This Wednesday, September 21, in Dijon, the Secretary of State for the SSE and Associative Life visited the Kër association and spoke at a round table on the Regional Action Plan for the Promotion and Development of women’s entrepreneurship in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
An early walker, after the election of Emmanuel Macron in 2017, Marlène Schiappa was appointed in 2017 Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men and the Fight against Discrimination by the Prime Minister .
Her legitimacy in tackling the subject of professional equality is recognized in particular for having created a communication company, for having kept the blog “Mom works” – which became a network of active women and then an association – and for having developed the notion of “ceiling of mother” about the difficulties of reconciling professional and family life.
One hour and thirty minutes in two sequences
This time, it is as Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, in charge of the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life – since last July – that Marlène Schiappa came to Dijon, this Wednesday, September 21, 2022 Marlène Schiappa knows the city well since her mother is from Dijon.
On the official agenda of the day, only two short sequences on the theme of women’s entrepreneurship: a visit to the Kër association and a speech at the round table on PAREF at the CCI Métropole de Bourgogne. That is less than an hour and a half by adding these two sequences.
A really express visit since the time for discussions announced around the PAREF was reduced to the bare minimum during the coffee reception punctuated however by a group photo for communication.
Kër, integration through economic activity for women
Arriving at the Kër association, the Secretary of State was welcomed by Fadila Khattabi (Renaissance), MP for Côte-d’Or, Emmanuelle Coint (LR), vice-president of the Côte-d’Or departmental council in charge of solidarity, Océane Charret-Godard (PS), municipal councilor of Dijon in charge of the SSE and employment, as well as Fabien Sudry, prefect of the Côte-d’Or, and Marie-Louise Faye, director of Ker. Subsequently, the delegation was joined by Didier Martin (Renaissance), MP for Côte-d’Or.
An association for professional integration through economic activity, Kër aims to professionalize women wishing to get into catering. Kër notably produces meal trays for professional events or weddings.
Since December 2020, the association has trained 17 people, most of whom were recruited for their very first job in France by the companies where they completed internships.
The beneficiaries are mostly women with an immigrant background. French as a foreign language courses are provided by the CESAM association and cultural outings are offered to discover the city.
Kër is subsidized by the State, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region, the Department of Côte-d’Or and the City of Dijon.
“Inclusion through economic activity really makes it possible to remobilize the people furthest from employment because we combine employment – they receive a salary – they are trained to increase their skills, (…) and a accompaniment that we offer them”, indicated “We want them to be autonomous”, indicated Marie-Louise Faye.
“It’s a good practice and a beautiful model (…) which takes into account the whole person. Beyond professional competence, it is important to have colleagues, comrades,” punctuated Marlène Schiappa.
New PAREF Bourgogne-Franche-Comté signatories
The Regional Action Plan for the Promotion and Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (PAREF) was launched in May 2021 (read our article). This Wednesday, the CCI Métropole de Bourgogne organized a round table to mark the arrival of new signatories.
Part of the morning’s delegation was present at Place Jean-Bouhey, being joined in particular by Nicolas Soret (PS), vice-president of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté regional council in charge of economic development, Marie-Hélène Julliard-Randrian (without label), municipal councilor of Dijon delegated to SMEs, as well as Anne Coste de Champeron, secretary general for regional affairs of the prefecture of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, Thierry Buatois, president of the CCI Bourgogne-Franche- Comté, and Fanny Lhuilier, head of entrepreneurship creation at BPI France in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
“There is still a lot to do” for women’s rights
“At the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté CCI, we understand what the word ‘entrepreneurship’ means, (…) and we understand well what the word ‘feminine entrepreneurship’ also means as improvement and collective will”, pointed out Thierry Buatois. for whom women’s rights are progressing even if “there is still a lot to do”.
At the end of 2019, a third of business leaders in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté were women.
“To be an entrepreneur, you have to have a taste for freedom, self-confidence and your project, to be creative, passionate and optimistic”, estimates the president of the regional CCI who nevertheless raises “brakes” such as “the lack of availability, a significant mental or family burden or some form of self-censorship”. The regional CCI has set itself the objective of removing the obstacles in question by joining PAREF.
Fanny Lhuilier recalled that BPI France finances national support networks for business creation alongside the State and the Regions. In the regions, BPI France supports networks of women entrepreneurs.
“The success of this type of plan is when, at each stage of the business creation process, from reception to financing, the future entrepreneur feels welcomed, put in confidence and that, at at no time does she feel that there is a brake which opposes her, a brake which would not be opposed to a man who would be a business creator”, summarized Nicolas Soret.
Women’s entrepreneurship has become a “major axis” of the economic development scheme of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
Project leaders face “a few more obstacles”
“Today there really is a common desire to move forward to support business creation and the development of businesses by women”, continued Marlène Schiappa, noting that PAREF now had 19 signatories, including banking organizations committing to facilitate the reception of project leaders.
Several signatories are part of the social and solidarity economy (ESS) or are simply associations, the area of competence of the Secretary of State.
“When you are a woman who creates a business, you have the same obstacles and the same satisfactions as when you are a man who creates a business but with a few more additional obstacles on the side”, underlined the secretary of State.
“The visibility of women entrepreneurs is fundamental because, beyond your own activity, there is this role model, this message that we send to other young women”, she declared, addressing the representatives of networks of business leaders present in the room.
To “simplify” the professional life of women, the Secretary of State mentioned government measures such as the revision of the levels of commitment of the Solidarity Company of Social Utility label or the creation of a one-stop shop for associations.