What will tomorrow’s entrepreneur look like?

For the baby boomers and Generation X, working life has largely had a specific framework. A salaried job and a career on a permanent contract are often held in the same company. For these generations, entrepreneurship was the work of a handful of professions (merchants, artisans, liberal professions, etc.) or the whim of a few daring creators.

Since the end of the last century, the cards have been gradually redistributed, so that the professional world is now a kaleidoscope of multiple statuses and ways of doing things. Freelancing, micro-entrepreneurship, salary portage, startups, incubators, polyactivity, digital nomadism… Traditional employment is no longer the norm. These new forms of work meet the need, the desire to fulfill, that more and more people are looking for. Now the figure of the entrepreneur is no longer an isolated case. To better understand this paradigm shift in the way we approach work, the J’ai un pote dans la com team spoke with Ridouan Abagri, President of the Digital College.

Interview with Ridouan Abagri, President of Digital College

Photo credit: Digital College

JUPDLC: Working as a freelancer alongside a paid activity, becoming a micro-entrepreneur during your studies, creating a business or start-up alone or with others, starting a franchise, taking over an existing business… Entrepreneurship today has related but different meanings. What is the definition of an entrepreneur?

Ridouan Abagri: An entrepreneur is a person who has initiative and entrepreneurial spirit, that is, who is able to take risks, innovate, and create value for himself and others. The entrepreneur wants to create a world he wants to belong to and play with as few restrictions as possible. Simply put, an entrepreneur is independent and free to make choices. No matter what form your business takes, you have a desire to create and grow your business to meet the needs of customers and markets.

JUPDLC: Internet, MOOCs, distance learning courses, fairs, conferences… It is very easy to get training and information today. Ultimately, there are no age or specific ways to cope. What do you think ?

Ridouan Abagri: Today’s technological tools make access to training and information much easier than ever before. This means that individuals can learn and develop professionally at any time in their lives, regardless of their age or prior academic experience. For me there is no age to overcome, rather persistence and the ability to take risks will guide the course. The fear that it’s not the right time to have a child, that we already have a permanent contract, that we have debt to repay, or that our family will oppose it… can create a much more significant brake. . Access to training on specific entrepreneurial pathways allows us to better equip ourselves to face obstacles, as we do in the Digital College within Start-up management and Bac+5 in e-commerce, all accompanied by ex-entrepreneurs. stages of doubt.

JUPDLC: This ease of access to learning also has a negative effect, you can lose quickly. How not to break down when you want to start?

Ridouan Abagri: Indeed, the abundance of information and resources available online can easily lead to confusion and fragmentation for people looking to start an entrepreneurial venture. To avoid this, it’s important to start by clearly defining your business goals and priorities. This will help you focus and ensure you use your time and resources efficiently. It will also be helpful to seek advice from experienced mentors to guide and support you in your entrepreneurial journey. The advice I can give in detail will soon be available in a book dedicated to young entrepreneurs inspired by the questions and backgrounds of our students at the Digital College.

JUPDLC: According to INSEE, the number of business creations in France reached a new record in 2021 with 995,900 creations, which is 17% more than in 2020. How to succeed in a more competitive environment?

Ridouan Abagri: To offer a promise to your market, you need to be able to create a unique value proposition for your product/service. Adjusting, improving and learning to sell what you sell/produce before you communicate. The essence of an entrepreneur is to offer an offer that meets a specific need. It can also be beneficial to differentiate yourself by providing unique and personalized experiences to your customers, implementing effective marketing strategies to reach your target market, and forming strategic partnerships with other companies to strengthen your market presence.

JUPDLC: What do you think are the characteristics of a good entrepreneur?

Ridouan Abagri: Determination, versatility and sociability. Surround yourself well, touch everything in what you do, and above all, be determined, because the first years of development will be a sacrifice that will pay off in a few months or even a few years. The ability to manage obstacles and challenges along the way is key, as is the ability to inspire and motivate your team to achieve their goals.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock / MAK

JUPDLC: Do you identify other opportunities that will be important in the coming years, 5, 10 or 15 years from now?

Ridouan Abagri: It is difficult to predict exactly which skills will be more important in the coming years because they will depend on the changing economic and technological environment. However, it is likely that AI and IT-related skills will remain important in the future. Creativity, critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills will also undoubtedly be increasingly valued. In addition, interpersonal and teamwork skills will also be important, especially in an increasingly connected and interconnected world.

JUPDLC: In the entrepreneurial world, we talk a lot about the importance and appreciation of failure. How do you feel about this topic?

Ridouan Abagri: You need to know failure. Success brings comfort and security, but we must not be ignorant of the moments of questioning and doubt that develop us. We rarely thrive when everything is going perfectly, so failure can be a rewarding and rewarding experience for entrepreneurs. This can allow them to learn from their mistakes, understand what works and what doesn’t, and adapt and improve. Failure can also be a source of motivation for entrepreneurs, pushing them to work harder and strive to achieve their goals. Challenges also represent an opportunity to reassess one’s goals and make difficult decisions for the good of the company.

JUPDLC: Will tomorrow’s entrepreneur necessarily be internationally oriented?

Ridouan Abagri: Tomorrow’s entrepreneur does not necessarily have to be internationally oriented. Indeed, many entrepreneurs find success by focusing on a local or regional market. However, the advent of digital has broken down economic boundaries and you can develop operations from home all over the world. It is now easier and simpler to reach different markets, and it is true that internationalization can offer many advantages for companies, such as diversification of risks and the opportunity to benefit from economies of scale. As a result, many entrepreneurs prefer to search internationally to maximize their potential for growth and success. In general, each entrepreneur decides whether or not to go international based on their goals and business strategy.

JUPDLC: Let’s not lie to ourselves, having a good network is also important in the entrepreneurial world. What are your tips for developing one? What do you think is a good network?

Ridouan Abagri: The mistake is to believe that a good network will develop only if you are born in the right family or if you develop in a big and beautiful company. In fact, the network develops daily, of course, your classmates, friends, teachers, internship supervisors are already part of your network. A young student or young entrepreneur already has a network at their disposal that they simply don’t appreciate very often. That’s why we need to use the relationships that surround us on a daily basis, offer cooperation, help and listen to others, and these people will want to return the trust and favor to you. I would also say that people generally appreciate sincere and honest people. Don’t be in too much of a rush to expand your network, but instead show your genuine interest in the people you meet and the topics you discuss.

Photo credit: Digital College

JUPDLC: Flexibility, remote working, innovation and the importance of digital technology, talent management, CSR, parity… The world of work is constantly changing. How to properly understand these new paradigms for the entrepreneur?

Ridouan Abagri: The future will always be more creative than us. It is impossible to predict what he has in store for us, the best thing to do is to learn to be extremely versatile and proactive against changes in morality, to cover yourself well and provide your financial background. Flexibility has become a key success factor in today’s business world. 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 a good mentality, you will be ready for any change.

To learn more about the Digital College and its courses, go to its dedicated page!

Digital College school page

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