Most attractive countries to invest post-Covid? China, South Korea and France enter top 10 for first time

  • The 2021 Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index sees the US hold on to the world’s number 1 spot, followed by the UK (2), Japan (3), Germany (4) and Canada (5).
  • Within the top 10, the most remarkable gains were seen for China, South Korea and France, who entered the top 10 for the first time. All top-ranked countries are expected to make swift recoveries from the COVID-related recession, especially China
  • In its 10th edition, this year’s report also includes a five-year historic comparison, pointing out which economies are moving in the right direction in terms of their VC/PE attractiveness

July 07, 2021. The United States remains unparalleled as a magnet for investors, according to the 10th anniversary edition of the Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) Country Attractiveness Index, released today. The index ranks 125 countries according to the quality of their investment environment for adventurous VC and PE investors. The countries are analysed and ranked according to thousands of weighted data points covering six key drivers: economic activity, depth of capital markets, taxation, investor protections and corporate governance, human and social environment, and finally entrepreneurial culture and deal opportunities*.

Based on its strong performance in all six areas, the United States continues to be the index benchmark with a score of 100. It is followed by the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Canada to round out the top five.

Within the top 10, the most remarkable gains were seen for China, South Korea and France, who entered the top 10 for the first time. All top-ranked countries are expected to make swift recoveries from the COVID-related recession, especially China (now 7th), where GDP growth is already recorded.

Spain, meanwhile, entered the top 20, having climbed seven places in the ranking since 2015. Its success is due to increasing capital market activity and a professionalism of its financial community, as well as a more entrepreneur-friendly culture.

In terms of regions, North America, Australasia and Western Europe are the most attractive for capital allocations, as the heat map below shows. (Visit the VC/PE Country Attractiveness Index 2021 website for an interactive map to drill down for individual country analyses.)

The United Kingdom stays on top in Europe

In the previous edition, published in 2018, all eyes were on the United Kingdom to see how much its position might change due to Brexit. However, the analysis finds that, “potential Brexit effects are not (yet) visible in the data and have been somewhat superimposed by the COVID-related damages.”

Nevertheless, the gap between the United States in first place and United Kingdom in second has widened, while the gaps between the others in the top five have narrowed. These changes are partly driven by the pandemic’s impact on financial markets everywhere, reducing the differences between many countries in terms of their “depth of capital markets” indicators.

Tracking 5 year trends in VC/PE country attractiveness

In order to demonstrate shifts in the VC and PE country attractiveness, the authors also performed a historic comparison, tracking ranking changes from 2016-2021. This analysis reveals strong increases of VC and PE attractiveness for certain countries, as well as highlighting the impact of financial and economic crises on others.

In the VC and PE arena, many investors are looking to emerging economies for faster growth. While many are promising, the index creators warn that underdeveloped markets or other risk factors should be taken into account. That said, tracking five-year trends can reveal which economies are moving in the right direction in terms of their VC/PE attractiveness. Tracking changes in the index can be useful for investors watching developments in countries’ institutions and socio-economic situations over the years.

About the report

Designed and elaborated by IESE Business School’s Center for International Finance, working in conjunction with emlyon business school and eXapital, the VC/PE Country Attractiveness Index and accompanying report were prepared by Alexander Groh (emlyon business school), Heinrich Liechtenstein (IESE Business School), Karsten Lieser (eXapital) and IESE guest researcher Markus Biesinger. This year, the index celebrates its 10th anniversary and the research team plans to release a series of additional alternative investment indices covering real estate, infrastructure and impact investing.

The results are presented on the VC/PE Country Attractiveness Index 2021 website which includes dynamic features for ad-hoc analyses and the additional information.


*The six key drivers covered by the ranking are:

  • economic activity, including the economy’s size, expected GDP growth and employment levels
  • depth of capital markets, including the markets’ size, liquidity and IPO activity as well as M&A activity, lending and the health of the banking system
  • taxation, focused on entrepreneurial incentives and burdens
  • investor protections and corporate governance, including property rights protections and the quality of legal enforcement
  • human and social environment, including measures of education, labor practices and corruption
  • entrepreneurial culture and deal opportunities, including indicators of innovation, scientific output, the ease of starting (and closing) a business, as well as corporate R&D

About IESE Business School

IESE is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Munich and São Paulo. Consistently ranked within the top ten worldwide, IESE has pioneered business education in Europe since its founding in 1958 in Barcelona. IESE seeks to develop business leaders with solid business skills, a global mindset and a desire to make a positive impact on society. The school distinguishes itself in its general-management approach, extensive use of the case method, international outreach, and emphasis on placing people at the heart of managerial decision-making. The Financial Times currently ranks IESE no.1 in the world for executive education, and has done so every year since 2015.

