For baby boomers and Generation X, working life is very structured. Salaried work on a permanent contract and careers are often carried out in the same company. For these generations, entrepreneurship is the business of certain professions (tradesmen, craftsmen, liberal professions, etc.) or the whim of a few brave creators.
Since the end of the last century, the cards have been gradually distributed, so that the professional world is now a kaleidoscope in which many statuses and ways of working are mixed. Freelancing, micro-entrepreneurship, wage portage, start-up, incubator, polyactivity, digital nomadism… Traditional work is no longer common. These new forms of work are responding to the need that more and more people are seeking, the desire to do. Now the figure of the entrepreneur is no longer an isolated case. To better understand this paradigm shift in our work relationship, the J’ai un pote dans la com team spoke with Ridouan Abagri, President of Digital College.
Interview with Ridouan Abagri, President of Digital College
JUPDLC: Working as a freelancer alongside a salaried activity, being a micro-entrepreneur during your studies, creating a business or starting up alone or with others, starting a franchise, taking on a existing business… Today’s entrepreneurship encompasses related but distinct meanings. What is your definition of an entrepreneur?
Ridouan Abagri: An entrepreneur is someone who has initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit, that is, he can take risks, innovate, and create value for himself and for others. The entrepreneur wants to create a world in which he wants to belong and in which he wants to have a role to play with as few obstacles as possible. In other words, an entrepreneur is independent and free to choose. Regardless of the form of his business, he has the desire to create and grow his business to meet the needs of customers and markets.
JUPDLC: Internet, MOOCs, distance learning courses, fairs, conferences… Today, training and information are very easy to access. Finally, to practice, there is no age, or specific paths. What do you think ?
Ridouan Abagri: Today’s technological tools make accessing training and information easier than ever before. This means that individuals can learn and grow professionally at any time in their lives, regardless of their age and prior academic background. For me, age has nothing to do, it’s perseverance and the ability to take risks that will guide a course. The fear that it is not the right time because we will have a child, that we are in a permanent contract, that we have a debt to pay or that our family is against it… can be a brake that is even more important. . Access to training in specific entrepreneurial paths allows, as we do at the Digital College within our Bac+5 in Start-up management and e-commerce, to better equip our himself to face the obstacles thanks to the association of entrepreneurs who have been through it all. periods of doubt.
JUPDLC: The ease of access to learning also has a negative effect, you can quickly get lost. How not to scatter when you want to start?
Ridouan Abagri: In fact, the abundance of information and resources available online can easily cause confusion and fragmentation for people who want to start a business project. To avoid this, it’s important to start by clearly establishing your business goals and priorities. This will help you stay focused and ensure you are using your time and resources efficiently. It will also be beneficial to seek advice from experienced mentors to guide and support you on your entrepreneurial journey. The advice I can give in detail can be found in a book dedicated to young entrepreneurs, inspired by the questions and backgrounds of our Digital College students.
JUPDLC: According to INSEE, the number of businesses created in France in 2021 reached a new record with 995,900 creations, i.e. 17% more than in 2020. How to succeed in growing within a more competitive environment?
Ridouan Abagri: To offer a promise to your market, you must be able to establish a unique value proposition for your product/service. The ability to adjust, improve what you sell/do and learn to sell before talking. The essence of the entrepreneur is to propose an offer that meets a specific need. It can also be beneficial to differentiate yourself by offering unique and personalized experiences to your customers, by implementing effective marketing strategies to reach your target market , and by creating strategic partnerships with other companies to strengthen your market presence.
JUPDLC: According to you, what are the characteristics of a good entrepreneur?
Ridouan Abagri: Determination, versatility and sociability. Surround yourself well, stick to everything you do and above all be determined because the first years of development are a sacrifice whose benefits will be felt for months or even years. The ability to manage obstacles and challenges encountered along the way is also an important point, as well as the ability to inspire and motivate your team to achieve their goals.
JUPDLC: Do you recognize other capacities that will be important in the coming years in 5, 10 or 15 years?
Ridouan Abagri: It is difficult to accurately predict which skills will be most important in the coming years, as they depend on the changing economic and technological environment. However, it is likely that skills related to artificial intelligence and information technology will continue to be important in the future. Creativity, critical thinking and complex problem solving skills will definitely be highly valued. In addition, interpersonal communication and teamwork skills will also be important, especially in an increasingly connected and interconnected world.
JUPDLC: In the world of entrepreneurship, we talk a lot about the importance and appreciation of failure. What is your opinion on this topic?
Ridouan Abagri: You need to know failure. Success brings comfort and security, but it is necessary not to know those moments of questioning, of doubt that make us grow. We rarely evolve when everything is going well, so failure can be a useful and rewarding experience for entrepreneurs. This can allow them to learn from their mistakes, understand what worked and what didn’t, and adapt and improve accordingly. Failure can also be a source of motivation for entrepreneurs, prompting them to work harder and push themselves to achieve their goals. Difficulties also represent an opportunity to reassess one’s goals and make difficult decisions for the good of a company.
JUPDLC: Does the entrepreneur of tomorrow have to be internationally oriented?
Ridouan Abagri: The entrepreneur of tomorrow does not have to be internationally oriented. In fact, many entrepreneurs have succeeded by focusing on the local or regional market. However, the advent of digital has broken the boundaries of the economy, and from home, you can develop a worldwide activity. Different markets are easier and easier to reach, and it is true that internationalization can offer many advantages for companies, such as risk diversification and the possibility to benefit from economies of scale. As a result, many entrepreneurs choose to look globally to increase their potential for growth and success. In general, it is up to each entrepreneur to decide whether they want to go international or not, based on their own business goals and strategy.
JUPDLC: We should not lie to ourselves, having a good network is also something important in the world of entrepreneurship. What are your tips for building one? What is a good network according to you?
Ridouan Abagri: The mistake is to believe that a good network will develop only when you are born into the right family or evolve into a big and good company. In reality, the network develops every day, from your years of course, your classmates, your friends, your teachers, your internship supervisors are already part of your network. A young student or a young entrepreneur already has a network at his disposal that he doesn’t appreciate most of the time. So we must take advantage of the relationships that surround us every day, propose collaborations, help and listen to others, and these people will have the confidence and desire to return the favor to you. I can also say that people generally appreciate genuine and honest people. Don’t be too pushy about expanding your network, but instead show your genuine interest in the people you meet and the topics you discuss.
JUPDLC: Flexibility, telecommuting, importance of innovation and digital technology, talent management, CSR, parity… The world of work is constantly changing. How to properly understand the new paradigms for an entrepreneur?
Ridouan Abagri: The future will always be more creative than us. It is impossible to predict what is in store for us, the best thing to do is to learn to be very versatile and be proactive about moral changes, to surround yourself properly and secure your financial back. Flexibility has become a key success factor in today’s world of work. It is important to be able to adapt to rapid changes and be flexible to meet the needs of customers and employees. With all this and good thoughts, you will be ready for any change.
To know more about Digital College and its courses, go to its dedicated page!
Digital College school page