An Entrepreneurial Society

Prince Felipe chairs the main event of the GEW


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"Entrepreneurship is synonymous with creativity and opportunity and that ensures a clear path towards employment and wealth creation," said Prince Felipe de Borbon during the main event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which IESE organizes and coordinates in Spain. "This ensures, as we all know, an increase in welfare and thus a better future for our country," he said. Entrepreneurship and the values ​​that accompany it, he said, involve "the ability to take risks, to innovate and to contribute to the common good of society. These elements are essential for meeting the challenges of being competitive and progressing socially."

Successful business leaders and entrepreneurs need visibility so they can serve as role models to inspire younger generations of Spaniards to foster dynamism and creativity, he said.

"The world's most dynamic companies are those that are best able to cope with the challenges of the new global economy and those who know how to create an institutional environment and values ​​that foster entrepreneurship," he said. Entrepreneurship, he said, rests on three pillars: innovation, initiative and commitment.

During his speech, Prince Felipe said education is a "fundamental aspect" of boosting entrepreneurial activity. Despite recent efforts and progress made, the Prince said there is still "a long way to go to recover from the current economic crisis." Spain’s future depends upon developing a more entrepreneurial society, he said. "That is our responsibility: to help create a more agile society that is more connected to global trends and more aware of our strengths and virtues. In short, more focused on the future and more prosperous all ways."

Recognition of IESE
The Prince of Asturias praised the school for its contributions to the field of entrepreneurship. "IESE has always understood that a business venture grows and is perfected through educational development that addresses many areas, ranging from the technical to a focus on principles and feelings," he said. He also thanked the GEW 2012 for providing "a way to open to the world" since this is "a necessity in an economy increasingly internationalized and globalized like ours." "Spain, thanks to the efforts made ​​by IESE since 2008, is one of the leading countries in this movement," he noted.

Before participating in the session, Prince Felipe took part in a brainstorming meeting with entrepreneurs and IESE professors on how to accelerate entrepreneurship in Spain. In his remarks, IESE’s Dean Jordi Canals stressed that entrepreneurship "is a driving force in dynamic societies." "The challenges of globalization have led to a change of environment for the EU and Spain. In this new framework, policies are needed to limit spending but these should also establish a context that stimulates growth, he said. In such an environment, entrepreneurs are "not born, but made," he said.

Canals noted that 30 percent of IESE graduates embark on an entrepreneurial project within seven years of graduation. "We face an additional challenge: to make this need we have to become entrepreneurs an opportunity for our country," said Dean Canals. To accomplish this, education focusing on entrepreneurship is vital since it will help society to meet the challenges of globalization and create job opportunities for future generations.

The three pillars of the GEW initiative are to integrate all agents within the virtuous cycle of entrepreneurship, highlight the values ​​of entrepreneurs and recognize their careers so they can become role models for society, said Mathieu Carenzo in his remarks.

"Contagious Attitude"
Finally, Lucas Carné, entrepreneur and ambassador of the GEW 2012, stressed that entrepreneurship is an attitude "that spreads." "The only way to create jobs and prosperity is by generating business benefits through successful companies. And contagion is the only way to plant seeds," he said.

Francisco Iniesta, professor and director of IESE’s campus in Madrid, moderated the panel "How to Accelerate Entrepreneurship in Spain." The panel featured the perspectives of five entrepreneurs: Maria del Pino (Unison), Timo Buetefisch (Cooltra), Antonio González-Barros (Intercom), Catherine Hoffmann (Vitalia Day centers) and Josep San Feliu (Ysios Capital). Panel members described their own experiences and encouraged audience members to go forward with their entrepreneurial projects.