Entrepreneurship as a vector for social and economic inclusion
The French organisation Germinal believes that self-employment could be a vector for social and economic inclusion for those excluded from the job-market, if “entrepreneurs to-be” receives the resources and support that can help them start their activities and keep their businesses afloat.
The Northern Region of France presents alarming socio-economic indicators, such as a high poverty rate (23%), precarity of jobs, and lack of employment opportunities as a consequence of the devitalization of urban and rural areas.
To turn the tide against this trend in the region, Germinal has created an entrepreneurship programme in Northern France that helps socially-excluded individuals take their professional destiny into their own hands.
Firstly, Germinal offers an interest-free loan as a first but essential step to give a financial boost to business ideas, and eventually unlock access to credit from other financial institutions. Secondly, it provides targeted mentoring to help beneficiaries acquire essential skills such as financial literacy, marketing, business administration and knowledge of digital tools. Crucially, Germinal provides mentoring support before and after entrepreneurs have launched their activities to make sure that long-term sustainability is solidly entrenched in its beneficiaries’ business models.
The Trafigura Foundation is helping Germinal expand the outreach of its entrepreneurship programme in Northern France. Though our collaboration, Germinal aims at opening 4 new offices in the region, funding a larger number of entrepreneurs and increasing the average size of loans offered. The objective of the partnership is to help over 600 beneficiaries become autonomous through the creation of their own enterprises and support them in making their businesses economically sustainable on the long-term.