Led by HER – helping women rebuild around entrepreneurship

About the Project

Led by HER is the first French social incubator turning vulnerable women into fulfilled entrepreneurs. Our courses, workshops and individual mentoring sessions together are designed to transform their talents, passions and experience into business competences that will enable them to realize their full potential.
Each program participant benefits from both business school courses (at the IESEG School of Management and ESCP) and an individual, personalized mentoring program for one to three years.
Each year we recruit a cohort of 30 women for our entrepreneurship program. Candidates are referred to us through a wide-ranging network around Paris (organizations, shelters, town halls, professionals, etc.). Led By HER carries out significant outreach activities to recruit its cohorts, including numerous presentations to program staff in partner organizations and directly to potential participants.  Led By HER seeks to complement the work of structures that offer initial social and psychological services and assistance to women. Our candidates come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, a true reflection of the social issue being addressed by our organization.  Participants also have a range of very different levels of education and experience. They display a broad number of nationalities and national origins: a majority of participants is French, and several countries of North and Sub-Saharan Africa are also represented. Participants range from age 25 to 70 and the median age of participants is between 37 and 50 years of age.

Our courses and workshops are held one or two days a week throughout the school year (September through June), and we always select the most appropriate setting for each activity. Personal development workshops are carried out in a coaching school (Le Playground), while entrepreneurship courses are held at a business school (IESEG School of Management or ESCP) ; and creative workshops are held in an artistic spaces (Atelier Fil Rouge, Villa Belleville). This gives our activities an additional level of authenticity; and the change in environment incites the participants to adapt every time, and never to settle into habits. The IESEG School of Management and ESCP have developed a theoretical and practical curriculum specifically for our program participants. The business schools provide us with their administrative assistance, teaching by their professors and rooms for our courses. The courses provide participants with a wide range of tools for success in the professional and entrepreneurial world, such as important knowledge in marketing, financial management, value creation and business strategy.

Mentors commit to supporting an individual participant over at least one program session (10 months) by meeting for two hours twice a month.  Our volunteer mentors are recruited through different university networks (notably the networks of Harvard University in France and ESCP graduates) and professionals (from consulting firms and partner companies). Individuals interested in mentoring apply through our website and are then interviewed by Led By HER’s Board members.

To fight against the isolation of women in vulnerable situations in the rest of France and abroad, we provide long-distance access to the contents of entrepreneurial courses. With this platform we seek to improve access to content and entrepreneurial skills for the beneficiaries of the Led By HER program by personalizing the experiences and study arrangements of our courses and workshops to allow them to stay on target despite potential constraints.  Finally, the platform aims at sharing and contributing to the collective knowledge and evolution of women entrepreneurship programs around the world, by allowing others to learn from and access a platform consolidating the entire contents of our training program.

We also organize monthly events, to strengthen our community and promote female entrepreneurship. For example, we took part in the ESCP Entrepreneurhsip Festival lat year, we organised an event with Google and 50 Partners for the International Women’s Rights Day and we organized a 2-day hackathon in May.

April 24, 2019 (last update 09-19-2019)