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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.

Visitors look at a display at a government-sponsored water-technology conference in Tel Aviv in November 2009. Long known as a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, Israel offers MBA programs that give Westerners an opportunity to refine their skills in a nation of start-up firms.

Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters/File

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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.

It's just that he's living in Tel Aviv, not Cambridge, Mass. – or New York, Geneva, or London.

"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.


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