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SKEMA graduates' pandemic support initiatives

Published on 19 May 2020

For over a month now, we have been confronted with an unprecedented situation. Many SKEMA graduates have reacted by organising support initiatives for health workers, for well being and for businesses.

​Over the past few weeks we have seen various initiatives emerge from our community of graduates: our alumni are among those getting involved on the front line with health workers, patients and companies. They are entertaining people, providing solutions, helping, supporting actions and more. We are proud of them and wanted to share these acts of solidarity, a value that is prominent within our network. Thank you and well done to all of you!

Support for health workers

  • Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré (SK 2017), founders of Pokawa, decided to support frontline health workers with what they do best: poké bowls! Hospitals can sign up via an online form to receive meals for their staff. This is a wonderful initiative to help hospital workers in Paris and Nice during this difficult health crisis. 

  • Bernard Vanderschooten (SK 1982), head of Norlinge, launched the production of masks in response to the shortage in health facilities.

  • Edouard Roquette (SK 1987), chairman of the board at Roquette, launched a hand sanitiser production line at the company’s Lestrem facility. CHU de Lille (Lille teaching hospital), Etablissement Français du Sang (the French blood bank), and the Communauté de Communes de Flandres Lys were the first to receive the hand sanitiser their establishments. Over 5,000 litres have already been delivered each week since the lockdown began.

  • Mathilde Thomas (SK 1994), founder of Caudalie, sent all of the company’s disposable gowns, shoe covers, scrub caps, and thousands of creams to several hospitals in France.

  • Amandine Azencott (SK 2002), CEO and co-founder of Codage, sent thousands of tubes of hand cream to health workers in France’s hospitals.

  • Céline Molière (SK 2001), CEO of Emilie and the Cool kids, is baking cookies every day for the frontline workers at several health facilities in Lille and Nice.

  • Sylvain Chardard (SK 1998) is HR manager at Haribo in Marseille. The company has donated sweets to nursing homes and hospitals, as well as disposable gowns to district nurses in Marseille.

  • Samuel Barnabas (SK 1998) is CEO of Norauto France, whose Nord/Armentières teams provided free repairs for health workers' cars that had been damaged.

  • Edwy Rousseau (SK 2007), founder and CEO of TipToque Paris, joined Les Chefs Avec Les Soignants to deliver free meals every day to over 100 hospitals France-wide.

  • Stéphane Wimez (SK 1994), CEO of Mehari Club Cassis, supplied the La Bastide des Calanques nursing home and some district nurses in Cassis with 800 shoe covers, 800 gloves and 1,000 scrub caps. The upholstery workshop also made some fabric face masks.

  • Adrien Leonard (SK 2013), co-founder of Maison Montalet co-founded Collectif Solidaire, an association that delivers healthy, balanced meals made by chefs to frontline health workers.

  • SKEMA's New Silk Road association, in collaboration with Chinese students and alumni, made donations to hospitals in China. Similarly, SKEMA alumni in China raised money and donated masks and other materials to the Greater East Region in China.

Initiatives that promote the well-being of body and mind

  • Alexandra Louison (SK 2005), a high-level triathlete and runner, is giving free pilates lessons each week on her Facebook page.

  • Sabine Venaruzzo (SK 1997), actor and classical singer, is offering poetry readings over the phone.

  • Elodie Saurat (SK 2010), internal audit manager in London, is offering free yoga classes in English each week on Zoom.

  • Marion Meyer (SK 2016), created the “Espérance” podcast a few weeks ago after noticing growing resignation and pessimism regarding all social issues (health, environment, education, humanitarian...). She interviews inspiring people, everyday heroes who prove that kindness, generosity and solidarity are values that really are present within our society.

  • Jacques d'Anchald (SK 1970), coach and founder of, is regularly hosting free webinars on Zoom about the meaning of life, with the possibility of reflecting together on what this crisis means.

  • Jérôme Sutter (SK 2011), global marketing, communications & e-business director at Puressentiel, is making the PDF version (255 pages - French language) of his book iAdvertisers - L'histoire et les prochains défis de la publicité digitale available as a free download. Three thousand copies of the book have been sold so far. 

Help for businesses  

  • Alaude Lefebvre (SK 2019), founder of Sublimeurs, has launched a temporary ‘click & collect’ service on her website to give restaurant and shop owners another way to sell their products.

  • Pierre Yu (SK 2012), director at Pierre International Group Limited, sent 1,000 protective face masks to SKEMA’s Sophia Antipolis campus for employees.
    Pierre explains: "Thanks to my studies at SKEMA, I now work in international business. At the very beginning of the epidemic, our French friends were very supportive. To express our gratitude, I donated 1000 KN95 masks in the hope that they could better protect SKEMA staff and students,"

  • Jean-Denis Deweine (SK 1983), CEO of Auchan Retail France, paid a €1,000 bonus to 65,000 of the company’s employees to reward them for their exceptional support during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Ludovic Holinier (SK 1990), CEO of Cora, made a commitment to support farmers, horticulturists, fishermen and, more broadly, all of France’s producers, by developing partnerships.

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