The under-25s who have decided to become entrepreneurs
Unlike the majority of young graduates who are looking for a permanent job, some of them have decided to become entrepreneurs and put their ideas into practice. Here is a meeting with several of them.
According to the CCI, the average age of business creators is between 35 and 40. However, in recent years, more and more people under the age of 30 are starting their own business, according to INSEE figures for 2020. Some are even embarking on the adventure right out of school. Who are they? How do they manage their lives?
Lukas Liénard is one of them. He is the founder of Usave, a mobile application that allows you to buy non-food items at low prices. The 23-year-old from the north of France finished his studies last year to devote himself fully to his project.
The entrepreneur is at the head of a team of six people but does not see himself as a manager: "I don't see myself as a boss but rather as a project leader", he says. The same is true of Élise Kuc, 24, founder of Keepzy, a platform that secures the rental of accommodation: "I don't see myself as a manager", she says.
In order to launch his application, Lukas Liénard had to make sacrifices: "Unlike young graduates who were having a blast, I was on unemployment and had to pay my expenses", he confides.
Anthony Bitar, 22 years old and founder of Pianoled, a company that sells light strips adapted to pianos, also had to put his personal life on hold at times. The start-up entrepreneur made concessions in his student life in order to continue developing his project: "Instead of going to parties, I worked on my project. I also missed my school's gala and the holidays," he admits. Anthony Bitar leads a double life as the entrepreneur is still a master student.
Reconciling youth and entrepreneurship
All of them are aware of the uniqueness of their situation: "I have different responsibilities than my friends, I get legal threats, I take financial risks and I have to pay employees at the end of the month", explains Lukas Liénard.
The same goes for Anthony Bitar, who admits to having an atypical profile: "There aren't many young people my age who have the same jobs as I do," he says with amusement. He describes the world of entrepreneurship as a rich ecosystem, where age is of little importance: "I can make friends who are 25 or 50 years old", he says.
Age is not an issue for Élise Kuc. The entrepreneur has transformed her end-of-study project into a start-up incubated at Euratech. However, before taking the plunge, the young woman questioned its legitimacy: "Keepzy was a project that lacked credibility," she says. Élise Kuc had a breakthrough when she arrived at the incubator: "It's not age that determines motivation", she says.
Lukas Liénard, for his part, keeps his head on his shoulders and does not feel out of step with the young people of his generation, whom he considers "well aware" of the world of entrepreneurship. He believes that social networks help to give entrepreneurship a good image among young people: "a lot of people are interested in it", he says.
As for their circle of friends, they support and understand them: "I try to make myself available. When I'm not, my friends know why", says Lukas Liénard. "My friends and family are very supportive," says Elise Kuc.
A balance to be found
Anthony Bitar is very involved in his project, spending 9 to 10 hours a day on it. He is enthusiastic: "I have always wanted to do this project," he admits. This lifestyle pleases the entrepreneur, who is freed from certain constraints: "I go away at the weekend whenever I want, I can go out on a Monday night," he smiles.
Élise Kuc is also delighted with the freedoms offered by entrepreneurship. She works full time for her company, but is careful not to let her professional life overwhelm her: "I recently postponed an afterwork to go jogging," she says. The entrepreneur has not put her social life on hold: "When things are not going well in my personal life, I am less effective at work".
These young entrepreneurs encourage their peers to put their ideas into practice: "Go for it! Even if the project doesn't work, you will learn a lot and move forward", smiles Élise. For Anthony Bitar, "being a student is a good time to start a business because you don't have many responsibilities to manage". All three hope to continue their entrepreneurial careers.