Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Our philosophy

Our philosophy of entrepreneurship | Entrepreneurship for all | Intrapreneurship everywhere | Key figures | The partners of the Entrepreneurship Centre

Our philosophy of entrepreneurship

"Enlightening entrepreneurship: ESSEC trains leaders-entrepreneurs capable of addressing the challenges of a changing world.

Since its creation, ESSEC has always cultivated a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, which lies at the very core of its educational approach, research, and managerial practices. At ESSEC, we believe that everyone can be an entrepreneur, and that entrepreneurial experiences encourage a capacity to find solutions to tomorrow's problems and to adapt to the changes and challenges which we all face. Our ambition is to ensure that each ESSEC graduate views uncertainty as a call to action.

Over the past few decades, ESSEC has designed a combination of courses, seminars, internships, professorships, and incubators to facilitate and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit of its students and participants. Through its student incubator, ESSEC Ventures, its social enterprise accelerator program “Antropia ESSEC” and its “Club Generation Startuppeuse” which supports female entrepreneurship, ESSEC has established a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem. It enables students, participants in continuing education programs and external entrepreneurs to benefit from dedicated support to create and grow enterprises in a variety of areas.

ESSEC is also positioned as a key player in the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in Morocco and Singapore through the influence of its two international campuses and its alumni network in these two regions.

As part of the School’s new strategy, this historic commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation remains intact and is gaining strength. These are unrivaled opportunities that ESSEC provides to students and participants with the aim of nurturing their entrepreneurial reflexes.

It is with this in mind that ESSEC has committed to an ambitious plan, “Enlightening Entrepreneurship”, to consolidate and strengthen our current entrepreneurial ecosystem. This requires new approaches and new skills, putting people at the center of our desire to develop the capacity of entrepreneurs to act in the face of uncertainty.

Entrepreneurship for all

At ESSEC we believe that having entrepreneurial skills is beneficial for everyone, be it in your personal or professional life. We don’t see entrepreneurship only as the act of creating your own business. Rather we see it as a mindset of seeing opportunities in a sea of challenges, and the skill to manage the risks and uncertainty associated with developing them. In a world that is evolving fast, what worked yesterday is no longer a recipe for success tomorrow. Having entrepreneurial skills is therefore no longer a luxury, but an essential skill in everyone’s toolbox.

Our credo: Entrepreneurship can be taught!

I launched my entrepreneurial project in my first year at ESSEC. My passion for maths and statistics reinforced my idea to turn this project into a business creation. So, in parallel with my studies, I joined the ESSEC Ventures incubator. This project gave birth to Contentsquare, a solution that enables companies to create better digital experiences and which has become one of the world leaders in the field of UX Analytics.
Jonathan Cherki (E11), Founder and CEO of  Contentsquare

In order to develop your entrepreneurial skills, we build on three main principles:

- Entrepreneurship IS teachable. We draw on the experiences of many entrepreneurs and academic literature to provide you with the methodologies used by expert entrepreneurs.

- Learning skills requires trial-and-error. If you want to develop your entrepreneurial skills, you will have to learn it by doing. At ESSEC, we offer you a guiding hand and a safe environment where you can place your first steps as an entrepreneurial novice, or interact with peers and experienced experts as you build your entrepreneurial confidence. This is the case both in courses and our ESSEC Ventures incubator.

- Learning goes faster in a community. Being able to learn from your peers, reflect on your doubts, experiences and know-how helps you to learn much faster than you would have alone. For this reason, we organize many activities, guest speaker series and community exchanges to build a community, together with student associations, alumni and ecosystem partners. You are not alone!

Different content for different phases and interests.

Just like any other skill, your training needs will be different depending on your experience. This is why we have develop a pedagogical offer that fits your learning from “novice” to “expert”. In each of ESSEC’s programs we have (or are developing) modules that allow students or participants to discover entrepreneurship and its main methodologies, and move into more detailed and specific advanced training later on (or right away). Entrepreneurial strategies may also be different, depending on the specific industries and challenges faced. Entrepreneurship at ESSEC is therefore no one-size-fits-all, but rather a very customizable journey in terms of both courses and incubation:

  • General Entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Cleantech Entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences
  • Entrepreneurship in the media
  • Female entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurship everywhere

In an accelerating world, the major economic, environmental and technological challenges of tomorrow can no longer be solved by the management methods of the past. Only “Leaders-Intrapreneurs” mastering both entrepreneurship and the logic of traditional organizations will be fully prepared to face such challenges and enable large organizations to develop new activities that can scale up.

Our students and participants learn to think and act differently. Trained in entrepreneurship through courses and practice, they infuse existing organizations with the ability to reinvent themselves.

At L'Oréal, while we take pride in being the world leader in beauty, we nurture a strong culture of entrepreneurship. Agility, "challenger" mentality, innovation, and continuous transformation are part of our DNA. This is what allows L'Oréal to constantly adapt and meet the major environmental, societal and technological challenges we face.
Nicolas Hieronimus (E85), Deputy CEO of l'Oréal

Key figures

"Being an entrepreneur at ESSEC means being an agile and learning actor in a changing world. An opportunity to transform your passions into an innovative project and have a real impact on the world around you."

