It can be a fully daunting challenge for someone starting their own business. But a new business concept is being introduced in France that may prove highly effective for budding entrepreneurs. It's already created hundreds of jobs across the country.
Bruno Gautier is Development Director for ADIE (Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique). His company has set up the model of 'inclusive micro-franchise'. He explains to euronews how it works and why it's so helpful:
"This is a credit access solution, for people who cannot access traditional bank financing," he says. "It’s associated with a business concept - both tested and viable - which gives every chance of success from the start. "
From jobless chef to flourishing entrepreneur
Just over a year ago, Philippe Ribot, a former cook, lost his job for economic reasons. Passionate about gardening, he decided, aged 48, to start his own business, Enterprise Ribot. It was while going to the job centre that he found out about the ADIE system. He was then offered finance for his starting capital thanks to a micro credit of 5000 €.
Philippe says; "5000 € - it seemed reasonable. I thought that for a credit over 2 years and a half, it was quite short. So it was interesting for me to be financed with ADIE."
With this loan, and also thanks to a grant from the Rhone Alpes region, Philippe was able to buy his equipment. It also allowed him to sign a franchise agreement with the largest personal service provider in France. Therefore, this company not only granted him permission to use its name but also provided him with business training, reserved him a customer zone, provided helpful communication and kept in contact with him.
Philippe explains; "We are given lots of help, because we have a whole team behind us. As soon as we have a little glitch, we can call them and I have somebody who follows me and gives me the solutions right away."
Today, Philippe's order book is full, customers are delighted and the former cook is already considering hiring an employee.
"I do everything to succeed," Philippe says. "The family is happy, everyone is happy. That's another good side of things. "
A multi-award winning initiative
Bruno Gautier says Philippe is just one of many who have been helped by his company ADIE's inclusive micro-franchise model: "The micro franchise, it has more than 300 associate companies. And more generally, every year tens of thousands of people are accompanied and financed, thanks to ADIE, to create their own jobs."
The initiative has been recognised several times, in particular, at the latest edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, a competition organised by the European Commission.
Bruno summarises for us how entrepreneurs to access these particular ADIE services: "The main criteria is being motivated to start or develop your business. And to need for financial backing of no more than 20,000 euros. "