What does impactful entrepreneurship look like? | Top Universities

What does impactful entrepreneurship look like?

By Aisha Khan

Updated July 14, 2023 Updated July 14, 2023

If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur, going to business school can provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to start your own business.  

At GBSB Global Business School, students can participate in the school’s G-Accelerator programme – a start-up hub that mentors next generation entrepreneurs.  

To learn more about how they’re supporting early-stage entrepreneurs with sustainable ventures, we spoke to Xavier Arola, director of the G-Accelerator programme.  

Why was the G-Accelerator programme created?  

G-Accelerator was born back in 2018 as the school’s response to an increasing entrepreneurial trend from our student community with a special focus on sustainable and socially responsible businesses.  

We realised that many students had a call or yearning to transform perspectives, approaches or processes.  

These creative and resilient individuals were ready to face challenges and difficulties head on, own their own businesses, manage their own professional lives developing something sustainable and profitable that will impact the world and better society, especially back to their home countries.  

G-Accelerator started this journey as a personalised and tailor-made mentoring process to support those students and alumni with their business ideas. In 2020, we received public funding from the local government in Catalonia and the European Social Fund.  

This grant helped us to build a new extended version of the programme, ‘Impact Call’, a six-month pre-accelerator programme that provides training, mentoring, networking and financial support services to early-stage entrepreneurs focused on developing a venture with a ‘Triple Impact’ (socially, economically and environmentally sustainable).  

How does the ‘Impact Call’ support and encourage aspiring entrepreneurs?

The G-Accelerator Impact Call programme is designed to support current GBSB Global students, alumni or anyone who aspires to launch entrepreneurial impact ventures. 

It welcomes entrepreneurs at different stages, whether their projects are in their infancy or has already started the journey, but still yet in what we called pre-seed and seed category, meaning they have not reached the market yet. 

The current call focuses on supporting disruption through digitalisation or innovative business models and welcomes ideas from various industries beyond just technology and most importantly, with a clear Triple Impact dimension.  

A 24-week roadmap includes ideation, customer and product development, managerial skills and acquaintance modules.  

This includes access to state-of-the-art facilities, mentorship from industry experts, networking opportunities, weekly training sessions and workshops.  

The programme concludes the journey with a final presentation, known as the investor pitch, at the G-Accelerator Demo Day with important guest speakers and professionals from the public and private ecosystem.  

But not only that, each edition selects the winning projects that will move to an accelerator phase with tailor-made support. This includes resource planning for the next stage of development, go-to-market and funding strategies, and team creation.  

What skills and qualities do you believe are essential for aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in today’s competitive business landscape? 

It’s important to have an entrepreneurial mindset that allows you to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, succeed in a variety of settings through agility and flexibility, and make daily improvements to the betterment of your project.  

In terms of main skills and qualities, I would highlight resilience, adaptability, collaboration, networking, managing uncertainties, and seeking help when needed. 

Aspiring entrepreneurs need to cultivate this mindset, allowing them to approach challenges with resilience, embrace creativity and innovation, build collaborative relationships, and ultimately drive positive change through their social enterprises. 

Why is it important for business ventures to be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable? 

Operating a good business is not enough for us. We want to engage with individuals concerned about bettering the world and society through sustainable business models that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.  

We look for projects where the creation of added value by society is the central element of the business model.  

We intend to promote the circular economy through proximity and from then on identify and scale the model globally and not the other way around, always focusing on real needs and the principles of sustainability, viability and feasibility. 

Can you share any success stories of your former students who have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs? 

I can actually share more than one, and I’m truly proud about this! 

One example is Min Organics, an e-commerce platform that specialises in selling organic menstrual products in bulk, allowing women to overcome stigma and customise their menstrual cycle according to their individual needs.  

This business was founded by Anna Comas, a beneficiary of the programme. Min Organics won the best start-up in the pre-seed & seed category of the G-Accelerator Impact Call Program 2020-2021 edition.  

Another example is Agua Nea, the first 100 percent plastic and BPA-free mineral water brand in Spain, offered as an alternative solution to massive plastic consumption in the hospitality industry. The founders were also a former beneficiary of the Impact Call 2020-2021 edition.  

This article was originally published in July 2023 .

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