France: The land of flourishing

On Centre-stage: Some inspiring women entrepreneurs from France

France boasts of a stable business climate that attracts investors from around the globe. The French government devotes significant resources to attracting foreign investment through – policy incentives, marketing, overseas trade promotion offices & investor support mechanisms.  Moreover, France has an educated population, top quality universities and a talented workforce.

Entrepreneurship has emerged both as a solution and liberation in professional life. According to Infogreffe’s “Women and Entrepreneurship in 2021” barometer, 32.3% of entrepreneurs in France are women, a share that has been steadily increasing over the last 30 years. 

Women entrepreneurship is particularly prevalent in some business sectors, such as – textile manufacturing & clothing industry (around three quarters of female entrepreneurs in 2021), but also in social work and other types of personal care services such as – hairdressing and beauty care, laundry, funeral services and so on. 

Here’s presenting some inspiring women entrepreneurs from France.

> Rachel Delacour, Co-founder, Sweep

Rachel Delacour is a serial entrepreneur (BIME analytics acquired by Zendesk) and Co- founder of Sweep, a solution against global warming. She carried out two operations in the Île-de France and Occitanie regions in 2018 and 2019 alongside other renowned business angels, including Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini and ThibaudElzière.

> Catherine Barba Chiaramonti, Founder, Catherine Barba Group

Catherine Barba, a pioneer of the digital revolution in France, is an expert in omni- channel commerce and digital retail. She is a serial e-commerce entrepreneur and an expert in digital transformation (ie buying journey and customer relationship). In January 2020, she invested in Place2swap, based in the Île-de-France region. She is also a member of the jury for the TV program Qui veutêtremonassocié ? (the equivalent of the US Shark Tank show).

She has bagged many distinctions including that of “Femme en Or” 2011, Alumni of the Year ESCP Europe 2012 and Knight of the National Order ofMerit in 2012. The latest company she launched – Catherine Barba Group, helps globalbrands and retailers on their omnichannel strategy and customer service in the era of mobile commerce.

> Delphine Le Serre, Founder and President – Education for Tomorrow | Head of Artificial Intelligence Institute of Learning – MoovAI 

Delphine Le Serre is Founder & President – Education for Tomorrow, which aims at raising awareness about the three global transitions. It gathers researchers, professors, intellectuals and people from all different sectors to co-create a new curriculum. This organisation works on several communication activities in order to promote this new education paradigm.

> GaëlleFrizon de Lamotte, Founder of Oly Be

By creating OLY Be, GaëlleFrizon de Lamotte, Founder wanted to build a startup which brought about a positive impact on people’s lives. Today, OLY Be is a leading platform for Yoga and other Mind and Body activities in France and they are also a mission- driven company. 

With a mission to make Yoga and other mind and body activities accessible to the greatest number of people, they offer classes every month in studios and online, thus creating healthy routines for their users. They also support corporates in their quality of life at the workplace initiatives.

> InèsLeonarduzzi, CEO of Digital for the PLanet& Founder and President of Women Inspiring Talks – WIT Paris

InèsLeonarduzzi is a talented entrepreneur today and a true enthusiast of art and literature. In 2017, she founded the NGO Digital for the Planet. She promotes digital ecology in the world, guiding people in creating a more responsible future and encouraging us to think, especially on digital innovation. She also created Preserve Yourself – a platform that deals with personal development, to help you improve yourself every day.

Recently, she published her first book – Réparer le Futur (literally Fixing the Future), to help us get familiar with ecology and offer solutions – for a better future.

> Jean NachiwalaGuo, CEO & Co-founder,Konexio

Jean NachiwalaGuo founded Konexio and the company’s mission is focused on empowerment and connection for refugees, unemployed youth and other disadvantaged groups – through digital skills training. Their vision is directed at equipping these vulnerable groups with the employable digital skills they need – to secure employment in an economy that increasingly relies on new technologies. So, it’s indeed a noble cause – to bridge this digital divide, and Konexio provides a foundation for integration and steers their students’ transition into a new life.

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