The Global Entrepreneurship Program, run jointly by EMLYON Business School (Europe), Zhejiang University (Asia) and Purdue University (USA), focuses around 4 main pillars of entrepreneurship; New Venture Creation, Family Business, Social and Corporate Entrepreneurship.
What does the New Venture Creation module involve?
New Venture Creation teaches students the process of building and maintaining a successful and lasting new venture. It teaches them how to evaluate different opportunities and assess resource needs when looking to create a new business, as well as how to write a solid business plan. It also teaches the main attributes of successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial careers.
As a school with entrepreneurship at the very heart of all teaching, EMLYON doesn’t just teach its students how to become entrepreneurs. It also teaches how to apply those principles to being an “intrapreneur”; being able to spot new business opportunities within established companies. Sylvain Brochard, a graduate of the Global Entrepreneurship Program in 2010 now works at a consulting firm heading up new business development in the Asia Pacific region. Of his current role he says:
“Attending the Global Entrepreneurship Program at EMLYON, I was taught that being an entrepreneur is not just about creating new companies, but it could also mean supporting new ventures and creating new ventures in established companies. Today, I can’t think of any other work at a corporation that could be more entrepreneurial that what my team and what I myself do. Our role is to support international expansion by creating affiliates across the world.”
Why study New Venture Creation?
According to Bloomberg, a huge 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start new businesses fail within the first 18 months. In order to increase the probability of success, it is critical for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn as much as possible about the entrepreneurship process, both by learning and doing, whether they want to launch their own venture, consult for or invest in new opportunities.
According to Forbes, one of the top reasons that new businesses fail is because they’re not truly in touch with their customer’s needs. Nezhar Khadem, graduate of the Global Entrepreneurship Program was taught early on that it was critical to start with his customers when launching his new venture. Nezhar set up Enter The Club, an online reservation system for nightclubs in Paris with a former classmate of the program. When giving advice to future Global Entrepreneurship Program students, he says: “Whatever the idea you decide to proceed with, validation should be at the heart of what you do. Don’t stay indoors writing a business plan. Instead, get out of the building and talk to your customers, because they’ll tell you what to do. That was by far the best thing we’ve ever done.”
A practical learning approach
Inherent to the program is a great emphasis on integrating the theoretical and practical aspects of entrepreneurship. Students are exposed to real-life situations that they are likely to face as a manager in order to sharpen their analytical and questioning skills. In all three phases of the program in France, China and the US, students work on entrepreneurial business projects for a sponsor company which is matched to their area of interest. In France for example, these projects are focused around identifying opportunities and searching for ideas.
Students also have time to work on their own project, where they can get expert advice and support from professors and work with other students and the community in order to continually ‘learn by doing’. Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Pablo Martin de Holan at EMLYON Business School says that students are encouraged to make many mistakes in the classroom and learn from them, which is a lot less costly that in the real world. “You make a mistake, we analyse what the mistake was and try to understand why and in what context it was a mistake…The idea is you can make sense of the things that you have done. So first we let you do things, then we’ll let you make sense of that, then we tell you what the theory says.”