Monday, November 17, 2008

The Future Depends on Global Entrepreneurial Magic

After participating in The World Entrepreneurship Forum from November 13-15th in Evian, France, founded by EMLYON Business School (EMLYON Business School English), the leading European business school in Entrepreneurship, and KPMG FR (KPMG USA arm), the leading tax, audit and advisory services company, and global leader in entrepreneurship education Babson College (Boston, USA) who just joined the two founding partners in the organization of the event -- I have come to realize and totally be in awe that global entrepreneurship is very much alive and more at work than ever. Further, we have far more similarities than differences in our passion for building businesses regardless of whether one lives in U.S.A, Indonesia or The Republic of Cameroon (bordered by Nigeria).

Passion -- not necessarily profit (for example, if you love what you do, the money (profits) will follow at some point ... nearly everyone felt that way ... but you cannot sustain the growth of your business, especially during rough patches, without passion first) -- is the key to successful global entrepreneurial development and it ran deep (soulfully might be a better choice of words) within each of the 80 selected personalities representing 35 nationalities and segmented into four distinct profiles who each have an entrepreneurial role in society: entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, politicians, and experts. I was placed in the Entrepreneur category under The Free Market Economy (one of three ethos*). The picture above shows all members and was taken on the grounds of the Evian Royal Resort overlooking Lake Geneva and facing the Alps.

Here's a look at the agenda we covered for the two and one-half days but before I share that, here's the definition of entrepreneur according to the World Entrepreneurship Forum:

"The entrepreneur, creator of wealth and social justice."

Does that sound like you? If so, let us hear from you! And two questions that arose from that statement:

1. What is the best way of creating wealth?
2. What is the best way of creating social justice?

And here's a glimpse at the founder's vision:
"The future depends on entrepreneurs. They play a pivotal role when confronting the business and societal challenges we face today and in the future. Creators of value, promotors of values, they will actively contribute to the advancement of global social justice." ~ EMLYON Business School - KPMG, Founders of the World Entrepreneurship Forum
Now, to the agenda.

Day One

• The Entrepreneur, a key actor in the face of our world challenges.
• The many faces of the entrepreneur: introduction to the three ethos* (coordinated market economy, free market economy and the network-based economy) influencing entrepreneurs' behaviors.
• Topics, methodology and expected outcomes of the Forum.
• Key success factors for entrepreneurs across the three ethos (in other words, the character or ideals of a community of people).

Day Two


• Breakfasts segmented by Profiles (Entrepreneurs, Social Entrepreneurs, Experts and Politicians): Sharing and exchanging challenges and issues each profile faces in their respective business environment.

Early afternoon

The overall encompassing purpose was to formulate recommendations, develop content and format of future entrepreneurship education programs and issue proposals to have entrepreneurs behave fairly toward society

• Creating entrepreneurship-friendly business environments.
• Educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.
• Advancing the social commitment of entrepreneurs.

Late afternoon

• Facilitated discussion on the above three bullets.

Late evening

• Gathering to articulate the vision, mission and goals of the World Entrepreneurship Forum; liberation of the first conclusions drawn from the World Entrepreneurship Forum; and, announcement of the "Entrepreneur for the World" award (will tell you who won later).

Day Three (1/2 day)
• Feedback from the workshops and discussed conclusions from the previous two days of learning and sharing. Then we brainstormed about the Forum's impact and future (which included collectively formulating twelve recommendations to promote entrepreneurship worldwide) and went on to vote for "Entrepreneur for the World" 2009 award.

*More detail about this in a subsequent post.

I will report takeaways and highlight some of the members I met (a few are readers of our blog!) over the coming weeks for my notes are a mile long. Right now, I wanted to merely set the stage for what is yet to come. In between now and then, catch a different perspective on the Forum from two great media moguls Steven Strauss and Rieva Lesonsky who both participated at the conference. And catch Karen Kerrigan's report here.
More global entrepreneurial magic to follow. Stay tuned.

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