Montpellier. Entrepreneurship: “Les Essenti’Elles”, the competition definitely focused on women

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Montpellier. Entrepreneurship: “Les Essenti’Elles”, the competition definitely focused on women

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Fatima El Mrabti decrypts the contest dedicated to women who want to create their business in priority neighborhoods
Fatima El Mrabti decrypts the contest dedicated to women who want to create their business in priority neighborhoods (© dr)

The first edition of Essenti’Elles to Montpellier offers women the opportunity to build their own professional integration by creating their own business in priority neighborhoods. Women are under-represented inentrepreneurshipin particular in the priority districts: from this simple observation comes the idea of ​​a competition open only to women who wish to create, take over or develop a business within 12 priority neighborhoods in Montpellier (the “QPV”, Political Districts of the City).

A dozen winners

The solidarity finance association France Active Airdie-Occitanie, in collaboration with the Metropolis and the Department, launched the first edition of “Essenti’Elles” in January. A competition in development for three years, launched to support a dozen winners in their project, with the declared desire to “leave no one on the street”.

The program was created for fight against discrimination and integrate more women into the business world, on projects that are meaningful to neighborhoods. “To do this, we help them find the keys to success, in a partnership dynamic”, explains Fatima El Mrabti, head of the Les Essenti’Elles project.

“There can be many obstacles to starting a business, especially for women”

Fatima El MrabtiResponsible for the Les Essenti’Elles project

At the key of the competition, a bonus from € 1,000 to € 5,000 to start well, but this “tailor made” system must above all allow the personalized support of the winners until the end of 2022. The consultants of the social and solidarity economy will be at work to guide them step by step in the development of their project. To make it happen, women entrepreneurs will be able to follow training courses on essential issues for the finalization of a business such as crowdfunding (participatory financing), communication, marketing or the establishment of a network.

The Essenti'Elles competition is aimed at women who want to start their own business in priority neighborhoods
The Essenti’Elles competition is aimed at women who want to start their own business in priority neighborhoods (© dr)

“There can be many obstacles to starting a business, especially for women,” observes Fatima El Mrabti: “It is not easy to harmonize family and professional life or to find the information to get started. Often they have less self-confidence and banks… they trust men more! “

To hell with the “injunctions and diktats” of an economy still strong in its male reflexes, the teams mobilized around Essenti’Elles want to pave the way for these women in search of financial autonomy to find the right levers and adequate funding.

supportive women

On the sidelines of the competition, a collective of a dozen women has already spontaneously formed. “Les Val’heureuses” help each other in the process of creating their business. For Karima, leader of a disability project, this collective “is benevolence, without rivalry. We talk, we help each other fill out the forms … and every now and then we meet for the exits! “

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In all areas

Numerous applications have already been received by Essenti’Elles, sometimes by women with disabilities, determined if they do not have it, to carve out their own place in the economy. The projects cover all fields of activity, from catering to prêt-à-porter, through sewing courses or e-commerce. “Some have already made a lot of progress on their project within a few months,” says Fatima El Mrabti. “We are very proud.”

Good to know: an entrepreneurship bus runs for entrepreneurs

To facilitate access to information, the “Entrepreneurship for All” bus under the aegis of the Montpellier Pic Saint Loup Initiative crosses the entire territory of the metropolis to meet future entrepreneurs to inform and guide them.
Upcoming bus tour dates:
– March 15th from 2pm to 5pm in the Petit Bard district
– March 22 from 9:00 to 12:00 in the Lemasson district

Until February 28, 2022

The organizers of the competition estimate that they will be able to receive around thirty applications when registration closes. Future entrepreneurs are invited to submit their application by February 28, 2022 on the Essenti’Elles website. The basic criteria? Doing business (or residing) in a political district of the city. The evaluation criteria? Having a value-added project and a good dose of determination! In short, the main thing …

Frederique IM

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