Posted Jul 18, 2022, 7:00 AM
1. I drew the mission of my start-up from my story
Ethical recruitment that gives everyone a chance. The idea was vague but it slumbered in me from my 16 years to my 24 years, during which time I did all the odd jobs in the world to finance my studies at EM Lyon – because the help of my parents and scholarships were insufficient. From market vendor, to cleaner, to post office clerk, worker, bartender or builder, all these experiences have taught me to learn, to fail too, and then to succeed.
This is the lot of many young people, especially those like me who come from working-class neighborhoods. I grew up in Planoise, a sensitive urban area in Besançon. Son of postal workers, grandson of mason and housekeeper, I had no model of success or knowledge of the entrepreneurial trades.
In our neighbourhoods, we also have no network, connections, information on the university courses to follow. There is no culture conducive to ambition.
But this background and these professional experiences have shaped my personality. Seven years ago, at the dawn of my 30th birthday, I decided to found the start-up “Bruce”, when I was, at the time, an intrapreneur in a large group (Casino, creation of the online platform: CVous.com).
To finance this project with my partner, we invested our savings, then took out honorary loans (Wilco and Imt starter) and finally did two fundraisers.
2. I found a mission that makes sense
The app that I imagined focuses on a part of the job market that is often neglected, as it rhymes with precariousness: temporary work. With Henrik, my partner, since 2016, we have been working to make this market fairer and more efficient for everyone (candidates and recruiters). Last year, more than 10,000 talents found work thanks to Bruce and his 100 employees.
Our mission is reasoned internally even before having an echo with our customers and external partners. Everyone is trained in inclusion, we advocate diversity and equal opportunity and we really take action, in particular thanks to associative sponsorship, thanks to the recruitment of people from disadvantaged neighborhoods, who today represent nearly 15% of our workforce.
If I consider myself an impact entrepreneur from day one, I wanted to engrave our actions in stone, anchor them in a legal framework, show that all of this is very concrete. It was through the impact ecosystem that I discovered the existence of the so-called “mission-based” company status. And we had to go from the idea to the project…
3. I involved all the employees
At the beginning of 2021, it started with a very time-consuming internal reflection, let's be honest! It was necessary to involve and integrate all stakeholders: employees, customers, but also shareholders.
Twelve months later, we were all in phase: the pursuit of profit is not the only objective of Bruce and we had to formalize it. To do this, we held one meeting per month to follow the actions in progress and think about new ways to achieve our mission.
But it was also necessary to be accompanied by a specialized external consulting firm throughout the process. This help was useful in challenging our actions, allowing us to go further, but also saving us time on the administrative, legal, etc. part.
This work lasted more than a year and enabled us to define a raison d'être and a triple commitment: to take concrete action for a more inclusive society, to contribute to strengthening the employability of job seekers, and to constantly seek to reduce our carbon footprint at each stage of our value chain.
Today, internally we have two people dedicated to this subject (the Head of Impact and the CSR project manager in her team). In addition, we regularly engage our teams in design thinking processes to improve our impact approach. The teams are also made aware of and regularly trained in the subject of impact (ecology, discrimination), and participate in our CSR actions.
In addition to these HR costs, there are also additional expenses related to the various software or companies used to measure and quantify our actions (eg Greenly to measure the carbon impact). In total, I estimate that we spent almost 200,000 Pounds (recruitment of a dedicated person included).
4. I took care of the status change step
After that, it was necessary to modify the statutes of the company to include the raison d'être, the social and environmental objectives as well as the methods of control.
Please note: there is no question of “selling the dream”. Every promise must be kept, and once again, do not hesitate to be accompanied by a specialist in the field.
We then set up the administrative procedures in June 2022 (declaration with the registry of a commercial court) so that the company is well recognized by government bodies.
This status is anything but “bullshit”. The control of the execution of the missions is done by independent third-party organizations (OTI) every two years. A detail not to be taken lightly, because if the objectives are not respected, a procedure for withdrawing the status of company with a mission will be put in place.
We are now a so-called “mission” company. Now is where the adventure really begins. On a daily basis, you have to challenge yourself to progress in all areas, work to improve your impact on society, implement all the actions announced and bring this mission to life with humility and responsibility. »
Company with a mission, quèsaco?
The purpose of a “mission-based company” is to reconcile the common interest of the partners and the achievement of an objective of general interest and not to restrict it to the sole sharing or creation of a profit/savings ( Pact law, 2021). Concretely, it is a commercial company setting itself one or more social or environmental objectives.
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