The business world is sometimes compared to competitive sports: to excel, to develop teamwork, to achieve ambitious goals, the commonalities are numerous. Laurent Houitte, founder of B2B Kite Summit, combines his two passions: entrepreneurship and extreme sport. The B2B Kite Summit brings together the French kitesurfer entrepreneurs’ club. The development of sport business responds to this logic: the desire to combine new technologies and innovation with the world of sport. With its attractiveness in terms of sports, the Bordeaux region attracts many entrepreneurs eager to get into the field of sports business. More than that, the sport integrated into the entrepreneurial culture has many advantages, especially in the hyper-connected world we know. Sport business thus demonstrates that certain values developed in the sports environment are indispensable to entrepreneurs in their daily lives.
Values that benefit the entrepreneurial culture
Sports values affect both bodies and minds, as evidenced by a famous Latin saying! In this logic, it is possible to identify 5 major values beneficial to the entrepreneurial culture. Passion is the first common trait for top athletes and entrepreneurs: starting your own business involves a strong professional and personal investment. Athletes and entrepreneurs are often inclined to sacrifice. The feeling of a vocation is therefore essential to overcome the obstacles related to the entrepreneurial and sports culture. Second, both disciplines are marked by strong determination and unwavering tenacity. The third common value is humility, that is, agreeing to question and rethinking one’s strategic direction when necessary. Humility does not mean lacking self-confidence, but rather shows that the entrepreneur knows himself well enough to turn failure into success. The last shared values are discipline and self-improvement. For top athletes, discipline is essential to any progress and expectation of results, while for entrepreneurs, discipline translates into increased performance and better decision-making. Finally, there is no better example than competitive sport to illustrate the exploits of surpassing oneself. A true philosophy of life, self-improvement is essential in the entrepreneurial culture and in particular management and management.
The limits of sport business
A well-known local example, the BNP Paribas Primrose edition, testifies to the links between sports culture and entrepreneurial culture. Indeed, in parallel to the tennis tournament, Villa Primrose is transformed into a real economic network. In 2018, 280 partners were on hand to combine sports practice and networking. Yet, while sports and entrepreneurial culture have many things in common, it is relevant to ask to what extent their shared values act as a lever for growth.
Indeed, the 5 values developed by Laurent HOUITTE correspond more to profiles of business leaders who seek sources of inspiration, so we should not see in these precepts a managerial culture adapted to all structures. This is the underlying project behind CONNECT, the community of sports entrepreneurs founded by Laurent HOUITTE. The aim is to establish professional contacts and to form a network of entrepreneurs, a technique more efficient than traditional networking. Current economic networks operate on informal networks to meet on the basis of common interests.
The economics of sport are attracting more and more entrepreneurs-innovators who are looking for values to instill in an entrepreneurial project. While the practice of a sport at work can act as a professional leverage, sport at work serves above all to unite a community, to generate “team building” in order to increase the synergies of networking.