Entrepreneurs du Monde's program in France

France: Geographical, historical and economic context

67 M inhabitants

22ème HDI ranking

82 years old life expectancy

France is at the diplomatic heart of Europe, and its industrial, agricultural and tertiary resources now make it the sixth largest economy in the world.

French culture is characterised by diversity, strong regional identities, cultural borrowings and its geographic, ethnic and political stability.

However, the world economic crisis of 2008 has resulted in a budget deficit in the country for the last decade, causing record levels of unemployment and deprivation. This has left 8 million people living below the poverty line, and there has been a marked increase in inequality since the mid-2000s. The unemployment rate is relatively stable (at around 10%), and although the position of women has improved with better access to employment, they are particularly affected by insecure employment (33% of employed women work part-time).

At the same time, the population of France continues to grow by 0.5% per year, and the recent migration crisis led to 225,000 residence permits being granted in 2016.
The combined effects of the economic and migration crises have caused a significant housing crisis, with the number of people with no fixed abode rising by 50% in 10 years.

Entrepreneurs du Monde in France

In 2015, Entrepreneurs du Monde moved its head office from Poitiers to Vaulx-en-Velin in the dynamic city of Lyon. Since then, the city of Lyon has been welcoming hundreds of refugee and Roma families into a situation where the number of people below the poverty line is growing significantly across the region, and where basic rights such as housing remain out of reach for many people.

During its strategic planning in September 2016, Entrepreneurs du Monde decided that it should begin activities in France, based on its core mission: helping particularly deprived families to become economically active through their own entrepreneurship whilst making it easier for them to access essential goods and services.

Its actions will focus on listening and guidance, followed by an individual programme of training and support adapted to the specific needs of those intending to set up a business. Entrepreneurs du Monde will support around fifty families with their professional development during its 1 year pilot project, which begins in January 2018 in Vaulx-en-Velin and several other districts of the city of Lyon.