be in school for at least six years. Many universities also provide innovators a platform to understand the important aspects of a business and see their dreams come true while studying.

Curriculum overview:
Course curriculums can differ based on multiple factors such as the institute you plan to pursue the degree from, the degree type such as associate, bachelor’s, or master’s, and the programme you study. Colleges offer the flexibility of choosing electives during the course duration that more closely align with the student's overall career goals and interests. While some programmes might require group projects, thesis, internships, capstones, among other things, this can significantly impact the curriculum and the duration of the overall degree.

For a business studies programme, you can expect general courses during the bachelor’s such as algebra, English, History, Psychology, Economics, Statistics, and business ethics. If you plan to pursue a master’s in business administration, you would have financial management, operations management, managerial accounting, marketing management, corporate social responsibility, business law and ethics. You delve much deeper into the courses you learn during your bachelor’s and attain an understanding of which specialisation you want to pursue to curate your unique curriculum.

Similarly, for an entrepreneurship degree programme, during a bachelor’s, you get knowledge of the basics of entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance for entrepreneurs, business planning, and case studies about entrepreneurial strategy. With a master’s degree, you not only build upon the knowledge gained during the bachelor’s but also study specialised and advanced courses such as entrepreneurship ecosystem, new venture financing, consulting and advising, entrepreneurship and technology, and international entrepreneurship.

Career opportunities:
A business studies degree can acquaint you with analytical, organisational, and interpersonal skills, and with these skills on your resume, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful career. Some of the career opportunities that you can get after a business studies degree are:

  1. Accountants are involved in financial record-keeping, preparing statements, and ensuring compliance with regulations
  2. Financial analysts assess economic trends, study company financials, and provide insights to guide investment decisions
  3. Management analysts evaluate organisational efficiency and propose improvements in operations and processes
  4. Market research analysts gather and analyse data to help companies make informed business decisions
  5. Sales managers set goals and develop strategies to achieve revenue targets

While being an entrepreneur is a career opportunity, one can also consider other areas to apply the knowledge gained to get that degree. Courses such as innovation, ethics, marketing, and finance, are covered during the degree, which can then be applied to get the following jobs:

  1. Business consultants analyse organisational challenges, providing strategic advice to improve efficiency, operations, and overall business performance
  2. Marketing and sales executives develop and implement strategies to promote products or services
  3. Financial managers manage budgets, analysing financial data, and providing strategic recommendations to ensure sound financial decision-making
  4. Project managers plan, execute, and close projects
  5. Software engineers design, develop, and maintain software systems

Both businessmen as well as entrepreneurs are essential for the economy. Businessmen act fast and act for the present, as they concern themselves on the day-to-day operations, whereas entrepreneurs carry a vision that goes well beyond the present and into the future, they work on their goals like an art. In essence, business studies teaches the principles of running a business, while entrepreneurship encourages the creation of businesses. Both are integral, offering distinct skill sets for those navigating the complex terrain of commerce.