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Nicolas Sdez MBA’23J: Navigating Sustainability Through Entrepreneurship

Nicolas Sdez MBA'23J
Nicolas Sdez MBA'23J

Nicolas Sdez MBA’23J epitomises the spirit of leveraging business education for sustainable impact. His journey into the INSEAD MBA program was guided by a deep-rooted passion for sustainability, honed through his background as an engineer and his work in decarbonising the shipping industry.  

Prior to his MBA, Nicolas was deeply entrenched in the realm of sustainability, focusing on innovative projects aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the maritime sector. However, he realised that overcoming the industry’s systemic challenges would require a broader set of skills. INSEAD provided him with the platform to expand his knowledge and delve into the intricacies of leadership, management, and entrepreneurship, all through the lens of sustainability. 

"Designing projects that are both ecologically sustainable and economically profitable can accelerate their scalability." - Nicolas Sdez 

Nicolas’ experience at INSEAD extended beyond academic learning; it was also about building connections and fostering a sense of community. He actively engaged with the Environmental and Business Club, leveraging the diverse perspectives of his peers and alumni to enrich his understanding of sustainability within a business context. The school’s emphasis on holistic leadership development also equipped him with the tools to navigate complex challenges, aligning his technical expertise with strategic vision. 

A notable aspect of Nicolas’ journey at INSEAD is the role of networks in driving sustainable change. He participated in events like ChangeNOW, the largest event dedicated to solutions for the planet held annually in Paris. Through INSEAD's partnership with ChangeNOW and engagements with organisations like Loyal VC, Nicolas found avenues to scale his impact and attract funding for his venture, PRONOE, launched during his time at INSEAD, in late 2022.  

PRONOE focuses on ocean carbon removal, aligning with his mission to develop ecologically sustainable and economically viable solutions. The journey from conceptualisation to execution has been challenging but rewarding, with Nicolas embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship – combining humility with conviction for long-term success. 

"Cultivating humility and conviction are essential for entrepreneurial journeys; it's a marathon, not a sprint," says Nicola Sdez. 

As an INSEAD alumni, Nicolas remains deeply connected to the community, actively contributing to discussions on sustainability and entrepreneurship. His advice to current students and aspiring entrepreneurs emphasises the importance of self-awareness, continuous learning, and resilience in the face of challenges. 

Nicolas’ story underscores the transformative power of education and the role of institutions like INSEAD in nurturing leaders committed to driving positive change. Through his journey, he exemplifies the ethos of INSEAD – harnessing knowledge, networks, and innovation to create a more sustainable future. 

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