Bachelor in International Business (BIB): students offer solutions to “Grand Scène”, a new street-food venue

Launched in 2020 by a IÉSEG graduate (Geoffroy MARTICOU, graduated in 2013, co-founder and president) in the heart of Lille, “Grand Scène” is the new go-to place for Lille street-food, including ten restaurants that offer a local cuisine at a fair price, two bars, a coffee-shop and cultural events organized throughout the year. Behind the scenes, it is also a stepping stone for talented young chefs who benefit from entrepreneurial guidance to help them become successful business leaders. One year after its launch, Geoffroy MARTICOU wanted to take advantage of the new perspective and multicultural vision that 3rd year students of the Bachelor in International Business of IÉSEG can offer.

Each year, through their “Business Models and Innovation” course, the students work in groups on real issues proposed by companies in relation to their business model. After large international groups such as Leroy Merlin or Kiabi, it is now time for local SMEs (see: Echapées Bière in 2020) with very concrete problematics. This year, “Grand Scène” asked them to work on tangible strategic issues, such as attracting more customers in off-peak periods

27 students thus worked on this cross-cutting project. “These business cases are essential for IÉSEG students. It allows them to benefit from a real experience and interaction with companies by working on a concrete and interdisciplinary project, allowing them to apply all the knowledge acquired not only in the analysis of business models, but also in all the other courses such as finance, marketing, human resources, etc., explains Catherine ARCHAMBAULT, Professor of Strategy in charge of this course.

The five teams perfectly met and even exceeded expectations! Remodeling, layout and decoration of the ground floor, spaces and atmosphere adapted to remote work, adaptation of the offer for non-peak hours, creation of new events dedicated to the target, creation of a takeaway offer visible from outside, creation of a catering offer and dedicated spaces for children, creation of  dedicated hashtags on social media, and even a reflection on the efficiency of internal processes and team management – Geoffroy MARTICOU left with a lot of concrete proposals to implement, some very quickly, and others in the longer term.

“Being able to rely on the fresh eyes of the Bachelor in International Business students was very valuable. They all came to soak up the atmosphere of the place, they put themselves in the shoes of our clients and this is really what we can expect from a team of consultants coming to work on our business model. The foreign students gave us a real culture shock, by going to look for what works in the “food courts” in their country and by adapting them to the French culture… This allows us to take a step back on everything we have put in place, and to leave with a lot of beautiful things to study and launch. I congratulate them for the high quality of their work and their performance during the oral presentation”, he explains.

The Bachelor in International Business students were also delighted to be able to present their proposals directly to the company. “Working on a real business issue was exciting because we were able to put into practice all the concepts we studied in the program since the first year. It was quite impressive to see a IÉSEG alumnus, founder of a company, come to meet us and ask for advice to improve his business model. It was also very instructive because we realized that business strategy is not only abstract concepts, but it also translates into concrete actions on the field. We tried to make the most out of our international background (we come from Japan and Malaysia) to offer innovative solutions, and being able to get the company’s feedback was fascinating… We learned as much in soft skills (multicultural exchanges, public speaking, impact of the presentation…) as in hard skills, and this course is actually a good summary of what we have learned in the Bachelor in International Business as well as what we will be asked to do tomorrow in a company”, conclude Hannah, Najibah, Aina, Akram and Ruri.

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