Starting a business: when business schools create their own investment funds

In the process of promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among students, business schools are playing on increasingly sophisticated systems. The incubator model has been in place for a few years now, and the curriculum has been adapted accordingly to allow flexibility between theoretical courses and field situations. To go further in the concept of training more business creators than traditional employees or salaried workers, some schools have introduced the investment fund method. Although the idea has passed its infancy phase in a relatively short period of time, the results rather indicate an undeniable advantage.

Area of definition

Over the last few decades, business schools have worked hard to prepare future entrepreneurs. Students who are planning to become entrepreneurs and other start-up promoters need only to choose the learning centre that is right for them. However, some universities are beginning to take the lion’s share of the credit, arguing that there is an investment fund alongside their core activities. The principle comes into play as an integral part of the training curriculum, complementing and completing the experiences gained during the transition to the incubator.

Family business

The method of application is exactly the same as the classic operation of any investment fund. However, since the fund operates within the framework of a training course, the business school is the main shareholder of the fund. The other participants include companies whose promoters or managers are graduates of the same school. In general, no foreign entity may participate in this fund, except in exceptional circumstances where it should be involved. Moreover, the “family” nature of the procedure is reinforced by the fact that only students from this school can benefit from it.

Objective

The process in its generality consists in buying shares in a company in order to make a profit, and this profitability is indisputably verified. However, the orientation of the investment fund proposed by business schools has a completely different objective: that of supporting their students in their research. Although they have sufficient financial resources for a well-defined project, it is not a question of giving the future entrepreneur everything he needs, but rather of giving him what he needs to get him on track, and accompanying him through the development phases of his idea.

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