Rent an MBA- latest trend in town

Posted by: Xavier Brooke
on June 4th, 2013 No Comments

Until recently, there was a well spread idea that those who want to have a career in business in the public sector should have an MBA. But considering all the changes that took place globally, be it economic crisis or eco trends, MBA hiring in the nonprofit sector has increased. This kind of organizations survive thanks to their funding and streamlining operations which they have to keep on a safe level. This is why MBA graduates are likely to get a great job offer thanks to their strategic and analytical skills and also to their knowledge of the private sector.

Of course, few nonprofits can afford hiring an MBA, but why hire one when you can rent him by hour?


There has been a lot of buzz lately about the “rent an MBA” concept. HourlyNerd is some sort of Zipcar in which MBAs are the cars. The concept for this business was very simple: there are so many organizations which need a good strategy or marketing plan but could not afford McKinsey, Bain, or Boston Consulting Group. But what if they could get the next best thing for a few hundred dollars?

The company was founded in February by three Harvard Business School students as part of a class project and has quickly gained traction. HourlyNerd has recruited a stable of nearly 500 current and former MBAs from top schools.

The process behind is simple. Businesses and NGOs post their projects online, and MBAs bid on them.  The fee may vary up to $50 an hour, although there are also some  impressive MBAs who  may command as much as $100. The business makes an upfront payment to HourlyNerd, then the MBA gets paid after the job is done, while HourlyNerd takes a cut from the business (10 percent, plus a 3.5 percent transaction fee) and from the students (5 percent).

Yes, there are positive outcomes so far. MBAs working through HourlyNerd have completed about 30 projects so far. An MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business was paid $250 to upgrade the website for a Boston florist, and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management did a market analysis for a luxury retail startup in the Boston area. MBAs are currently at work on a marketing plan for a restaurant and bar in Cambridge, Mass., and a plan to boost profit at a Cambridge gym.

HourlyNerd  is just one example. Prior to this company, MBA & Co., launched in 2009 by graduates of Spain’s IESE Business School and ESCP Europe when the market for MBA talent had hit a low point, was aimed at business school graduates with an abundance of skills but a dearth of job offers. In its first three months in business, 2,000 MBA graduates and current students had signed up.  We are looking now at a successful company which now has offices in London and New York,  and which has recently secured $1.2 million in financing.

Let’s hear from you what your thoughts are on this. Would you want to be part of this idea? Share your comments below.

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