About emlyon business school

Founded in 1872 by the Lyon CCI, emlyon business school has an enrolment of 8,600 students of 121 nationalities. The school has six campuses around the world (Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Casablanca, Shanghai, Paris and Bhubaneswar), a network of 190 international academic partners and an active community of 33,000 alumni in 130 countries. emlyon business school’s mission is to foster “makers”, to provide life-long training for leaders, managers, entrepreneurs and senior executives with solid international experience and intra/entrepreneurial abilities, who are capable of understanding the complexity of the world and give it meaning, as well as shaping and transforming companies and the society in which they operate, as part of a collaborative approach. emlyon business school provides opportunities to develop these skills through original learning methods that combine the creation and output of academic research of excellence and innovative learning paths based on action and experimentation.

About eXapital

eXapital (“eX”) is a founder-owned capital and investment solutions boutique linking alternative assets with global investors. Based on decades of experience and best-in-class technology the firm delivers smart funding solutions and pre-qualified investment opportunities. In addition, eX offers M&A advisory (buy-side & sell-side) providing access to unique transactions and platform investments across alternative strategies (PE, VC, RE and Digital Infra).

IESE research in Science: Lack of female inventors hinders women’s health innovation

  • New research, published in Science, points to gender imbalance in R&D having repercussions for women´s health. It marks an important step towards showing how labor-market inequality can lead to product-market inequality.
  • U.S. biomedical patents with all-female inventor teams are 35% more likely to focus on women’s health than all-male teams, new research finds.
  • Science magazine, published by the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, is among the world’s bestselling and most prestigious general science journals.

June 18, 2021, Barcelona. Why are women’s diseases, women’s anatomy or women’s needs more generally overlooked by inventors? New research points to gender imbalance in R&D having repercussions for who is benefiting from inventions.

Analyzing more than 430,000 U.S. biomedical patents filed between 1976 and 2010, professors Sampsa Samila of IESE Business School, Rembrand Koning of Harvard Business School, and John-Paul Ferguson of McGill University find significant evidence that who is doing the inventing affects what is being invented, and they point to the missed opportunities that this pattern reveals. Their paper “Who do we invent for? Patents by women focus more on women’s health, but few women get to invent” is published in the journal Science.

Today only about 13% of U.S. patent inventors are women. Yet this study found marked progress over the years: in 1976, just 6.3% of biomedical patents came from women-led teams while the figure grew to 16.2% in 2010. There is evidence that this 10 percentage point increase has resulted in significantly more innovations affecting women’s health.

There’s also evidence that women, who currently make up about 35% of STEM scientists, aren’t more plentiful in the ranks of patented inventors for a few reasons — including gender bias in the labor market and in decisions regarding which R&D opportunities are deemed worth pursuing by managers.

“Effectively, the results are showing that labor market inequality could lead to product market inequality,” prof. Samila explains. “In other words, discrimination in the labor market is not just an issue for the individuals affected, but it affects the entire society due to the absence of the contributions of those who were discriminated against.”

The good news is that lowering barriers to disadvantaged groups should help boost innovation and economic growth. “There may still be many untapped market opportunities to invent for women, opportunities that could in turn improve women’s health,” the co-authors state.

Innovation inequality

Anecdotal evidence abounds of advances by female inventors. For example, the entrepreneur Surbhi Sarna has drawn from her own ovarian cancer scare to invent a better cancer-detection tool. Another, Dr. Patricia Bath, has invented a more precise treatment for cataracts, which affect women more often than men. This new research backs these up with systematic data analysis, finding that all-female teams of inventors are 35% more likely to focus on women’s health than all-male teams are. Interestingly, male inventors are less likely to focus their patented innovations on either men’s or women’s health issues when compared with their female counterparts.

