Ardian Lab is headed by Eugène Henri Moré, who is also a board member of the Ardian Foundation. The project aims to assist unemployed people of all ages from priority neighbourhoods to find employment by setting up their own company. This first edition focused on the Seine-Saint Denis area, a north Paris greater suburb.
Of the eight thousand hopefuls who contacted the Ardian Foundation, some 100 officially submitted their project and were auditioned by an Ardian Lab team. Nine entrepreneurs from disadvantaged neighbourhoods were then selected and coached over several months by an Ardian employee and partner companies to properly set up their project and define their business plan.
The jury, which included Dominique Senequier, CEO of Ardian, awarded several Ardian Lab prizes on Thursday 22 March, ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 euros, to finance and support these business projects. They included in particular a coffee-theatre venue, a hair salon, and a water conservation project.
A team from Gide, led by partner Alexis Pailleret, with counsel Paul Jourdan-Nayrac and associates Pierre-Antoine Degrolard, Pauline Shaeffer, Marie-Léa Rols, Nicolas Lescot and Luc Marouby, assisted the entrepreneurs on the legal and tax structuring aspects of their projects.
Dominique Senequier, CEO of Ardian enthuses: "Social responsibility is inherent to our culture here at Ardian. In setting up the Ardian Foundation, we met the wishes of our employees, the majority of whom wanted to commit to causes related to education and social mobility. Our employees drove us to act in the field, and our values of Excellence, Loyalty and Entrepreneurship take on their real meaning with this type of initiative. Finding and supporting these entrepreneurs was an incredible, emotional and fascinating experience, and I wish them all the best possible success in their endeavours".
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