Center for Micro-Entrepreneurship (CEME)

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Center for Micro-Entrepreneurship (CEME): Support micro-enterprise creation in the French region of Auvergne

Clermont Ferrand, FranceClermont Ferrand
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Adie and Volvic, supported by the Danone Ecosystem Fund, co-created the CEME (CEntre for Micro-Entrepreneurship) in order to train 300 people within three years to micro-business creation, in the French department of Puy-de Dome. CEME program is a two-week training session: a week of training and a week of individual coaching and follow-up with the objective of providing all the knowledge needed to start a micro-enterprise.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In France, 40% of unemployed people are living in poverty vs. 8% of employed people. Auvergne is one of the least dynamic regions of France in terms of business creation: it has a high rate of unskilled young people, who are structurally weaker on the labor market. In this context, entrepreneurship increasingly appears as a credible alternative to being an employee, thanks to the auto-entrepreneur status. CEME aims at supporting people in situation of economic exclusion (44% are unemployed) and helping them in their entrepreneurial endeavour. The training is suitable for people trying to integrate the labor market, because it also facilitates networking with other micro-entrepreneurs, and develop their sekf-confidence.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

First training center in France focused on micro-businesscreation and networking, the aim of the CEME is to support job creation through micro-entrepreneurship, in a context of rising unemployment and stonger economic crisis. CEME provides training, credit and a support service to help trained individuals to create their own business. Volvic, located in a region with low economic dynamism, has initiated this program which allows the company to keep on creating jobs in the region. The program is also presented to apprentices to offer them new career perspective thanks to the expertise of Adie on the matter. By combining training and networking of entrepreneurs, CEME creates a genuine local dynamic of business creation.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Portrait of Hamid, a student at CEME in March 2012: Hamid, butcher in Saint-Jacques, is in a situation of professional failure. Overcoming difficulties, he plans to start his own business, and thus switches from an employee to an entrepreneur status. He has a specific asset : he worked in a restaurant for 3 years. He first gets to know about Adie when considering to buy a trailer to launch an itinerant fast food business. He follows a CEME training in March 2012, carries on with an "Adie Montage" and receives a loan of € 10,000. His activity is seasonal and he has diverse customers, mainly students. He is now well known in the neighborhood. The quality of his offer is recognized and his consumers are becoming more and more loyal to him.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Local partners have expressed strong expectations on how to make the CEME programme sustainable. as it brought an answer to an existing need (CEME has been nicknamed "the missing link" in the panel of business creation offers). Strengthening the partnership with Pôle Emploi will increase the impact of the project as the organization provides the programme with 60% of its trainees. In addition, the CEME aims at developing connections between all trainees and local actors. To do so, it relies on social networks, through a dedicated Facebook page for example. These connections will help to increase the potential impact of the projects, as each new trainee talks about it to their friends, colleagues ... Finally , Adie builds on the success of CEME to replicate the initiative. Pilots are being implemented in Rennes, Toulouse. The CEME has therefore clearly become a role-model.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Although similar trainings already exist (Chambers of Trade and Industry, Chambers of Trades and Crafts, training organizations), CEME is unique. Its target audience, the content of its training, and its coaching and networking activities (recovering self-confidence, managing time) cannot be found in other organizations. Adapted pedagogy, and specific contents developed for micro-entrepreneurs make it unique. Moreover, the fact that the project is supported by the Danone Ecosystem Fund gives a very special value to the co-creation process that led to the birth of the project.The corner stone of the CEME programme is the common will that animated both partners, Adie and Volvic, to solve a common challenge on a dedicated territory.


The project is supported by the Danone Ecosystem Fund, which implies a threefold co-creation process governance at all stages of the project (Danone Ecosystem, a subsidiary of the group -in this case, Volvic- and a beneficiary organization, Adie). It implies as well an assessment of the social impact of the project and the study of its potential for replicability. There are many exchanges between the projects managers on Volvic side and Adie side: meetings for each training preparation (selection of candidates for each training session), joint interventions during the trainings, but also co-piloting the network management, as in the celebration of the 150th CEME trainee in 2013. Within Volvic, several stakeholders are involved, from the plant General Manager to Volvic employees who volunteer in the project.