While inventor teams with some women also follow a sex-focus pattern, the pattern is “strongest for all-female invention teams, holds over decades, and is present even within narrow areas of invention,” as the co-authors summarize. This latter point “suggests that the female inventor-invention link is both the result of women working in more female-focused research areas [e.g., gynecology] and female inventors identifying opportunities to invent for women regardless of the area in which they work [e.g., ocular surgery procedures].”

Prof. Samila gratefully acknowledges funding for this project from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 799330.

About IESE Business School

IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. Founded in 1958, the school is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo. Consistently ranked within the top ten worldwide, IESE Business School has pioneered business education in Europe since its founding. For sixty years, IESE has sought to develop business leaders with solid business skills, a global mind-set and a desire to make a positive impact on society. The school distinguishes itself in its general-management approach, extensive use of the case method, international outreach, and emphasis on placing people at the heart of managerial decision-making. IESE is currently ranked number 1 in the world for Executive Education programs by the Financial Times, and has been every year since 2015.   


Corporate venturing in deep tech on the rise in East and Southeast Asia

  • 77 innovation leaders took part in IESE Business School’s new report, revealing their biggest challenges innovating with deep-tech start-ups
  • Japan, South Korea, mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand are the East and Southeast regions with the highest adoption rate of corporate venturing
  • 71% of analyzed companies expect to increase their collaboration with deep-tech start-ups during the next 5 years

Hong Kong/MadridIESE Business School releases today a new report on corporate venturing in deep tech in East and Southeast Asia, which finds that the region’s largest companies are stepping up their collaborations with start-ups at the cutting edge of technology.

The study covers the regions of Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, mainland China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and looks at how companies are working with start-ups on the frontlines of innovation.

“Deep tech refers to emerging technologies based on scientific discoveries or engineering innovations, seeking to tackle some of the world’s fundamental challenges–encompassing work in expanding fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain, robotics, and quantum computing,” co-authors Josemaria Siota and Prof. Mª Julia Prats explain in the report.

The study found that among the analyzed companies, corporate venturing – the practice of established companies innovating with start-ups – has increased 2.8 times in the past five years, while deep-tech cooperation has gone up 4.2 times.

This growth puts East and Southeast Asia ahead of Latin America but still behind the United States in terms of corporate–start-up innovations among corporate giants. On average, East and Southeast Asia have a 57% adoption rate of corporate venturing, compared to Latin America with 40% and the United States with 90%.

The study also looked at obstacles to this type of cooperation. Based on 77 interviews, the study identifies seven areas that keep chief innovation officers up at night, ranging from technology evaluation, corporate short-term view over deep-tech start-ups, silos between R&D and corporate venturing teams, regulation, to top-down innovation approach.

The report is being released in Hong Kong at the Corporate Innovation Summit organized by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), which is discussing corporate innovation trends and best practices.

For more on the study´s findings see:

New report: Improving the resilience of the financial system in response to Natural Disasters

  • The 3rd Future of Banking report by IESE and CEPR explores how prepared the financial system is for future pandemics and climate change

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed severe vulnerabilities in the global financial system, and serves as a cautionary tale for the potentially devastating effects that future natural disasters and climate change could cause to the world economy. The question of whether society is adequately prepared and what measures can be put in place to mitigate these risks has never been more pertinent.

A new CEPR/IESE report by Patrick Bolton, Marcin Kacperczyk, Harrison Hong, and Xavier Vives tests precisely how resilient the financial system is to natural disasters and discusses what can be done to make it more resilient. The report details how to reshape central bank policies to address climate-related risks, debates the role of asset managers in dealing with natural disasters and climate risk, and explains why mitigation is a form of self-insurance to limit the systemic risks of global warming.

This is the third report in the series on The Future of Banking, part of the Banking Initiative from the IESE Business School and supported by Citi. In the report, the authors stress the need for the financial sector – from asset managers, supervisory regulators to central banks – to play a major role in the prevention and taming of these disruptive, environment-related events. To do so, climate risk drivers and their transmission channels must be accurately addressed, precise measurement of the economic and financial impact of the different risks is essential, and mitigation and risk-reduction measures must be adequately developed. Policymakers thus have a responsibility to guarantee the stability of the financial system and use the fiscal and environmental instruments at their disposal. Climate risk should not be measured through short-term horizons and there must be an internationally coordinated response to a global issue. 

