Local businesses engage their local communities by providing real-world solutions to a real-world innovation problem facing the business.
Gilles Evrard Essuman is a youth worker who has trained, consulted and participated in a plethora of youth work projects across Europe. His field of expertise is social innovation, grassroots’ movements and non-formal education for community participation in territorial development. He’s also a doctoral researcher and lecturer in economic geography at the university of Luxembourg.
Structure of the process:
An entrepreneurial Innovation Challenge is organised each year by the business school. The aim of these challenges is to generate an opportunity or students to develop their skills for innovation, creativity and teamwork. Each year, problems that are currently being faced by actual businesses are presented through an online platform and addressed by a team of students from participating schools.
Typically, five practical cases proposed are presented, representing actual problems being faced by the companies. Teams are made up of a maximum of six (6) students, who must be registered through the online platform.
During the challenge day, students have to create an innovative project from A to Z: brainstorm for ideas, implement strategy and make an online ‘pitch’ of their project explaining how it responds to the company brief. Throughout the challenge, impartial coaching is made available from the faculty of the school and other volunteers from the business community.
The juries select the most innovative projects to be pitched to the upper management team of the companies, and that upper management team selects final winners. For each of the five proposed cases, at least one winning team will be awarded a prize. The prizes are varied, but consist of such things as trips, I-pads and up to $500,000 euros to finance their start-up!
Paris School of Business. PSB Innovation Challenge. Paris School of Business. [Online] [Cited: April 28, 2017.]
Gilles Essuman, RESOPA, France