Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Pablo Martin de Holan at emlyon business school and program graduate Morgane Hillen recently answered YOUR questions about the Global Entrepreneurship Program; an entrepreneurship program that takes place across three different continents in a live Campus Channel Q&A session!
Questions about the program ranged from the cultural experience of living and studying across three different continents, whether you should join the program if you want to work in a family business, why students study entrepreneurship in China and much more. Watch Professor Martin De Holan and program alumni Morgane answer your questions below!
Morgane Hillen, graduate of the Global Entrepreneurship Program class of 2013 launched Achhill’s Gluten Free, a wholesale company specialising in gluten and lactose free products with a fellow alumnus Tifenn Acher. The two entrepreneurs won funding for their startup from Incubator Pionnière specialised in supporting female entrepreneurs.
Talking about the entrepreneurship program, Morgane and Tiffen said: “During the year, our fear of setting up a business became smaller and smaller and at some point, it disappeared. This is something we owe to the program.”
Watch Morgane and Tiffen talk about launching their startup here
Campus Channel Q&A session
See Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Pablo Martin de Holan and program graduate Morgane answer your questions during the Campus Channel Q&A webinar in February 2015.
What do you mean exactly by a cultural experience far beyond pure academic studies?
Throughout the Global Entrepreneurship Program, students live, work and study with people from all over the world during their semesters in France, China and the US. Graduate Morgane explains that the cohort depend heavily on those students local to each country in order to help them understand and operate within the local business context. She explains this tight-knit environment of living and working together gives you a very personal, precious experience. “Chinese students invited us to their homes for Chinese New Year. You don’t get that going to a Shanghai Business School for one year. It’s the real experience and that’s what matters the most.”
The cohort is highly diverse, for example with the 2014-2015 cohort representing 11 different nationalities, coming from China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and the USA. The opportunity to learn about cultural characteristics and the ways of doing business from students of all corners of the globe is a unique and highly valuable experience. Professor Martin de Holan explains: “Chinese people are not American people who speak Chinese, they think differently, act differently, and here you are in touch with them…so you learn how to work with them.”
Why would I need a degree (in entrepreneurship) to work in my family business?
Program graduate Morgane shared that many students in her cohort joined the program because their family businesses were interested in expanding internationally. She says: “When you are sending your son or your daughter abroad to France or China or the US, they have the opportunity to make important contacts and a network…Even if your family business wants to stay within your country, it just gives you another perspective of how things are working outside, which is always interesting.”
Professor Martin De Holan argues that the role of schools teaching entrepreneurship is to provide a safe environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to be able to try many things, make mistakes and learn from them, therefore reduce the cost and risk of failure in the real world. He adds: “In a family business if you take a decision and the decision is wrong, you pay the price. But you can examine that in school and that will not cost you the same…It takes you where you will go anyway, but faster.”
Why do students study entrepreneurship in China? Why do they study Family Business there?
Program graduate Morgane refers to the excellent reputation of Zhejiang University in China; the University of Jack Mau, the founder of Alibaba and 18th richest man in the world, with the Zhejiang province having the reputation at the province of entrepreneurs. Morgane shared: “When I told Chinese people that I’d got into Zhejiang University, they were very impressed. When you want to do business with Chinese people, having gone to a really good school is important.”
Students of the Global Entrepreneurship Program study in China because it’s a very interesting world region for entrepreneurship right now: nearly 25% of the adult population are entrepreneurs, twice as many as in the U.S according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Add to this the fact that 85% of China’s private companies are family businesses, in which an individual or a family controls at least 50% of the firm, according to a study by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with Zhejiang University in 2010. Studying this aspect of entrepreneurship will therefore give future entrepreneurs a better understanding of how family business will grow in importance in the future world economy.
Discover the Global Entrepreneurship Program