Who wants to be an Entrepreneur?

Tomorrow is an exciting day for Entrepreneurs and Investors in Singapore. IE Business Schools and Angels Den jointly organized the first IE – Angels Den Seminar on Entrepreneurship. Here are the details: When? Wednesday, May 25 from 18:00 to 20.45 Where? Pan-Pacific Hotel, Level 1, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square Registration: IE Event Page As…

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IE University || 12 inspiring young minds

2 years ago IE University has created a Junior Advisory Board which serves to provide a worldly and youthful perspective to IE University. IE’s Junior Advisory Board is considered as a part of the IE community, and shows a commitment to excellence and innovation. Board members, though still in High School, are outstanding members of their community and serve as joint representatives of their communities to IE, and also of IE in their communities. Here are the impressions from the 2011 annual board meeting:

This year´s committee comprised of twelve pre-university students, all with an international profile and aged between 15 and 19. They met in Madrid and Segovia to debate the challenges facing university education. The members of the International Junior Advisory Board were selected using IE’s network of 23 international offices in 20 countries, and are from the Czech Republic,  Colombia, India, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Spain, Lesotho and the US.

The talented young members of the Board speak several different languages, are entrepreneurial and top-tier students in a range of disciplines. They are committed to humanistic values and social responsibility. They are international, practical, ambitious and above all they represent a generation which, thanks to its commitment to excellence, innovation, human values and ethics, will not only bring improvements to IE University, but will also serve as leaders in tomorrow’s world.

In their 2011 meeting, the Junior Advisory Board members were asked to think if entrepreneurship can be learnt and what is the role of universities in fostering an entrepreneurial culture. They also discussed how universities can promote diversity and how it can equip students with the tools and skills they need to function in an increasingly competitive global and cosmopolitan market. In an open forum they debated if Social Entrepreneurship has to be a part of a business education and how university sector can engage students in social issues.

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IE Entrepreneurs || José María Castillejo: Entertainment motivates

José María Castillejo, IE graduate, is the president of Zinkia Entertainment, a world reference in children’s entertainment, thanks to the extraordinary international success of the happy character Pocoyó, a small boy dressed in blue. Pocoyo, protagonist of a television series, has become a global, multi-platform entertainment brand.

Zinkia was created in 2001 as an audiovisual content producer for TV. Whatare main characteristics today?
Actually, Zinkia wasn’t created as an audiovisual contents producer for TV: Zinkia was created with the idea of being able to create contents that would help change our lives for the better and, in particular, help change our children’s lives for the better; children who were only babies when we created Zinkia.

Your company has become a world reference in children’s entertainment thanks to the extraordinary international success of Pocoyo, a small boy dressed in blue. What are the key factors behind that success, especially bearing in mind the huge number of competitors on the market?
I think that one of the key factors has been staying focused: trying to change our children’s lives, helping them to enjoy themselves and, while they do so, to learn that there are certain values that make human beings different from other living beings and that when we assume those values, they help us to be happy: friendship, loyalty, sincerity, hard work… And all while they are discovering new things about the world. The world that opens itself up to them and that they look at under a light of never-ending curiosity. I have no doubts that keeping our focus on that has helped us to be successful. Then ther e is also the talent of the people w e have worked with, the quality of the designs, contents and technological developments that have been made to represent the world of Pocoyo as we wanted.

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The Success in Failure

This February, IE Business School brought together some of Spain and Israel’s most prominent entrepreneurs and investors for a conference about an essential element of the entrepreneurial endeavor: Failure.“The Advantages of Failure,” the first conference of its kind hosted by a business school, asked participants to speak about their greatest failures as entrepreneurs, how they learned from and eventually overcame them. Present in all entrepreneurial markets, the fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles to fomenting a successful European entrepreneurial ecosystem. In Spain, for example, more than 50% of those interviewed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the largest single study of entrepreneurial activity in the world, note that the fear of failure is a key impediment to becoming an entrepreneur. 

The start of the conference delved into the lessons learned from experience: 

•Jose María Castillejo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zinkia Entertainment SA, whose principal product is the animated figure Pocoyo, recounted his experience with a Ukrainian train heist. The son of a local Ukranian politician “hid” a train full of sunflower seeds in order to squeeze Castillejo out of a profitable business exporting sunflower seed oil.

•Jesús Encinar, founder and CEO of Spain’s top real estate website Idealista.com explained how the failures of his parents’ first businesses – and the subsequent need to relocate from his childhood home – made him ever vigilant of bank debt and possible business failure. In 2008, Encinar was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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Profitable growth and intrapreneurship

IE Focus | By Pablo Martin de Holan, Professor at IE Business School

Most firms either don´t see business opportunities, or see them and don´t act on them because they lack resources or don’t give their people the right incentives. Growing a business is a good way of achieving its strategic objectives and maintaining its competitive advantage. Growth can, however, be expensive and very uncertain. The dilemma facing the manager is straightforward: find new opportunities that are not too risky, and therefore not so interesting, or move away from the familiar area of competition with the investment and risk such a move involves. 

There is also a third alternative: growing on the back of opportunities created by intrapreneurship. This form of growth allows businesses to leverage opportunities that are usually missed. These opportunities can be many in number and range from minor innovations to radical market changes. Their common denominator is that they can appear anywhere in the business; one common situation in a company is that those who know how can´t, and those who can don´t know how. This short article will offer the basic ideas behind this method.

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IE students mentor African women entrepreneurs

Students from IE Business School’s International MBA (IMBA) program have been providing online and onsite assessment for the African women entrepreneurs who have participated in The Women-Led Businesses Program. The program is designed to provide mentoring and assessment for women entrepreneurs in Liberia, South Africa, Congo Democratic Republic, Mozambique, Senegal and Rwanda, and is organized by the Senegalese association FAS (Femmes Africa Solidarité) and IE Business School.

IE Business School’s Center for Diversity and FAS, in collaboration with AECID, have designed and implemented this project aimed at providing 23 African women with training and leadership skills. During the first phase, Professor Pablo Martin de Holan and Professor Celia de Anca created a group of consultants, each of which would be responsible for selecting candidates from a particular country. Between them they selected 23 high-potential African women from a total of 300 candidates. The selected candidates took part in a month-long training program led by Professor Ignacio de la Vega in Senegal. After this training period, they came to Madrid to continue their management education. During the 2009/2010 academic year, the program organizers selected the best business plans and presented them to a panel comprised of potential investors. Celia de Anca, Director of IE’s Center for Diversity, explained how IE feels that is essential to teach young, future directors and entrepreneurs about the enormous potential of the African continent for the corporate world. “The program is about another way of looking at this neighboring continent and another way of doing business in a continent with such potential”.

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International experts in Social Entrepreneurship meet at IE University

On July  9, 10 and 11 IE University, in collaboration with the Social Entrepreneurship and Education Consortium (SEEC), hosted a conference for international experts in Social Entrepreneurship in Segovia.  This event, organized by IE professor Rachida Justo, was the first international workshop in Spain on Social Entrepreneurship. The conference was joined by experts from over 20…

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