Macron’s Presidency: what the young generation’s expectations are

Emanuel Macron France 2017

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, receives Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. © European Union , undefined / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Adrien Lepic, the elected Secretary General of the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE) for the 2017/2018 term. The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and do not necessarily reflect The European Sting’s one.

On the 7th of May 2017, the youngest President of the French Republic ever was elected. He is now leading a country whose unemployment rate is around 10%[1]) and which is under terrorism threats. The situation of the young generation is even worse: 25%[2] of the under-25 years are unemployed.

Therefore, there is a desire of entrepreneurship in the young generation and Macron understood it. In France, the social ladder is inefficient. Youth take their fate into their own hands and become Intrapreneurs, Startupers, Self-Entrepreneurs (in France 30%[3] of the Auto Entrepreneurs are under 30 years old.). President Macron would like to foster these dynamics. One of his ideas is to simplify the labor law to make the hiring and dismissal process easier for SMEs. He also wants to change the French culture of failure’s stigmatization by changing, for example, the bankruptcy process.

Entrepreneurship is much more than a way to make a living, it is a social issue. Nowadays a number of young graduates are looking for a job that echoes their own set values. however, the traditional companies did not give the feeling to live for any values.

There is a part of the young generation who is looking for opportunities to make a better society and they see the way of doing it in entrepreneurship.

Nevertheless, the willingness is not sufficient to succeed. Apart from the 200 Unicorns (Startups with valuation superior to 1M in the world), there are hundreds of thousands of failures. The success stories are not the big majority. There is a common belief that with sole boldness you can conquer the world, we assume that a good idea is enough and that our idea is by far the best. But the business world is competitive. A responsible Entrepreneur needs to be prepared and aware of his strength and weaknesses.

University should foster the desire of entrepreneurship with an appropriate education. The current academic system in France and in Europe is based on a theoretical and top-down method which cannot develop the students’ soft skills. You cannot learn how to speak with a client, to manage a project or to develop a network in a University lecture. Learning by doing is the best way to gain these soft skills. Macron’s program is going in this direction by pushing the apprenticeship and part-time study-programs and by opening Erasmus to apprentices.

Those types of training are efficient, the employability of the student is higher than the average but the part which fosters pro-active leadership, peer-to-peer learning and realizing business opportunities is still missing. Other initiatives such as pre-incubators integrated into the university to help students to build and setup projects or Junior Enterprises, which are association-like consultancies run by students, are relevant to help students developing their entrepreneurial skills. In general, having an active experience in an association is a great opportunity and a proper recognition of this work by universities would be a giant step forward for youth entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is a way to foster the European integration and vice versa. Because of the globalization, it is rare to create an enterprise without thinking internationally. The Macron presidency can be an opportunity considering his program about Europe. The creation of an unique market of energy and of a European digital venture capital funds, his intention to establish a European carbon price[4] are potential occasions for Entrepreneurs to create added value in harmony with moral values.

The European’s youth generation is heterogeneous but no matter the ideas it is characteristically idealistic and conquerors as Macron is. This generation does not need any mercy, it just needs opportunities and the right preparation to face all the challenges that will come.

[1] Source Eurostat.

[2] Source OECD.

[3] Source insée : Auto-Entrepreneur is a French legal framework to promote Self-entrepreneurship.

[4] Propositions from Macron’s Meeting in London.

About the author

Mr. Adrien Lepic is the elected Secretary General of the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE) for the 2017/2018 term. In addition to this role, he personally oversees several departments ( Network Quality, HR, Internal Communication and IT ). Adrien LEPIC is graduating from INSA Lyon (France) with a Master of Science in Engineering and a specialization in Computer Science. Prior to taking an international leadership role, he was the Vice President of his local Junior Enterprise which was recognized as the best Junior Entreprise in France in 2016. In his position, he managed to create key alliances with 6 other engineering Junior Enterprises at national levels. In addition to his implication in the Junior Enterprise Movement Mr. Lepic has been part of the Young European which is a European Movement which promotes the European feeling.

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