The professor told me that they knew that the content of the MBA finance courses would not match with the needs for earlier stage companies - the clinic "students" would all have revenues under $10 million. That delighted me to hear her views as it is easy to clump small business into the same box as even mid-sized companies.
As with every other element of business, finance is a mathematical fit to size of revenues. Skill set requirements change for owners as the business grows. MBA finance is more of a fit for the larger corporates and this Rotman professor wanted her class to get their skill requirements matched, not have MBA cut down. What a concept, a university actually listening to their clients and working hard to deliver the best program.
The different attitude towards business by business owners versus professional CEOs, reminded me of a favourite quote from a terrific book called The Philosophy of Money by George Simmel.
You do not make great wealth by following the safe paths and the rest of the herd. Simmel says,
"We burn our bridges and step into the mist."That does sum up the adventure of private equity for business owners and te best private equity experts (not the banker types). You can imagine being back in Roman times, heading off for new fortunes, and it has a good ring of Beowolf to it.