Starting a business is an exciting journey and many INSEAD alumni have found the support, resources and network at INSEAD that gave their entrepreneurship start a boost. We spoke to three INSEAD alumnae - who are successful business owners in their respective fields - on why they decided to do an MBA at INSEAD, how the INSEAD MBA prepared them for a life and career in entrepreneurship, and what advice they have for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Businesses come in all shape and forms, but family businesses have always lit a magical spark in my heart. Perhaps my fascination traces back to my experiences growing up in an entrepreneurial family, watching my parents build their business over the years, and joining them on this journey as a daughter and ‘consultant’.
Venture capital (VC) firms are a vital funding source for new businesses and a major driving force behind innovation. In exchange for evaluating a fledgling company’s growth potential and providing funds and mentoring to help it develop, venture capitalists gain an ownership stake – or equity – in the business. Often, they’ll aim to cash out of the investment once the startup reaches a size and credibility that will allow it to be taken public or sold to a major corporation.
COVID-19 closed business school campuses and forced thousands of MBA students into studying online. But it has also been a trigger for innovation. Some of the world’s most exciting startups have come out of the pandemic, and many of them have been started by MBAs. Edward Tsim from INSEAD's MBA Class of 2020 shares how the pandemic has sparked a business idea and launched the next step of his career as a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur.
Hometown: Agadir, MoroccoUndergraduate Institution and Major:
I never saw myself as an entrepreneur before INSEAD. In my mind, entrepreneurs with the likes of Steve Jobs or Elon Mask have a certain level of coolness; they are free spirits with a tremendously high risk-seeking appetite. I imagine them to be working day and night in T-shirts and jeans in their tech-enabled cozy offices, drinking coffee and ordering late night takeaways, pushing the team towards new breakthroughs with excitement!
Is launching a business the best way to fulfill your purpose? Are you dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, but you are too afraid of taking the risk?
INSEAD is the ideal place for me to pressure test my ideas with pioneers of relevant fields and future leaders.
Coming from a background in science and start-ups, many of my MBA programme options felt like a strong departure from the unfamiliar mind-expanding experiences, on-the-job learning, and team-building challenges of start-ups into a world of conservatism, risk management, and generally-accepted best practices—except for INSEAD.
At the end of August, I had the opportunity to attend an elective in Silicon Valley, as part of my MBA. INSEAD has been a wonderful opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and explore different career paths, and I signed up for the Building Business in Silicon Valley (BBSV) trek to do just that: explore the epicentre of tech startups, and what makes it so unique and successful.