Refugees also have the right to become entrepreneurs! This is the conviction of the foundation of the insurer Generali, The Human Safety Net (THSN), which created in June 2019 in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), an incubator in partnership with the support network La Ruche . The incubator celebrated on September 30 the success of its first three promotions, that is to say 37 supported refugee project leaders.
Each promotion, with 10 to 15 refugee entrepreneurs, benefits from free collective support, based on intensive masterclass days and addressing all entrepreneurial issues (marketing, accounting, HR, leadership, law, etc.).
Support adapted to refugees
Incubates can also call on the La Ruche team and around a hundred experts to advise them on specific issues. Finally, each entrepreneur following the THSN – La Ruche program is followed by a coach and a mentor, both volunteers and employees of one of the network partners (Generali, BNP Paribas, Plaine Commune, Montreuil or even Medef 93).
But in addition to this classic content, part of the support is specially designed for the needs of refugees. “Supporting a refugee entrepreneur requires adaptations,” notes Sina Josheni, program manager for La Ruche. Some have a low level of French language, even if we ask for a minimum. We therefore offer French courses and a language pair. Second, they are generally people who have even less network: coaches and mentors are also there to give them access to their address book, and we make sure to organize as many events as possible ”. Another difficulty, these entrepreneurs generally already have a job: THSN – La Ruche adapts to the schedules, by offering masterclasses in the evening, or on weekends.
Two incubators in Seine-Saint-Denis
Three new promotions are underway, one in Montreuil and two in Saint-Denis, in the incubator that the foundation opened to entrepreneurs in February 2021 thanks to the obtaining of a grant from the Skills Investment Plan. “For the moment, we have remained in Seine-Saint-Denis because Generali is very attached to the territory, due to the establishment of its head office in Saint-Denis, explains Elise Ginioux, president of the foundation The Human Safety Net and member of Generali’s Executive Committee, in charge of Communication, CSR and Public Affairs. And then it is a territory in which more and more start-ups and associations are being created, therefore very dynamic, and where many nationalities come together, including refugees. “
The foundation plans to open a third incubator in Strasbourg at the end of 2021, in collaboration with the Singa network. The THSN incubators will have supported a total of 80 refugees by the end of the year.