Entrepreneurs du Monde's program in France

France: Geographical, historical and economic context

8 M people below the poverty line

10% of the population is unemployed

100 000 asylum seekers

Today due to its agricultural, industrial and tertiary resources, France is the fifth global power.

French culture is marked by its diversity, regional identity, debts to other people and its geographic, ethnic and political stability.

The country has, however, been in budget deficit for a decade following the global economic crisis in 2008 that caused a record level of unemployment and vulnerability. Thus today more than 9 million people live below the poverty line, and we have seen that since the middle of the years 2,000 inequality has become worse. This poverty is mostly amongst people living in socially difficult conditions.

The level of unemployment, meanwhile, is relatively stable. Although the situation for women has improved, with better access to employment, they are particularly impacted by insecure jobs.

In addition, as a result of the economic crisis and the migration crisis that the country has experienced, there is a large housing crisis, with a 50% increase in the number of homeless  people in ten years.

Entrepreneurs du Monde in France

In 2015 Entrepreneurs du Monde moved its headquarters from Poitiers to Vaulx-en-Velin to integrate the dynamism of the Lyon metropolitan area. Since that year, the Lyon Metropolis has accepted hundreds of refugee families in an environment where the number of people below the poverty line is already growing noticeably throughout the area and where the rights to essentials, such as housing, remain inaccessible for many people.

Witnessing at close quarters this despair, Entrepreneurs du Monde expressed, during its strategic planning in September 2016, its desire to start activities in France, in line with its core business : economic integration of highly vulnerable families (statutory refugees, homeless, single parents, people on minimum benefits and adults with disabilities) through entrepreneurship while facilitating their access to essential goods and services.

Two progammes have now been launched: ICI (Incubation-Creation-Integration) which helps very vulnerable people to launch their enterprises in the catering sector and Un Toit Vers l’Emploi (a roof towards employment) which helps homeless people get into work, primarily by offering  them a home.