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Create your own job

Entrepreneurship pathway for foreign newcomers in Loire-Atlantique.

The Air Liquide Foundation supports SINGA's entrepreneurship support programme in Nantes. Inclusive and intercultural, it aims to reveal the entrepreneurial skills of foreign newcomers, especially refugees, in order to move from the idea to the realisation of a project.

Obstacles to employment for newcomer entrepreneurs

In Loire-Atlantique, migrants mainly arrive from countries with a strong entrepreneurial culture, such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan or Ethiopia. Although they represent an enormous potential for our economy and local development, with their cultural background and varied skills, they nevertheless suffer from being downgraded on the labour market. Therefore, very few of them make it through to the business creation stage.

During a diagnosis carried out by SINGA between June 2019 and January 2020 in the territory of the Nantes metropolis, several obstacles to entrepreneurship for newcomers were identified:

  • Lack of social capital, network, isolation. According to the High Commissioner for Refugees, only 12% of refugees in France are in contact with French people (other than social workers, merchants, OFII* auditors)
  • Lack of knowledge regarding the steps required to create a business in France, the local economic ecosystem and the socio-professional codes of the host society
  • Very limited access to funding for business start-ups
  • Additional problems such as a limited mastery of French, legal, social and health difficulties

 *French Office for Immigration and Integration 2010-2012 

In the Pays de la Loire Region, and particularly in Loire-Atlantique, unemployment affects immigrant people  three times more: 32% of immigrant women are unemployed compared to 10% of non-immigrant  women; 20% for immigrant men compared to 7% for non-immigrant men.

Enhancing the employability of newcomers

Thanks to this project, SINGA aims to promote professional insertion and social inclusion through the creation of network, reinforce the employability of migrant, improve their french level and knowledge of the territory, the ecosystem and socio-professional codes  

The impact of the project, both economic and social, is threefold: 

  • to promote professional integration into the host society at the individual level
  • to create activities and jobs at the territorial level
  • to change the way asylum and migration is viewed at the societal level

The beneficiaries are newcomers who have a work permit and in particular those benefiting from international protection, living in Loire-Atlantique.

100 people who have tested their business idea

15 people who set up their business


The entrepreneurship programme consists of 3 steps:

1) « Awareness-raising », a first step to be inspired and gain confidence in one's entrepreneurial skills: organisation and running of inspiring events and awareness-raising and information activities in the field.

2) « Exploration », a second step to explore an idea: design and facilitation of a cycle of collective and inclusive workshops of 3 hours per week for 8 weeks, to validate one's idea and entrepreneurial skills, model and test one's idea and activity.

3) « Incubation », a third step to launch the activity: support for project leaders for 6 months on the model of the SINGA incubators, already existing in Paris and Lyon.

The project SINGA Entreprenariat Nantes is built in direct contact with the actors of business creation in the Nantes region, public employment actors, local associations, networks of professionals, local authorities and State services.

SINGA France

What the Air Liquide Foundation is doing

The Foundation's support is allocated to the salaries of the Project Managers, for the design and creation of all the awareness and exploration modules and tools.


"From my point of view, SINGA's approach is totally in line with the Air Liquide Foundation's values on inclusion, solidarity employment and local development. The Foundation contributes to the operation of the SINGA association in Nantes and its development. My role is to make the link between the association and the Foundation and to regularly follow up with the project manager on SINGA's commitments."

Jean-Philippe Nellenbach, Engineering Area Manager, Air Liquide France Industrie Carquefou