“The Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent downturn have reinforced the need to evaluate and address highly disruptive environment-related events as well as the strategic importance of sustainable finance in the upcoming years”

The risks involving natural disasters and climate change are large and complex. As a result, they require a broad range of players and tools to manage them. Fighting climate change will require a combination of public intervention and private sector mitigation strategies to price and hedge the long-term implications of climate-related events. Carbon abatement proposals should include net-zero commitments made by governments and companies worldwide to decarbonise the economy, and sustainable finance mandates should be introduced, backed by financial intermediaries to incentivise firm efforts towards decarbonisation.

Three key messages emerge from the report:

  • Central banks must play a proactive role in promoting mitigation policies and coordinating climate risk policies consistent with government mandates, the private sector and civil society. Central banks should focus on the development of forward-looking scenarios and the implementation of climate stress tests. Central banks must include natural disaster risk in their prudential policy frameworks. The policy response to stabilize the financial system, however, should avoid an excessive reliance on central bank backstops – ‘lender of last resort’ interventions should not become the default.
  • Asset managers can facilitate the management of climate risk and promote green financing through hedging and engagement in mitigation. Although an array of hedging instruments have been developed by the financial industry in response to crises, the systemic nature of natural disasters complicates the hedging activity for financial players because of the lack of effective risk-sharing. Financial markets and asset managers could discipline market participants to stimulate mitigation efforts by the real sector.
  • Climate mitigation investments, such as incentives for firms to adopt decarbonisation technologies and reach net-zero targets, could have similar positive effects on stock valuations and for climate risk-management responses to those seen with the rapid development of vaccines to combat the pandemic, which played a significant role in stabilizing the financial system during the Covid-19 shock. Clear clarification of financial commitments and enforcement of stringent standards to combat climate change is essential in this regard.

The report shows that climate change and associated natural disasters will undoubtedly cause severe disruption to the global financial system without the implementation of adequate prevention and mitigation strategies. The Covid-19 pandemic should serve as a stark warning that the financial sector, from firms to central banks, must act now to ensure future stability. 

IESE 2021 MBA Graduation Ceremony Celebrated on Campus

  • Rigorous health and safety protocols allow for a special in-person event, which included a commencement speech from the CEO of Cellnex Telecom

On May 21, 2021, IESE´s MBA Class of 2021 took part in a special graduation ceremony on the school´s Barcelona campus. IESE was able to hold the ceremony in-person thanks to putting in place a series of rigorous health and safety protocols. These follow on from a comprehensive set of health measures that IESE has already implemented on its campuses, which have enabled it to resume in-classroom instruction since June 2020.

The ceremony included commencement speeches from prominent IESE alum Tobias Martinez, the CEO of Cellnex Telecom, as well as from IESE prof. Marc Badia, Director of the MBA program, Catherine Vera, President of the MBA Graduating Class of 2021, and finally Franz Heukamp, Dean of IESE Business School.

The IESE MBA Class of 2021 were able to participate in the graduation ceremony in-person if they had either been vaccinated, had already gone through Covid-19 as of January 1 of this year, or had received a negative antigen test that was taken the same day of graduation.

Along with the students, about thirty faculty members attended the ceremony. All attendees had to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear masks. All facilities also utilized extensive air purification and air renewal systems.

The families and friends of graduates connected remotely to follow the ceremony online and in real-time.

Speeches focus on adaptability, lifelong learning, spirit of service and responsibility

The modified ceremony caps what became a distinctly different MBA experience than what many of the Class of 2021 would have anticipated when they first began classes in September 2019. But just as the class had to rise to the challenge and adapt to the new circumstances, so too did IESE.  Since the pandemic began, IESE has adapted its facilities and redoubled its commitment to the hybrid methodology so that it can continue offering a transformative, innovative and, above all, safe educational experience for students.

The theme of learning from the challenging circumstances of the pandemic was reiterated in the commencement speech of the MBA class president, Catherine Vera. She spoke about how the class of 2021 have become captains of change”, who have increased their resilience and adaptability. Addressing her fellow graduating classmates, she said that over the course of the pandemic, “we found ways to reclaim what we had worked so hard to build, proving to ourselves that we are more prepared than ever to convert challenges into opportunities.”

“Thank you all who worked relentlessly to ensure the campus was safe and functioning for us to complete our course of study. We couldn’t have done this without you”, she added.

