Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance
Benoît Leleux is Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance. He is recognized as a leading specialist in entrepreneurship, venture capital, private equity, and corporate venturing, particularly in emerging markets, and is the winner of numerous case writing awards in categories relating to these topics.
His recent research and case writing activities have focused on sustainability as a source of entrepreneurial opportunities and how entrepreneurs incorporate values into their projects for greater impact as well as novel forms of financing for early and late-stage opportunities. These range from search funds to affinity financing, and innovative business models for corporate venturing such as open accelerators, venture clienting, and corporate VC partnering.
The sustainability trend is increasingly driving new value propositions from entrepreneurs. Rather than regarding it as something to tackle for defensive reasons such as compliance, threats to their brand, or risk avoidance, they now see it as an opportunity to create new offerings for customers.
Leleux is the author of Winning Sustainability Strategies: Finding Purpose, Driving Innovation and Executing Change (2019), which serves as the conceptual framework for a five-week IMD online course, Winning Sustainability Strategies (WSS), which he directs. The program targets general managers and executives in charge of sustainability efforts, equipping them with the tools required to analyze their firms’ sustainability footprint, investigate their materiality matrix, design an impactful transformation gameplan, and follow it through with proper metrics and communication strategy. The program highlights how to build solid business cases for sustainability strategies as a prerequisite to gain traction and ultimately achieve impact. He is also Co-Director of the Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL) program.
He has published several other books including Private Equity 4.0: Reinventing Value Creation, Nurturing Science-Based Startups: An International Case Perspective, From Microfinance to Small Business Finance and A European Casebook on Entrepreneurship and New Ventures.
In addition, Leleux is a world-leading case writer and has consistently been ranked among The Case Centre’s best-selling case authors in the world. He has authored more than 30 award-winning cases at the crossroads of entrepreneurship, venture financing, emerging markets, and family business, most recently Lionheart Farms (Philippines) and the tree of life, winner of the 2022 HEC Montreal CSR Challenge Case Writing Competition, Brown-Forman: Nothing better in the market, which won the 2021 EFMD Case Writing Award in the Family Business category, and EcoAlf: Because there is no planet B, winner of the 2020 John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition.
He is also actively involved in numerous startups and venture capital and private equity funds as a board member, advisor or in other capacities.
Leleux has been at IMD since 1999, serving as Director of the MBA program from 2006 to 2008, and Director of Research and Development from 2004 to 2008. He was previously Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD and Zubillaga Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Prior to his academic career, he was the head of corporate venturing for a leading agribusiness conglomerate in Southeast Asia.
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