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A look back at the SKEMA Social Ventures Summit

Published on 29 March 2021
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The first edition of the SKEMA Social Ventures Summit took place on 16 March. We look back at the event with its creators Pauline Gane and Philippe Chéreau.

This first edition of the SKEMA Ventures Summit was organised with strong support from different SKEMA teams: Marketing & Communications, Alumni and Fundraising, Transformation and Digital and, of course, SKEMA Ventures. The collective effort made it a success, with around 800 registrations, over 1,000 interactions and messages throughout the day, and over 200 contacts made via the virtual stands.

Students, entrepreneurs, committed business leaders, professors, and experts in social entrepreneurship talked with participants online (with a steady audience of over 300 people and nearly 600 at the peak time) about the progress made in achieving sustainable development goals and the best practices for creating and developing entrepreneurial projects with a sound impact.

The speakers included Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of global sales, marketing and operations at Microsoft, president and co-founder of the Live For Good association, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SKEMA and an alumnus (1983); Alice Guilhon, dean and executive president of SKEMA; Florence Oulès, head of mission, inclusive development & SSE, IDF Region; Sébastien Malod, vice-president, Réseau Entreprendre; Jean-Pierre Blanc, director of Malongo; Christophe Conceicao, head of operations at Live for Good; Guillaume Boudy, mayor of Suresnes, and many others.

Pauline Gane, manager of the Venture Factory at the Grand Paris Campus who was in charge of the event, and Philippe Chéreau, director of SKEMA Ventures, tell us about the event.

What was special about the SKEMA Social Ventures Summit?
Philippe Chéreau: The SKEMA Social Ventures Summit was the first event dedicated to impact entrepreneurship, and it highlighted its specificities and those involved. The participants were able to discover and talk with various players involved in social entrepreneurship. These “new entrepreneurs” are dealing with social, commercial and institutional approaches all at once.
Pauline Gane:This event organised by SKEMA Ventures brought together representatives from the social entrepreneurship ecosystem on this scale for the first time, including social start-ups, companies, investors, institutions, support structures, and so on. We would like to thank all the participants and speakers, as well as our 17 partners, who were highly involved in the discussions and exchanges.

Does this dynamic reflect a fundamental trend?
Philippe Chéreau: Yes, very much so. The talks, round tables, and numerous research corner sessions held throughout the day bore witness to this deep-seated trend, which has been underway for several years and orients future leaders and entrepreneurs more towards creating value for all the stakeholders in their ecosystem than capturing value for their company alone. SKEMA Ventures provides strong support for this movement through various means. This first edition of the SKEMA Social Ventures Summit gave shape to this commitment and boosted the movement by encouraging discussion and experience-sharing.
Pauline Gane: The summit was an opportunity to raise awareness of how rich the social entrepreneurship ecosystem is. The trend has now become a real grassroots movement that aims to tackle social and environmental issues in an innovative way.

What does the future hold?
Pauline Gane: The resources available to start-ups developing in this field were highlighted at the summit. The context is conducive for giving impetus to much-needed social and environmental innovations, and thus meeting the challenges of our century. After this highly successful first edition, we are planning another event in spring 2022, so that we can continue to build a better future together.
Philippe Chéreau: Yes, we have great ambitions for the next edition of the SKEMA Social Ventures Summit, which will be held at our Grand Paris Campus with a decidedly international dimension – this time, hopefully, in person.

For more information, visit: https://ventures.skema.edu/
Contact: Pauline Gane

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