In his address, Tobias Martinez the CEO of Cellnex Telecom, shared his advice to the graduates about the importance of constant learning as well as the three stages of his professional life and how it helped him in his career. The first stage was focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset, the second on management, and the third on synthesis and strategic vision.

For his part, IESE MBA program director prof. Marc Badia emphasized the importance of the graduates possessing a spirt of service, not just to help them become better leaders but also to have happy, fulfilled lives. According to prof. Badia, “the pandemic has made evident our dependence on jobs and professions that often remain hidden and yet are fundamental”, such as delivery workers, supermarket cashiers or cleaning staff. As such, “we need their help in the same way that others need our help, starting with our families and close friends. When we serve, we better appreciate the many undeserved gifts we receive from others. When we serve others, we are useful, we have purpose and we grow as human beings.”

To conclude, IESE Business School Dean Franz Heukamp reminded the MBA class of their responsibility as future business leaders. “The more that each of us has a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the needs of the people around us, the better the world is going to be”, he said.

“Creating business leaders the world needs”

  • IESE and Shizenkan’s MBA Future of Capitalism course closes with former Unilever CEO Paul Polman 

The first edition of IESE and Shizenkan UniversityMBA course on the future of capitalism came to a close last week, in a special session where students presented their vision of how business can have a more positive impact on the world

During the course, students received input from a group of prominent business leaders and CEOs who are supporting the initiative, including:  

  • Paul PolmanCo-founder and Chair of ImagineHonorary Chair of International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever 
  • Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings 
  • James Higa, Executive Director of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and former Senior Director of Office of the CEO at Apple 
  • B. Muthuraman, former Vice Chairman of Tata Steel and Chairman of Tata International 
  • John Elkington, Founder and Chief Pollinator of Volans 
  • Nitin Nohria, professor and former dean of Harvard Business School. 

There’s “a need to bend the curve of capitalism to make it more sustainable, more inclusive and more functional for the generations to come,” Paul Polman said during the final session’s keynote address.

He also stressed the importance of creating leaders who can drive this change in business, highlighting how the Future of Capitalism MBA course can help lead the way“We certainly need more business school programs that create the business leaders the world needs, so I commend this program for doing that.” He particularly praised the global nature of the program, which involves collaborating with schools from Brazil, India, Japan and Spain. “We cannot tackle these big issues alone, so having these broader partnerships in the academic world is key.”

A global MBA project for social change 

The Future of Capitalism is an MBA course that is designed to help students critically observe the current state of capitalism and explore the roles of business leadership required to create a better future. 

The course was developed by IESE and Japan’s Shizenkan Universityin cooperation with the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), India, and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Brazil. Launched in January 2021, the course is open to MBA students from all four schools. In total, 81 students of 22 different nationalities took part in the course.  

Over the last three months, the MBA students have engaged in virtual conversations with a variety of guest speakers from around the world, including Mark Thompsonformer CEO of New York TimesJennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International; former child soldiers in Uganda; and formerly homeless children in Bangladesh, among others. 

In the final session of the course, two finalist student groups presented their vision for how capitalism can become more inclusive. The first group to present explained the problem of adequately defining capitalismThey also highlighted how one of the issues with the current system is that “while we may have greater wealth creation, we also have greater inequality.” They attribute this to the widespread use of return on investment (ROI) instead of value creation as the main way to assess performance, which can ultimately end up destroying value. For them, the single biggest issue with the current system is “the shift from value creation to money creation.” 

The second group of students focused on how to encourage an even balance between promoting economic improvement and social well-being. Among their proposals, they looked at the need for business to think more long-term, explored changes in how to incentivize CEOs, and also emphasized the importance of collaboration 

Muthuraman praised the “brilliant presentations” and how they highlighted the importance of looking at the system as a whole, measuring performance in a proper and holistic way, and understanding the importance of balancing competing needsHe concluded by reminding the participants to make sure they apply the learnings from the course to their own lives, because “we need more advocacy.”

Business leaders on the future of education 

The final session also included a high-level panel discussion among five business supporters of the course and IESE Dean Franz HeukampOne of the topics explored how education needs to change to have a more positive impact on society.  

Polman highlighted the key role responsible business leadership must play in tackling climate change and inequality, and the crucial part business schools can play in that.  

