Created in 2014, the scheme Intergenerational Pairs for Business Creation and Takeover (Tandem Inter-Générationnel pour la Creation et la Reprise d’Entreprise, TIGCRE) supports business projects led by joint teams of youth and senior entrepreneurs. It helps aspiring entrepreneurs form teams of two co-founders (a youth and a senior) and provides training and coaching to support them in creating or taking over a business.
With expanding life expectancy and working lives, seniors are more active in the labour market. Both youth and seniors are interested in entrepreneurship (one entrepreneur out of five is over 50 years old in France, and one out of four is under 30 years old). At the same time, youth and seniors are the most affected by unemployment, and often hold complementary skills (e.g. seniors are less competitive within teams and hold valuable business experience, while youth are often more comfortable with fast-paced technological change and internationalisation). TIGCRE was created to help aspiring youth and senior entrepreneurs overcome these common obstacles in the labour market by combining their strength to create sustainable businesses.
The programme has a training component and a match-making component. The training is organised in three phases. First, a training programme is offered to help aspiring entrepreneurs understand their own strengths and needs, refine their project, identify what profile of partner would be suitable for them, and learn how to make a co-founders’ relationship successful. This is done through a series of four workshops, amounting to a total of 14 hours of training. The workshops are held in groups and alternate individual and team exercises. A separate 3.5-hour workshop to prepare pairing is also offered. Second, the programme offers coaching to help candidate form pairs, based on the needs identified in the first phase. Third, personalised coaching is offered through the process: individually, before teams are created, and as a duo once the entrepreneurial team is formed. This coaching helps the team through the business creation process, and is delivered by a network of professional coaches. To facilitate the formation of entrepreneurial duos and raise awareness of the benefits of this type of entrepreneurship, TIGCRE holds regular in-person networking events called AperiTIGCRE. TIGCRE has also developed an online matching platform, TIGCRELab, where aspiring young and senior entrepreneurs can get to know each other and form pairs. To help create co-founder duos, the platform lets participants identify themselves as either an “idea carrier” (i.e. someone with a specific business idea) or “skills carrier” (i.e. someone who wants to start a business and can bring specific skills and experience to the table but does not necessarily have a precise business idea), without prejudice of age. Depending on projects, both young and senior entrepreneur can play either role. The programme collaborates with the unemployment agency (Pôle Emploi, APEC) as well as other entrepreneurship support stakeholders (e.g. Force Femme [link to case study]), in particular for awareness raising.
How did the programme adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic? All project activities were moved online. The training workshops that were organised in person over two days were transformed into online workshops held over four weeks. The programme organised online networking events to facilitate pairing. It also held an information webinar to present its activities to potential new participants.
As of 2021, the programme had held 21 AperiTIGCRE networking events with 785 participants, and 148 people had completed the training programme. 168 “idea carriers” and 132 “skills carriers” had created profiles on the online networking and matchmaking platform. Participants were satisfied by the training component of the programme: in 2019, the average satisfaction rating was 3.87/4 (overall satisfaction) and 4.65/5 (organisation of the training). In 2021, TIGCRE was awarded the QUALIOPI label, a government label signalling high quality trainings. The programme’s concept is also being replicated abroad in collaboration with a university (IPAG) through a consortium with Sweden and Spain as part of the Erasmus+ programme. The project was started in 2019 and scheduled to last 3 years.
- TICGRE (2021), TIGCRE website, www.tigcre.org/a-propos-de-tigcre/.
- TICGRE (2015), Encourager le co-entrepreneuriat intergénérationnel : Entremettre et accompagner jeunes et seniors, www.tigcre.org/wp-content/uploads/Dossier-de-presse-05-11-2015-V6.pdf.