At ESADE, professors who lecture on entrepreneurship are constantly encouraging their students to start their own innovative businesses. In my case, I would draw on the testimonials of various entrepreneurs to give students as wide a range of tools as possible to manage the risks involved in any business venture. Years later, our alumni, now visionary businessmen and women in their own right, express their gratitude to ESADE – in writing and in person- for having planted the seeds of their passion for entrepreneurship. For a teacher, there is no greater reward than this type of recognition.I believe that one of the main functions of any business school must be to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and culture amongst its students. Inspiring talented young people to generate ideas built on solid business plans should be one of ESADE’s permanent objectives. In this regard, the fact that some 30% of our students would like to set up their own company, as reported in the profile on ESADE featured in the Financial Times, is a sign that we’re doing something right.
ESADE students and alumni are always making the news for their business initiatives. In late January, three 2013 MSc programme graduates – Cristina Pérez, Joris Van Dyck and Olga Plets – won the Fundación Caja de Ingenieros Start-up Prize for their company Cloudguide. The prize is awarded to start-ups in the fields of science, technology and innovation that are at least one year old.
A few years more experienced, but likewise still young, the founders of the companies in the running for the fourth Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs award met a couple of weeks ago at ESADE’s eGarage for the announcement of the 2014 winner. The grant, awarded by the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute (EEI), allows young entrepreneurs under the age of 30 to take the Executive Programme for Owner-Managers at ESADE.
ESADE’s classrooms and hallways are abuzz with an entrepreneurial spirit not because it is fashionable – although it is – but rather because launching a company has always been one of the main components of business education. Our classrooms cultivate ideas, from the time they are just seeds until they can blossom into companies able to generate transformations.
Embracing innovation and change as crosscutting values is always a courageous decision, and this is even truer in an unstable business environment such as today’s. It is thus exactly this type of courage that I am so proud to see on display in each new success story from an enterprising graduate.