“We need the willpower of our leadership. Sixty percent of climate change solutions are available to us now. We need to use them. We also need a new economic narrative.” To do that, “we need to create leaders who are good human beings with empathy and compassion. Never has the role of business schools been more important.”

John Elkington said that, “the future generations are being massively disadvantaged by our current actions and non-actions.” He added that, “we can’t just simply say to younger people that we will educate you so you can help with this. This is a pan-generational issue. We also need to re-educate the older generation” who have the experience, connections and perhaps time to do something about it.

James Higa talked about how the style of leadership has changed in his lifetime, and education needs to reflect this. “Being a CEO or leader is not done anymore within the confines of four walls and at the head of a conference room table. How do you help leaders bring this sense of collaboration and working with outside groups into being?”

He added that the new generation of leaders need to know how to lead in online settings, and have the ability to listen, empathise, persuade and build trust with disparate people. 

For his part, Nitin Nohria, former dean of Harvard Business School, pointed out how business schools are now over 100 years old, so what they need to focus on now also has to change. He said the values of this generation are in the right place, the issue is now for business schools to understand how to arm students with a body of knowledge that can equip them to better translate these values into businesses.  

To conclude the session, Tomo NodaProfessor and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Shizenkan Universityreiterated that the aim of the Future of Capitalism is to be “not only a course but a project for social change.”

The next edition of the Future of Capitalism will take place in 2022, with the aim of opening up the course to more participating schools thus increasing its impact. The objective is to convert the course into a platform where around 300 students from 30 schools can join for the 2024 edition. 

Photo caption: Paul Polman, Nitin Nohria, Franz Heukamp and John Elkington (clockwise from top) spoke during the closing session of The Future of Capitalism MBA course.

IESE venture hub report

IESE-led startups create 70,000 new jobs worldwide, raise $3.6 billion in capital

  • New report sets 2030 goals for school’s entrepreneurship and innovation activities

April 12, 2021. Companies founded by IESE Business School alumni have created over 70,000 jobs worldwide and raised some $3.6 billion in capital, as the school has expanded its entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to a new report.

The report measures the impact of IESE’s entrepreneurship activities over the last two decades, and sets out goals in the area for the year 2030. The numbers are based on an analysis of internal IESE data, complemented with external databases such as Crunchbase, Dealroom, LinkedIn, and others.

Among the highlights of the impact report:

  • 70,000 jobs have been created by IESE-trained entrepreneurs in 5 continents
  • $3.6 billion of capital has been raised by IESE-founded companies
  • 30% of IESE students have started a business within 5 years of graduation
  • $65 million has been invested in startups by IESE funds and other mechanisms

But IESE’s impact goes beyond helping to create thousands of companies. It has also conducted relevant research and held conferences and other events related to entrepreneurship and innovation, in order to advance knowledge in the field. That impact includes:

  • 15 competitive projects in which IESE has been selected by the European Commission, and governments in Asia and Latin America
  • 20 publications per year over the past two decades, including refereed articles, books, studies and business cases
  • 70 extracurricular events per year such as entrepreneurship conferences, hackathons and workshops – tripling the activity of four years ago

“Entrepreneurship at IESE has an increasing relevance and these numbers reflect our deep global impact,” said Prof. Mª Julia Prats, Academic Director of IESE’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC). “By developing entrepreneurs and innovators, we are supporting the creation of companies, jobs, knowledge and economic growth,” Josemaria Siota, Executive Director of the EIC, said.

2030 goals in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals

The report also sets ambitious goals for 2030, in line with three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Those are:

  • Create 50,000 new jobs by supporting 5,000 entrepreneurs in building their startups and in raising at least €500 million in venture investment (UN Goal #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • Impact 2,000 C-suite executives across the globe through IESE research and activities (UN Goal #17 Partnerships to Achieve the Goals)
  • Release 200 new publications related to search funds, corporate venturing, technology transfer and angel investment, in order to foster innovation (UN Goal #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure)

At IESE, the entrepreneurial mindset is embedded across programs, which prepares all its graduates for the startup world or to innovate within existing firms. In addition, IESE provides research, insights, networks and funding through its Technology Transfer Group, Open Innovation Institute, International Search Funds Center, Finaves venture capital fund, Business Angels Network and weGrow mentoring program, among other initiatives.


