Why and how did Paris Pionnières get started?
Paris Pionnières began 12 years ago because fewer than 5% of all start-ups in France were headed by women. Today, that number has climbed to 8%, which is still far too low. Meanwhile, in Paris, where Paris Pionnières has provided support to more than 200 start-ups co-founded by women, the number has increased to 21%, making Paris the European capital of female-led start-ups. We still have a long way to go, however.
What kind of support do you provide to these female entrepreneurs?
We believe that for there to be growth, we need a large crop of women-run businesses: our female entrepreneurs are offering up new approaches and never-before-explored ways of seeing the world.
We have three programmes designed for start-ups: the three-day Possible Camp, to awaken the entrepreneur within; the six-month WoDi (Women Disrupt) to go from the idea to the proof of concept and then launch the business; and finally, the incubator, to help start-ups conquer a market, raise funds and find the model that will help them take their business to the next level. We start supporting our start-ups very early in the project creation phase to help businesses co-founded by women get off the ground: this has made us the most gender-balanced incubator in Paris (50% men). Finally, we also have our 66miles corporate programme, created in partnership with Five by Five and designed for female intrapreneurs at established companies.