First name: Edouard
Last name: Le Goff
Graduation year: 2013
Master/Program specialization: Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Innovation – SKEMA Sophia Antipolis
Company name: Le Chef / Le French Festival
Location of business: Auckland, New Zealand
Quote: At SKEMA, I learnt to think from a global perspective which allowed me to grab huge opportunities overseas…
Four years ago, after my SKEMA graduation, I decided to take off to the other side of the world — New Zealand. Then I lived in Australia and I needed to go back to an “Anglo-Saxon” country with the same business/social/economic level.
At SKEMA, I pursued not only entrepreneurship but also a baker cursus. I worked as a waiter, a baker, a manager, at a barista, etc. I experienced every job in the field with the aim to learn and improve myself and open my own business one day.
When I arrived in New Zealand, I first opened a bakery: Le Rendez-Vous. Then, one year later, I opened my first restaurant, Le Chef, which has been running for three years now and has moved to the heart of the city in Vulcan Lane. At the end of 2017, I bought another local restaurant in the same street to create Le Petit Chef, an extension of Le Chef.
As an entrepreneur, I’m always curious and try to keep innovating. This year, I invented and created the Le French Festival, the first biggest French event in New Zealand. Forty businesses displayed their products in the famous venue Shed 10 in Auckland and we had 500 people for dinner at night, creating an ephemeral kitchen and banquet. The event was a huge success; even more than I hoped for! We had around 14,000 visitors during the day and 100% of the clients were satisfied, wanting to come back for dinner.
Le French Festival 2018 will be bigger, longer, and, hopefully, better! Sponsors and partners, once reticent, are now knocking at the door! I’m dreaming big for 2019 as well. A lot of projects are coming! In my opinion, that’s how the mind of an entrepreneur should function: always wanting to create, then improving and starting the process again.
My experience is my key success factor today. Thanks to every job I had and the classes I went through, I’m able to handle every task and every job in my company today, allowing me to be completely independent and manage a whole team — from the kitchen, floor staff and now event management. I think that an entrepreneur must be capable of doing, or at least understanding, every part of the business he’s trying to create to make it work successfully.
My advice to future entrepreneurs: be curious, explore every hidden corner, learn as much as you can and once you acquire all this knowledge and practice, you will be ready to start your business!