There is a great debate around which are the most important incentives of entrepreneurship in general. JADE Network, unlike any other Junior Enterprise confederation in the world, is unique in country diversity and heterogeneous in regional development. According to recent studies, done by prestigious organisations like the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute, show strong correlations between factors like technology absorption, networking and competition in regards to level of entrepreneurship.
Collaboration strengthening JEs to have local impact
JEN – Les Junior-Entreprises Nantaises, selected winner to organize JADE October Meeting this fall, is actually a cooperative organism composed of four Junior Enterprises (Centrale Nantes Études, MiND, Loire Concept and Audencia Junior Conseil) from the city of Nantes, France. This practice, already common in Europe’s largest national network, CNJE, is rarely scaled up from more than a formal partnership between 2 JEs in the rest of the countries. JEN model is an example of how eliminating competitiveness out of some areas that normally cut market share can bring prosperity.
As Centrale Nantes Études President, Yann Camus says:
It’s always an incredible opportunity and experience to meet and exchange with other Junior-Entrepreneurs. Our concept is growing, an increasing number of people has heard of it and we are developing Junior-Enterprises all over the world. Here lies the core of our partnership JEN (Junior-Enterprises of Nantes in English). To bring closer our four teams enables us to exchange on how we work, how we function, what problems we have and how to overcome them. It’s as simple as this: Together we are stronger.
What is more is that with four teams we are strong enough to organize major events as the next JADE October Meeting or conferences with major speakers (Club Junior-Entreprise in France). We also have a greater influence in the local area and can participate in building the next entrepreneurship decisions of the city.
Pitch Junior-Entreprise: joint programs with roots in the university
Two schools from Nantes, Audencia School of Management and Centrale Nantes Engineering School, have developed for a long time synergy between their programs. Apart from the courses, they have an incubator for both schools: start-uppers can mix their competences and develop highly added value projects.
For two of the Presidents of the JEs of JEN, Yann (Centrale Nantes Études) and Baptiste (Audencia Junior Conseil), the idea of creating a common event to meet these start-ups came naturally:
Helping the start-uppers from our schools to realize their projects is a very rewarding mission for our teams : we can help them promote their concept, improve their technologies, collect funds, convince investors, measure the potential of a target group, define their market… Actually, we realised the variety of collaboration possible when we met some staff from SportInTown, Tentation Fromage and CoRide. Pitching our services as real entrepreneurs was also a first time experience for us; we learnt different techniques to match the interest of our interlocutors. We will study the possible business cooperations between Centrale Nantes Études, Audencia Junior Conseil and the startups from Symbiose incubator.
Loire Concept and MiND are currently preparing a similar meeting with their start-ups. They even have a greater perspective as they don’t have a common incubator. Therefore their goal is not only to meet the start-ups created in their school but also to enable these start-ups to meet and to discuss about the possible business cooperations between the two incubators. Thus Loire Concept and MiND are showing a true entrepreneurship spirit and will play a key role in the local incubator environment.
When each Junior Enterprise team will have met its incubator and learned how to pitch its services, the Junior-Entreprises Nantaises will show even more ambition by organizing the same type of event on a regional scale.
As a true economic actor, JEN has to take part in its improvement. A Club Junior-Entreprises is one way of achieving this goal. Therefore, JEN has organized a conference on the topic of innovation and green energy in our region. We have invited experts and well-known businessmen to discuss about the strength of this sector in France, and its possible future in the upcoming years. François de Rugy, Deputy of the region, affiliated to the Green Party, provided us with a clear and precise point of view on several laws that have affected this domain. Claude Briard, Regional Director of Total, explained how a multinational firm, dealing with billion dollars, and thousands of employees, can participated in this energetic transition. Yann Person, founder and CEO ofEnergie Perspective, a very dynamic firm in Nantes, certified that French engineers were appreciated all over the world, and that our country must not fear from its future. Finally, Nicolas Guibout, Head of the sustainable development department in Alten, gave us some examples of transformations firms have chosen to do, in order to minimize their carbon footprint. The whole debate was very interesting, and animated by questions of the audience. If we look at the bigger picture, we have succeeded in gathering important people, with a strong level of expertise, to talk about a subject that concerns everybody. We are looking forward to repeating this kind of event, which is a true boost for the local economy.
Metropolitain Comity for Economic Agents inviting JEs to the debate
Nantes has been elected the most dynamic city of France. Students, businessmen, start-ups make this city very attractive for foreign and national investors. That’s why Nantes Métropole, the institution responsible for the development of the urban area, has decided to create the Métropolitain Comity for Economic Agents (MCEA). Its role will be to coordinate and plan the measures that will guarantee the economic growth of the city. Several domains have been selected as the most important ones and JEN will take part in three of them: attractiveness of the region, services for companies and the digital impact on economy and trade.
This Comity will be animated by influent people from the economic scene of the region as for example the presidents of STX, Initiative Nantes (a regional group helping start-ups) and the association of young business leaders. JEN has been contacted to take part in these debates and brainstorming sessions. This invitation is an explicit proof of the rising influence of the Junior-Entreprises Nantaises. They are becoming a true actor in the economic life of the region.
Change: focus on the regions
Junior Enterprises can become heavy actors of trade, for the natural reason of education coming before profits. Examples as JEN show us that micro trade environments such as these can teach us a lot about scaled up economies. But most of all, they support an interconnected environment for students to flourish.
European flagship events such as European Development Days 2015 bring the challenge of descentralised (inter-city and inter-regional) cooperation as a solution for better growth on short and mid term. One can never ignore the impact of today’s students and Junior Enterprises can easily lead the agenda.
We are looking forward to an inspiring event in October!