President and co-founder (along with Benjamin Vilain) of Baldwin Partners, created in 2017, Laurent Chevrier (Masters degree in Entrepreneurship 2009) looks back on the creation of his engineering consultancy, specialised in issues concerning 4.0 Industry. The consultancy operates primarily within the transport and energy sectors. Baldwin Partners has made social responsibility one of its founding values.
Why is social responsibility so important to you?
Beyond the purely economic aspect, we believe companies also have their part to play in the social development of the cities our employees call home. We established a foundation to ensure our economic actions would have tangible social impacts.
Indeed, emlyon takes CSR very seriously, did the school’s ethic inspire your foundation?
Definitely! During our Master's degree in entrepreneurship with Director Michel Coster, these values were passed on to us; they are a fundamental part of our partnership and consultancy.
What difficulties do you face as an ethical start-up?
The main difficulty is combining the economic necessity with the ethics of a company. We believe that sustainable growth is rooted in a healthy foundation. That is why the ethics of our company take precedence over the economic aspect. We are convinced that this has an impact on turnover in our business. We work hard every day to shape our corporate performance in a way that combines two aspects.
If you could switch over night ... what kind of company would you set up?
A high-end bakery & pastry chain abroad. I like traveling and I often notice that the baguette is a very popular French speciality, and yet it is very difficult to find baguettes / pastries. My goal would be to export this traditional French expertise, to enable apprentice bakers from France to travel and to train bakers in our chosen countries.
What have been the most striking moments on your entrepreneurial journey?
When I met my business partner and we brainstormed Baldwin Partners: that was fantastic. The first three months of our adventure were exhilarating and also very difficult because building a new company and a new brand takes a lot of effort. Starting a business is really about sharing a vision.
What is your vision of an ideal manager?
A leader who creates team cohesion based on shared values and a clear and pragmatic vision. A good manager finds a way to reconcile the company’s goals with the employees’ objectives and expectations.