IESE professor Jordi Gual

Former CaixaBank Chairman Jordi Gual to rejoin IESE Business School

March 23, 2021. Jordi Gual will rejoin IESE Business School as a professor of economics at the end of this week. He rejoins IESE´s faculty after finishing his duties as Chairman of CaixaBank, a position he has held since June 2016.

Prof. Gual first joined IESE´s faculty in 1987, where he developed his academic activity until 2005, the year in which he joined the ‘la Caixa’ group. Before taking on the post of Chairman, he was CaixaBanks´s Chief Economist and Executive Director of Strategic Planning, and Director-General of Planning and Strategic Development of CriteriaCaixa.

Among other positions, Prof. Gual is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Telefónica, Vice President of the Círculo de Economía and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Real Instituto Elcano and the Barcelona Mobile World Capital Foundation.

He has been an Economic Advisor at the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission in Brussels, and a member of the Advisory Council of Economic Reactivation and Growth (CAREC), of the government of Catalonia

Jordi Gual holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California (Berkeley) and is a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London. He has published extensively on banking and European integration, regulation, and competition policy.

IESE Business School´s Fellowships for Journalists Now Open

  • #1 Ranked Business School by the Financial Times to Award Five Fellowships to Elite Group of Journalists
  • Deadline for applications is June 14, 2021

IESE Business School has announced that the seventh edition of its Fellowships for Journalists program is now open for applications. Created to support journalists interested in expanding their training, the fellowship program will award up to five journalists from around the world with a scholarship to study one of the school´s highly regarded executive education programs.

IESE Business School, which has campuses around the world, has been rated the number one business school in the world for executive education by the Financial Times for a record six years in a row (from 2015-2020.) By participating in one of these executive education programs, selected fellows will be able to advance their professional development and build a solid foundation of general management and business knowledge, which will help in analysis and reporting. In addition, they will have the chance to experience IESE´s world-renowned executive education programs first-hand, all the while networking with high-level executives and business leaders.

This year´s edition of IESE´s Fellowships for Journalists will award five journalists with scholarships covering 80% of the academic fees of an executive education program at IESE. Fellows, depending on experience levels, can study the PMD or AMP in English and the PDD, PDG or PADE in Spanish. 

The fellowship program is open to journalists with at least ten years professional experience who are full-time editorial employees of newspapers, magazines, wire services and broadcast news organizations, as well as freelance journalists. To date, around 30 journalists from the most relevant international media organizations have taken part in IESE programs thanks to this fellowship. Take advantage of this opportunity to train in one of the best business schools in the world.

IESE will particularly favor candidates whose work demonstrates high standards of journalism, ethics and responsibility in the media. In line with IESE’s mission, the school will favor journalistic work that has helped promote ethical business practices or improve situations of social injustice.

The deadline for submitting an application is June 14, 2021. For more details and how to apply, visit:

COVID-19 Management at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital: a new case study by IESE

  • This week a case study exploring how Vall d’Hebron University Hospital was able to effectively manage the COVID-19 crisis was discussed for the first time in an IESE MBA class
  • The case is available for sale from today on the portal IESE Publishing, allowing it to be debated by students from business schools across the world.
  • IESE Business School has been using the case method as a learning methodology in the business world for more than 60 years.

 A case study exploring how Vall d’Hebron University Hospital managed the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis was presented today in class to IESE MBA students by IESE professor and author of the case, Jaume Ribera, and the managing director of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Albert Salazar.

During the class, Dr. Salazar explained how Vall d’Hebron was able to transform itself during the first wave of the pandemic so that it could manage the greatest health crisis experienced by the Hospital. In this class, Dr. Albert Salazar presented the Vall d’Hebron management model and the main operational decisions that made it possible to face the first wave of the health crisis. For his part, Jaume Ribera, IESE professor and Academic Director of the Center for Research in Healthcare Innovation Management, led the discussion of the case, attending to all the proposals, presentations and questions from the students, and drawing out the learning points for other hospitals and business managers.

The IESE professor explained that “investigating how the pandemic was managed in a hospital like Vall d’Hebron is important, since up to now there has not been anything written about pandemic management in a hospital.” With this case study, “we have been able to see a real example of the evolution of the different phases of a crisis, and how it fits into the future strategy of a hospital center.”

The case method

The case method is a learning methodology based on learning by doing, which aims to prepare students for making strategic decisions in companies through the practice of real situations. It is the main learning methodology at IESE, but not the only one.

