Focus on entrepreneurship at IÉSEG

October 20, 2015

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In recent years, entrepreneurship has become an increasingly important element of activities at IÉSEG. Increasing numbers of our students have a desire to launch their own business and/or to get a solid foundation in entrepreneurship and how to build a business successfully.

Following courses at the Bachelor level, designed to introduce students to different elements of business and entrepreneurship, students in the Grande École ‘Master in Management’ program have the opportunity to follow a two-year specialization in entrepreneurship.

They select from a wide range of electives, for example topics such as the A to Z of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, social innovation and entrepreneurship, or writing effective business plans).

Business creation projects: “Projet de creation d’entreprise”

©Barbara Grossmann

©Barbara Grossmann

All Students in the Master in Management program also have the option to apply to take part in the semester-long module entitled (projet de creation d’entreprise – PCE). Under the guidance of a pool of academic and professional experts, each year around 50 – 70 students develop a detailed project to create a new company and a full business plan. At the end of the semester, they ‘pitch’ their concept to a panel of academic and professional experts.

“A significant number of these PCE actually become start up business either when the student graduates or in the following years”, explains Professor Jonas Debrulle, head of the entrepreneurship track at IÉSEG. “The best projects are also ‘fast tracked’ in the application process to be considered as one of the companies that can join the School’s incubator at the Lille or Paris campus,” he adds.

Each year, the incubator provides a selected number of new start-ups with dedicated space and dedicated professional support to grow and develop their start-ups both in Lille & Paris. These currently include:

SmartRepair: a company focusing on smart phone repair;

InstantChef: an online platform which supplies high-quality fine food products; an online platform dedicated to helping families looking for childcare;

And a number of textile/or fashion based start- ups such as 100Culottes, ClaraLoca, Les Heritiers, North Hill, and Valôme.

Companies in the incubators are provided with free professional guidance and support from a wide variety of academic and professional experts from within the School and outside.

“IÉSEG also works closely with a range of partners in sector of entrepreneurship (such as the Réseau Entreprendre, PEPITE)  to ensure that all members of the incubator get regular access to training, conferences, and other networking opportunities that will help in their daily activities,’ explains Professor Christophe Garonne, who is responsible for the School’s incubator. It also worth noting that entrepreneurs from the School (students and alumni) can also take part in the entrepreneurship-related activities organized by IÉSEG network alumni association such as the entrepreneurs club (Club’Eur).

Professors Garonne and Debrulle are part of a dedicated team of academic experts at the School who carry out internationally peer reviewed research on entrepreneurship-related issues (such as team entrepreneurship, the role of gender in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship).

Social entrepreneurship

IÉSEG is particularly active in the area of social entrepreneurship; together with the Fondation Immochan and IÉSEG network (IÉSEG’s alumni network), it organizes the CRÉENSO competitition which rewards the creators of a social enterprise in France.

In addition to financial prizes for the best social enterprises, students from the Grande École program support a number of nominated entrepreneurs for one whole year in the area of their Master specialization: marketing / communication, audit / management control, human resources, management … depending on the requirements of the project. For example, in 2014/15 a total of 15 companies in France were supported by a Student from IÉSEG.

Meanwhile, the School’s student association, IÉSEG Enactus, which is part of the Enactus international network, is extremely active. Enactus works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.