Meet the French Business School Boosting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in its MBA Curriculum |

Meet the French Business School Boosting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in its MBA Curriculum

By Stephanie L

Updated October 28, 2019 Updated October 28, 2019

Sponsored by International School of Management

Entrepreneurship and innovation are buzzwords in the business world right now and are fast becoming intrinsic elements of business education.

The link between the two encompasses a wide set of values and is setting a trend as the traditional MBA curriculum expands and adapts to embrace the evolving business landscape and the increased number of entrepreneurs and high-tech startups in the MBA world.

While the foreseeable future of entrepreneurship is bright, it will inevitably become a crowded space as more people look to branch out with their own ventures and startups. So, how can aspiring entrepreneurs and business professionals stand out from the competitive startup crowd? We spoke to those in the know at The International School of Management.

Classes on entrepreneurship and innovation are no longer a novelty, but essential

It’s been a long-standing debate in business school education over the years. Can entrepreneurship and innovation be taught, or are they dependent on innate talents that are unteachable?

In a traditional classroom setting, it may not be easy to put theories about entrepreneurship into practice but The International School of Management has taken the necessary steps to make entrepreneurship and innovation an inherent part of their International MBA (IMBA) curriculum.

Considering research shows that 75 percent of all startups fail, business schools should be doing more in their MBA programs to develop the entrepreneurship skills of their students, while encouraging them to think beyond traditional business areas such as data analytics and operations management.

IMBA students at ISM who study the entrepreneurship and innovation specialization will be taught to understand the theory and practice behind starting up new businesses, as well as how to develop and launch new products and projects in a variety of fields.

Pitch in Paris

Students who choose the extended business plan option for the Master’s Final Project in the IMBA will be able to submit their finalized business proposal for The International School of Management’s annual business pitch competition, Pitch in Paris.

The yearly event attracts start-up founders, angel investors and many others. The competition is open to everyone, and eight aspiring student entrepreneurs from ISM are invited to pitch their business plan to industry leaders, potential investors and a panel of judges, with €1,000 prize money awarded to the winner.

“At ISM we have taken various initiatives to create a favorable ecosystem to engage students in entrepreneurship.

“One clear example of this focus is the Pitch in Paris, which has become a milestone of our school’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation,” says César Baena, Dean and Director of Doctoral Research at The International School of Management.

Armed with the tools and knowledge gained during the IMBA, students who present their ideas may get recognized, as well as gain valuable feedback and benefit from various networking opportunities.

Nour Naboulsi is a PhD alumnus at ISM who took part in the first ever Pitch in Paris event two years ago.

“By the end of my program I was interested in exploring my options and venturing into entrepreneurship. I felt I needed to explore my options and break out of my comfort zone by pitching a business idea I had in mind but never got around to putting it down on paper.

“I benefited a lot as it helped me develop a business plan, pitch it in front of judges, and get potential investors from it.

“It was a unique experience, and helped many of us tackle developing our ideas and gain different perspectives,” said Nour.

What is the future of entrepreneurship and innovation going to look like?

What works now may not work in ten years’ time, and what worked ten years ago, may not work now. Being innovative and entrepreneurial is about keeping up with the times and constantly thinking outside the box in order to come up with solutions that scream uniqueness, solution and clarity.

“These days, both entrepreneurship and innovation are major factors in developing ideas and helping students as they venture out into the world,” says Nour.

While Dean César Baena considers creativity as “the bedrock of innovation.”

“By encouraging the development of an integrative thinking mindset, business schools need to train students to solve problems in creative and innovative ways,” he says.

Lead image credit: The International School of Management

This article was originally published in August 2019 . It was last updated in October 2019

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for and (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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