Did you know that according to INSEE, in 2017, about 22% of traders, craftsmen and business leaders in France were immigrants or foreigners? The best thing is that this figure does not even take into account micro-entrepreneurs and association creators! In short, it is undeniable that many newcomers come to France with an amazing entrepreneurial spirit, talent and a genuine desire to succeed. Unfortunately, studies also show that companies created by foreigners in France often have a lower viability. In concrete terms, studies show that they have a 27% chance of surviving after 5 years less than French companies.
In recent years, we have realized that newcomer entrepreneurs had very little access to traditional entrepreneurial support structures and that they were often created in a family or community setting. This is linked to the language barrier, cultural differences in the way a company is created and developed, and the fact that they often favour community mutual aid over the support offered in France.
First observation: these entrepreneurs often have difficulty accessing the information and networks they need to create and develop their businesses.
At the same time, we realized that these entrepreneurs, whether they are at the head of micro-enterprises, associations or local businesses, were often very active and influential within their various communities and have a relationship of trust with them.
Observation N°2: These entrepreneurs are therefore important potential vectors of information within their different communities that are not currently used by traditional actors in welcoming newcomers.
It’s on the basis of these observations that we have developed Yeobi Boost.
What is Yeobi boost?
Yeobi boost is not an incubator or an accelerator, but rather a toolbox for foreign entrepreneurs who have arrived in France over the past 10 years. Our objective is double : 1) to support newcomer entrepreneurs with the information and services they may need to develop their activities and impact, 2) to create new networks of information within newcomer communities to give them a better access to the opportunities they need.
How does it work?
In concrete terms, companies and organisations supported by newcomers sign a one-year partnership with Yeobi. In this partnership, Yeobi offers them 5 tools to help them develop their businesses:A group of professionals whose objective is to answer their questions as quickly as possible. The document produced by this working group can be translated into the person’s language if necessary.
– A connexion with professionals, investors, service providers, suppliers who can allow the development of each partner’s project.
– Inspiring and enlightening conferences and meetings in which partners meet foreign entrepreneurs who have succeeded in France.
– Mentoring from an experienced newcomer entrepreneur who has been in France for a longer period of time.
– The promotion of partner projects ( to institutional partners, the press etc…)
In exchange, the partner projects commits to share Yeobi’s information within his community whether it is not by word of mouth, social networks or by posting within a store. The idea is that these people are able to target much more effectively (than we do) people in their communities who might be interested in information.
Yeobi Boost is a partnership that turns our partners who do not have a direct social impact activity in de facto social entrepreneurs. We are also convinced that this activity, as information provider, will also improve their business opportunities.
Where are we now?
Today we launched Yeobi Boost with 3 associations in Montpellier.
– Cafofo: A Brazilian socio-cultural association that helps newcomers and promotes Brazilian culture in Montpellier.
– The Franco-Syrian association of Montpellier: A Franco-Syrian socio-cultural association that also support Syrian newcomers and promote Syrian culture in Montpellier.
– Polyvalent Dream association: An association that aims to develop insertion activities for newcomers and other excluded groups.
To be able to launch Yeobi boost in Paris and to develop it in Montpellier, especially among micro-entrepreneurs and local businesses, we are looking for volunteers. Feel free to register if you think you can contribute to the building. Click here!
To develop this innovative project and while waiting to develop a business model for it, we also need your financial support. Thanks you for any help you may give us!