The students who have discussed the case in class belong to the IESE MBA Program, which is made up of more than 700 students, more than 80% of whom are international. They have an average age of 29 years. The program, which is taught in English and lasts between 15 and 19 months, was chosen by The Economist as the best MBA program in the world this past January.

This case joins the more than 200 case studies written by IESE professors in the last three years, reflecting IESE´s aim of always being up-to-date in the analysis of business problems that arise in the classroom, which include cases of current topics, like Netflix, Barça or Spotify, among many others. At IESE, the cases students study are not just based on superstar big name leaders but the real practical problems faced by managers in variety of contexts, including in developing countries, in small businesses, and in environments where corruption is rife, helping to bring to life the varied situations leaders may encounter.  

A radical transformation of Vall d’Hebron since the beginning of the pandemic

The management of the pandemic has been based on two axes, according to Dr. Salazar, managing director of Vall d’Hebron: “the need to work on any project in collaboration with all the region´s actors and, internally, to strengthen multidisciplinary teams. COVID-19 has shown us that breaking the traditional silos, sharing knowledge and working jointly across specialties, levels, doctors and nurses, can make it possible to achieve far superior results in terms of patient care.”

In Vall d’Hebron, the transformation started very early, even before there was a single case in Catalonia. The Hospital anticipated the arrival of the pandemic by drawing up protocols for action against COVID-19 and contingency plans that proposed up to a dozen scenarios in which, in the worst cases, ICU beds would triple and hospitalization would double. At the end of January 2020, a Coordination Committee was also created made up of the Hospital’s management team and the leaders of the specialties most directly involved in the pandemic. In the committee meetings, which are still held, the evolution of the pandemic is analyzed and management decisions are taken based on the situation.

In anticipation of the avalanche of incoming demand, hospital management believed that all of Vall d´Hebron´s professionals (doctors, medical residents, nurses, etc.) should participate in the challenge. To this end, an innovative decision was made: instead of areas of specialty, everyone would participate in “COVID-19 teams;” each team would be led by a doctor in a specialty key to managing the pandemic (such as infectious diseases, epidemiological preventive medicine, pulmonology, etc.), with anesthetists supporting intensive care doctors (since their work in the operating room had been greatly reduced during the pandemic with the postponement of nearly all scheduled procedures.) These teams, which participated in emergency, hospitalization and critical care services, were key in managing the crisis; without the collaboration of professionals from other specialties, it would have been impossible to meet all the pandemic needs.

Likewise, an emergency public procurement model was designed in order to obtain the necessary PPE supplies, services and materials. Around 800 workers, including those in administration, doctors, pharmacists, etc. were sent home to continue their work remotely and thereby mitigate the risk of contagion. All outpatient visits were suspended and appointments were conducted online or by telephone. The home delivery of medications was also promoted. Family visits to patients were also suspended. As of today, non-COVID-19 patients are allowed visits in certain time slots, but COVID-19 patients are only allowed visits during the end-of-life process.

Another key aspect is internal communication. Through weekly, streamed information sessions, all hospital professionals are kept informed of the latest news and any changes that may be applied to face the crisis. All information is also hosted on a sub-intranet, which was created ad-hoc for all communication related to the coronavirus.

Future challenges and new collaboration with IESE

Coping with the pandemic is an on-going challenge. During the first and second waves, Vall d’Hebron continued its transformation to face the challenge of different future scenarios. As part of this, on February 16 2021, the hospital inaugurated its new Garbí building, a multipurpose space dedicated to the care of patients with COVID-19 in Vall d’Hebron. The building has 56 acute beds and 32 critical and semi-critical beds and concentrates the care of patients with COVID-19.

IESE and Vall d’Hebron will also continue their collaboration to transmit the Hospital’s management model during this pandemic. In the near future, Dr. Salazar will offer other classes at IESE that delve into the key aspects of Vall d’Hebron management.

About IESE Business School

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. It is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo, and programs offered throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. For more than 60 years, IESE has been at the forefront of management education and leadership development. It has done this through offering transformational educational experiences to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and executives. IESE´s mission today remains the same as it was back when it was founded in 1958: to educate and inspire leaders who wish to have a positive and lasting impact on people, business and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking, which for the sixth consecutive year has positioned IESE as the number 1 school in the world for executive education. Web: