I’m a Regional Sales Strategy Director for Experian in France.
While Experian provides grants for entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to support new businesses beyond financial support.
I had discovered an avenue for employees to volunteer as coaches to train budding entrepreneurs, so I brought the opportunity to Experian’s attention.
Eight colleagues and I ended up bringing together entrepreneurs from the Ainée Business Incubator and a charity supporting young entrepreneurs from low-income areas in Paris for a day-long workshop in our Experian Paris office. The workshop was focused on helping entrepreneurs build elevator pitches, digital marketing plans and data protection strategies.
I was running the elevator pitch session when I met an entrepreneur named Jocelyne. She wanted to set up a business importing Jamaican fruit and vegetables to the top restaurants in Paris. During the session, I coached Jocelyne and her peers through the basics of an elevator pitch, giving them opportunities to practice together in pairs before presenting to the group.
Jocelyne had never given a pitch before, but she did an amazing job. She decided to pretend she was pitching Alain Ducasse – one of the big three Michelin star chefs in Paris. She talked as though he was in the room, which brought her pitch to life. She made her business sound so tasty, I was hungry myself by the end. Jocelyne had been quiet at the start of the workshop, but after giving that pitch, you could see this fresh sense of confidence in her as a new light came into her eyes.
By helping one entrepreneur in Paris nail her business pitch, I got to help inspire a small amount of confidence to help Jocelyne turn her business dream into a reality. It was amazing and touching to see that kind of transformation.