With its location in the heart of the City — London’s financial district — and just a few minutes from Shoreditch, the center of London’s thriving start-up scene, it is natural that Bayes Business School at City, University of London has evolved to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Access to both of these sides of London gives students a “backstage pass” across the capital, with local businesses inputting directly into the program. Quite successful, Bayes Business School was recognised at 1st in the UK for Entrepreneurship for two years in a row now in Poets&Quants’ 2021 ranking — it was third in Europe, and 17th in the world.
“The Full-time MBA program, located in the center of the global financial and entrepreneurial hub of the City of London, offers an intense yet uplifting opportunity to explore the latest ideas, tools and techniques to progress in our ever increasingly integrated and dynamic world,” says Professor Stephen Thomas, associate dean of MBA programs.
From 2002 to 2020, the School was named Cass Business School following a donation from the Sir John Cass Foundation, an educational charity. In July 2020, the University decided to remove the Cass name following consultation about the fact that some of Sir John Cass’ wealth was obtained though his links to the slave trade and that this was incompatible with City’s values of diversity and inclusion. Eight thousand community members took a vote, and the school is now named after theologian and mathematician Thomas Bayes, whose ideas suggest constantly adjusting how we think in accordance to new evidence — aligning with the schools’ core principles: We care. We learn. We act.
The first six months in the Bayes MBA program builds understanding of different business themes, while the latter allows students to tailor the curriculum to their specific career goals. All in all, the 12-month program zips through core courses, a Strategy Project, International Consulting Week and Professional Development Week.
A Business Mastery Project follows, which start-up minded students can use to develop a product or formulate a business plan. Added to this is the opportunity to travel overseas for electives including an Innovation and Technology Study Tour in Israel and Palestine, and two in Silicon Valley — the Core of Entrepreneurship and Digital Innovation in Action.
Aside from the required curriculum, students have access to the £10 million Bayes Entrepreneurship Fund for high potential early stage businesses, access to a network of over 50,000 alumni, a Mergers & Acquisitions Research Center, career services professionals, and many student-lead organizations and conferences.
The MBA is obviously not just for budding Elon Musks — 21% of 2020 MBA graduates went into consulting, and 21% into financial services. But the school says the entrepreneurial skills they learned on the MBA is useful in a corporate setting, too. And there’s always time to launch a start-up once those loans are paid off.
“There’s a huge interest from students figuring out how to launch things, and try things,” explains Costas Andriopoulos, professor of innovation and entrepreneurship. “I believe that we’re different from others because we are very hands-on. We don’t focus so much on the business plan, and how to make money, we focus more on creating the product, we put emphasis on innovation.” That said, projects which do look viable can, and do, apply to our own accelerator.
“Another USP for the Business School is that there is focus not only on new businesses that can make money, but can “make lives better,” adds Andriopoulos. “That’s the other thing we focus a lot on mission businesses. We focus a lot on purpose. We are looking a lot at the combination between getting a paycheck and at the same time doing good for the community or society.”
What is Bayes Business School looking for in an MBA? “Curiosity, and using that curiosity to be creative,” says Andriopoulos. “To be team-players, which means they have humility and ethics, to be analytical, to accepting feedback, and we want people who want to stretch themselves.”