Join ESSEC's 20-year student entrepreneur community #justgettingstarted

Coached business projects


Companies created


73 %
Survival rate at 3 years




Company projects in the incubator in 2020


Bn of capital raised


10 200 jobs created by the incubated/supported companies


8000 students trained in three areas of excellence (Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Chair, Specialized Master's Degree ESSEC Centrale Entrepreneurs)

The partners of the Entrepreneurship Centre

"CentraleSupélec is one school, three campuses.
- 4500 students and 370 professors and professor-researchers interacting with its international network.
- 3 schools abroad (China, India and Morocco) and 5 associated international laboratories (Brazil, Canada, USA and China).
The School develops its academic excellence and research through fruitful cooperation with major national organizations such as CNRS, CEA, INRIA, INSERM and ONERA.
CentraleSupélec is a founding member of Université Paris-Saclay, the T.I.M.E. network, Alliance 4Tech, a strategic partner of ESSEC Business School, and chairs the Groupe École Centrale."

CentraleSupélec and ESSEC, strategic partners since 2009 (double diploma, MS in Data Sciences & Business Analytics, MS Centrale-ESSEC Entrepreneurs) join forces to provide support (incubators, Fab Labs, alumni networks, etc.) to student-entrepreneurs who create projects with a strong focus on technology and sustainable development (environment, energy, health). These students and participants, both pre-experience and post-experience, will therefore benefit from an unparalleled spectrum of skills and expertise to help them achieve their goals.

"In Extenso Innovation Croissance advises innovative organizations on the major challenges of tomorrow by providing companies and public players with the vision of strategic partner capable of proposing and implementing scientific and technical recommendations, strategic, financial and fiscal aspects of sustainable innovation.
With nearly 100 consultants mastering the entrepreneurial and sectoral challenges of their clients, In Extenso Innovation Croissance benefits from a strong territorial network, thanks to 8 regional locations, ensuring both responsiveness and perfect knowledge of ecosystems and networks of decision-makers."
In Extenso Innovation & Croissance

We support ESSEC's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center to assist student entrepreneurs, born with digital technology and the climate emergency, who will, in startups or large groups, design and develop sustainable solutions in all industrial sectors.
Patricia Braun, President In Extenso Innovation & Croissance

"A pioneer in digital recruitment, Altaïde is recognized as "THE" headhunter for start-ups, scale-ups and companies undergoing digital transformation. Altaïde has revolutionized headhunting by inventing social recruitment and developing a methodology based on our technological approach to sourcing. Present in Europe, we support our clients in Recruitment, Executive search, and Consulting in France and abroad. Our goal: to create the best possible team (top management, marketing, sales, technical) to develop your business."

"The first bank for SMEs, Banque Populaire Rives de Paris places entrepreneurship and innovation at the heart of its expertise.
Because a Start-Up does not have the same expectations as a traditional company, Banque Populaire Rives de Paris has set up a team of experts to support you in accelerating your development.
A team of innovation experts will understand your project, your expectations, your maturity phase, your business model... Whatever the type of your value proposition, technological, service, incremental or organizational innovation, at Banque Populaire Rives de Paris you you will be accompanied by an expert and a business adviser to advise you on your financial engineering and put you in touch with its network (partners, customers, etc.)
On a professional and private basis, you can count on one of our 12 business centers and the business center dedicated to start-ups and innovation."
Banque Populaire

"CIC is the bank of one in 3 businesses in France and constantly renews its desire to support all those who feel Entrepreneurs with their lives to build « in a changing world».
Putting innovation at the heart of its strategy, CIC offers high-performance services in the banking, insurance and technology services sectors.
Our priority is to provide our clients with the best quality of service, the greatest reactivity thanks to a particularly short decision circuit and a careful listening of project promoters."

"Dennemeyer is a key IP partner in your start-up life development.
We provide :
- IP Law firm Services from how to best protect your innovation to the defense of your rights once your innovation starts being successful and counterfeited.
- IP Consulting Services, dedicated to start-ups, help you build a tailored IP strategy by aligning your IP with your business objectives and secure your competitive advantage thanks to IP.
By equipping you with powerful and meaningful IP, our goal is for you to discuss with confidence with your future investors and partners.
At Dennemeyer, we will challenge you, ask the right questions and be the right IP partner for your growth."

"DJS AVOCATS has a solid experience in business and corporate law and advises non-listed companies on their acquisition of shareholdings, sale of shares or assets, and reorganization. The firm has developed a strong venture capital and development capital practice (Seed, Series A, Series B). The multidisciplinary team of DJS AVOCATS advises innovative companies, investment funds and Business Angels.
The firm also has an IT-Commercial department whose objective is to assist its clients in the following areas:
- Contract law (commercial contracts, general terms and conditions, general terms and conditions, etc.)
- IT contracts (SaaS contracts, license agreements, IT development, maintenance, outsourcing, transfer of rights, etc.)
- Personal data protection (GDPRcompliance);
- Digital law (fintech, regulations applicable to innovative projects, Crypto and Web3, smart contracts, etc.)."
DJS Avocats

"ODDO BHF is an independent European financial group with Franco-German and Swiss roots, whose history dates back over 240 years. Stemming from a family-owned French bank, a German private bank focused on the Mittelstand and a Swiss private bank, the Group has 2,500 employees and serves clients in France, Germany, Switzerland and around the world, united by an entrepreneurial spirit.
ODDO BHF offers its clients sustainable, tailor-made solutions, products and advisory services in the fields of private banking, asset management and corporate and investment banking, based on the principle of "making every day an opportunity"."

β†’ entrepreneurs@essec.edu
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β†’ entrepreneurs@essec.edu

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