France: Young Entrepreneurs at AccorHotels Head Office
On November 23rd, eight young entrepreneurs came to spend the day at the Paris head office of the AccorHotels group. Supported by the Poissy agency of Positive Planet, these young people benefit from support for the creation of a business within the "Entreprendre en Banlieue" programme, which seeks to combat exclusion and social vulnerability by helping the inhabitants of sensitive districts to realise their entrepreneurial projects.
Solidarity AccorHotels has been backing their actions since 2016 by funding part of the training and support that these young people from the Poissy agency need to create their business. Two employees from the AccorHotels head office have been working on the project, sharing their expertise by organising specific training courses on "Marketing and Communications" to enhance the professional experience of these young entrepreneurs. On November 23rd they will be meeting with the youngsters for the third time.
Isabelle Falque, project sponsor and Global Marketing & Communication Director of FASTBOOKING, and Laurie Perniola, Product Marketing Manager, organised this day-long event aimed at exchanging ideas, pitching projects, creating logos, discussing communication and emailing, etc. Their expertise allowed the young people to develop and build up their projects by confronting them to the contrasting opinions of the group.
This shared time was exceedingly valuable for these aspiring entrepreneurs, who were able to sound out and improve their respective projects: a daycare centre in Mantes-la-Jolie, which will also cater to children with disabilities; a connected "guardian angel" chip to locate your nearest and dearest in real time; an e-commerce brand and website listing and distributing cosmetic products suitable for pregnant women; a hyper-discreet remote monitoring system - the ideas are many and varied. But bringing these projects to life is not so simple - where do we start? What steps do we need to take? "At the start of the day, it took me at least three minutes to explain my idea: that's too long. I was taught to pitch, to talk about my project in few words; this is important for subsequent steps, such as going to see potential investors," explains Destinée, who wants to open a cosmetics shop. "We were able to try out our logo on the others and thus get instant feedback on how they felt about it, and make the necessary changes," say Erin and Christophe, who have set out on this adventure together.
Isabelle Falque talks about her experience with the young people: "After our first workshop with this group in the tower, I thought I had completely failed in my aim: the youngsters loved our work environment so much that they all wanted to apply at AccorHotels! It's true that we spent 20 minutes taking selfies on the 13th and 23rd floors… But luckily, they returned to the second session aving given proper thought to and fleshed out their entrepreneurial projects. With Laurie we will really be proud to see these projects become reality and grateful to Solidarity AccorHotels for their financial and logistical backing.”
In January 2018, the young people met for their certificate ceremony and were able to pitch their projects. Solidarity AccorHotels is renewing its support for the program for a new year, alongside Isabelle and Laurie, with the aim of supporting young people individually - and no longer collectively - to make their entrepreneurial project a reality.