Estelle Nze Minko, SciencesCom 2015, professional handball player, entrepreneur
What first impresses when we meet Estelle Nze Minko, the centre back for the France women’s national handball team, is her extrovert, rebellious, and uncompromising nature. However, it also doesn’t take long to discover her insecure, sensitive, and compassionate side. Estelle won the World Championships in 2017, the Euros in 2018, and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. She plays for Györ in Hungary, the holy grail for handball players. So clearly, her vulnerabilities have not prevented her from excelling in her discipline. Yet her nuanced and complex personality clashes with the spirit of the ruthless winning machine that pro athletes are expected to embrace. Estelle has become increasingly frustrated with the stereotype of “the perfect athlete”, and she has started to use her notoriety to break a taboo or two.
One of the myths, which Estelle doesn’t buy into, is that elite athletes should be obsessed by their sport, and their sport only. So last year, Estelle launched her startup, The V Box. “But I don’t want to be associated with those football players who invest in a fancy shisha bar, just to make a quick buck… if you see what I mean!” She stresses that for her, this venture is an adventure more than a business. A modern feminist, this entrepreneur is shattering the old marketing notion that beauty is the only topic that women care about, by designing a new generation of gift boxes.
Estelle - who graduated from Audencia SciencesCom, finds the world of media both daunting and fascinating. She tells us how the art of communicating has proven essential both to her entrepreneurial success, and to her attempt to shift the lines in the world of elite sports.