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Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? HEC Paris publishes White Paper to guide start-up success

1 June 2017

HEC Paris has combined the considerable expertise of its faculty and executive stakeholders to produce a White Paper, advising would-be entrepreneurs on how to successfully design, launch and grow a business.

Learning from the Experts: How to Start your own Business” has been compiled from the research and experiences of HEC Paris’ Executive Education faculty, specialising in business strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation, and business policy, with insights from other industry leaders.

The Paper has been spurred by a growing trend of managers undertaking executive education programmes with the aim of launching their own ventures. According to a survey of HEC Paris’ Executive Education alumni network, 44% of students aim to start a business within three years of completing their studies.

Etienne Krieger, Scientific Director of HEC’s Entrepreneurship Centre, and a contributor to the paper says,

“According to our experience of entrepreneurial teaching, the average age for founding an innovative company is 38. At this age, and after spending near-on fifteen years carving out one career path, individuals often crave change and undertake new initiatives, particularly if their life does not match their aspirations, or if they feel they are yet to make their mark on the world.

However, middle-aged professionals have more elements to take into account before deciding to launch their own ventures at this later stage. There is often a home to run, a family to support and a reputation to maintain.”

The White Paper states that managers need to fully assess whether they have the personal qualities to succeed as an entrepreneur and to make the right decisions in the crucial early stages of planning and building a business.

It addresses four core topics to help managers decide whether they are ready for the challenge of becoming start-up founders;

  1. 1.    Opportunity and Risk
  2. 2.    Skills: Have you got what it takes?
  3. 3.    Building your business
  4. 4.    Getting the support you need 

The paper also covers the benefits and opportunities that can be gained through intrapreneurship, for those who desire greater autonomy for themselves, or for their staff, and wish to remain within their organisations.

Peter Todd, Dean of HEC Paris Business School says,

“The world of education must be aware of its responsibilities. Tomorrow’s economy and society rest largely on the new generations entering our schools, universities and business schools. It is important for institutions to invest in these entrepreneurs in the making, who are capable of conquering new spaces, re-galvanizing economies and revamping business performance with a sharp eye on social responsibility”.

For those wishing to pursue entrepreneurial ambitions at HEC Paris at Executive Education level the school has provided a dedicated entrepreneurship track on its Executive MBA, as well as a new Online Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme, in partnership with Coursera. Students can also benefit from increased careers advice and support, and access to the school’s Seed Fund and Station F, the largest start-up incubator in Europe.

The White Paper is available to download from the HEC Paris website.

Press contact:

Julie Dobiecki - - +33 1 39 67 94 39

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