The Bouygues Telecom Foundation has created Incub’Asso, an incubator aimed at supporting new non-profits seeking to build a network of volunteers or raise public awareness about their work. Here we take a look at its first intake.
By par Grâce Noyal
With Incub’Asso, a new initiative by the Bouygues Telecom Foundation, the aim is to create an incubator similar to start-up incubators that will help young non-profits grow and realise their projects.
“There are many structures that already support the social economy sector”, explains Sarah Alezrah, the Foundation’s Chief Officer. But in general, they also tend to help for-profit businesses. At Bouygues Telecom, we wanted to create the first incubator dedicated solely to non-profits.”
Anthony Colombani, President of the Bouygues Telecom Foundation underlines: “The Covid crisis dealt a heavy blow to the non-profit sector. Many organisations were no longer able to continue their work.”
and 75 socially responsible and community operations supported since its creation.
Non profits supported
up to 20,000
Euros of financial assistance
SUPPORT DEDICATED FOR PEOPLE
Incub’Asso offers financial assistance of up to €20,000, paid out in gradually decreasing instalments over three years, to help ensure organisations remain self-sufficient. In exchange, the incubator expects non-profits to commit to a one-year skills training programme.
« We help young non-profits when they’re at their most fragile. We train them in budgetary management, how to appeal for donations, in legal and ethical aspects and above all, we help them to measure the impact of their efforts on society. » explains Anthony Colombani. Most importantly, in addition to these aspects, the incubator offers support for people: each of the seven selected non-profits in the first intake are mentored by a Bouygues Telecom employee who provides his or her time and expertise. The mentors are trained by Pro Bono Lab, a specialist in skills patronage, in order to provide the non-profits with the best possible support. Pro Bono Lab also runs training programmes where mentors and non-profits define together the relationship they want to have together and what they expect to gain from it. The selected organisations benefit from AssoConnect, a provider of on-line training and other resources, as well as free connectivity and coworking spaces, which are provided in partnership with Wojo1 to cover temporary needs.
1. Coworking spaces managed by Bouygues Immobilier in a joint venture with Accor.
Les Robin(e)s des bennes
During a visit to Québec, Louise discovered the practice of “Dumpster Diving”, namely searching supermarket waste bins for unsold food. She thus became aware of the problem of food waste and its scale. Once back in Amiens, she began to organise, creating a Facebook group for volunteers that will soon have 5,000 members. The non-profit’s work has since expanded, in particular with a second-hand clothes market in Amiens that takes place every three months.
I learnt about Bouygues Telecom’s initiative to offer to help young non-profits less than three years old. That’s very rare!
I particularly liked the fact that the financial assistance is accompanied by practical support. Our mentor is really involved with our activities. He helps me to see things in perspective, particularly in terms of our local impact. We can also discuss the problems we face with the other non-profits in this year’s intake.
Les Robin(e)s des bennes
Karine teaches French as a Foreign Language. She has worked extensively with refugees and asylum seekers.
I founded Kipawa because there aren’t many structures that offer French classes to asylum seekers who are waiting to receive their papers.
Also, my students often asked me how they could meet French people to practice the language. So I came up with the idea of offering French classes and voluntary work based on a work/study model. It’s essential to be supported, to have access to advice and training because we don’t have the means to recruit experts in HR, legal affairs or finance.What is so good about Incub’Asso’s approach is that a mentor identifies our needs and then uses his or her own network to find the expertise that will help us.
Je suis là
Xavier created a non-profit called “Je suis là”, inspired by the “I’m here” movement that came out of Sweden. “Je suis là” is a Facebook group with around 6,000 members that aims to combat on-line hatred and disinformation.
The aim is to encourage respectful, democratic discussion…
The aim is to encourage respectful, democratic discussion by involving the silent majority on the web, because I feel that hateful comments are having a harmful impact on society.
We’re lucky to be able to get support from Incub’Asso and we plan to take full advantage of it to ask all our questions. The induction and training days are very useful because they also enable us to meet people from other non-profits.
JE SUIS LÀ