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3 Questions For Gontran Poirot 6zero1 Program Leader

6zero1 is the first incubator for social enterprises in Luxembourg. It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Economy, the Foundation of the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg Union of Social Economy (ULESS). Its mission is to assist the development of social enterprises and to support the creation of societal impact companies (SIS) in Luxembourg. 6zero1 is financially supported by Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte (ONS). The 6zero1 program offers a compelling set of services that aim to assist social entrepreneurs throughout the process of developing and launching their businesses. The first session of the program will start in January 2017 and run for a period of 12 months. We met Program Leader Gontran Poirot to get the scoop on the new initiative.

(Featured Image: Gontran Poirot / Image Credit: Anna Katina)
What are the ambitions of the incubator?

6zero1 primarily targets the development of social enterprises and the creation of societal impact companies (SIS). Secondly, the incubator aims to strengthen the sustainable job creation process through a fabric of sustainable and economically viable enterprises. Finally, 6zero1 wants to serve as a social innovation engine and open its doors to project leaders from abroad who would like to come and develop their businesses in Luxembourg. We offer a wide range of services. The first service of the incubator is to provide a workspace for social entrepreneurs. The workspace includes: a collective or individual space, a desk with storage, closet space, Internet access, meeting rooms, dining and lounge areas. We also offer a support program that includes: networking, business support, training, advice and financing.

When will the first startups and entrepreneurs incubate with you?

We have already been in contact with many entrepreneurs who have shown interest in our incubator. A call for projects is underway to find the first social impact companies that will join us at 6zero1. The first session will start early in 2017.

How does social entrepreneurship develop in Luxembourg?

In recent years, more and more people in Luxembourg are coming up with social project ideas. These ideas are then transformed into social enterprises. However, some of them get stuck in the development phase or even put on pause. We noted that there was a missing link after the reflection and business plan process; there was a lack of support for the launch and the development of these activities. So, we came up with the idea of the 6zero1 incubator. It will act and support social entrepreneurs as they develop and launch their activities. About the name6zero1 is a social enterprise aiming to become the first of the social impact companies (SIS) in Luxembourg when the SIS law takes effect at the end of 2016. In abbreviated form, 6 is SIS (in French!) and 1 represents being the first SIS company. That’s the story of how we came up with 6zero1. Call for applications If you’re interested in participating in the 6zero1 program, submit your application by November 25 via the 6zero1 website. After a pre-selection of applications, shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their projects in front of a selection committee. The selected applicants will begin the 6zero1 support program in January 2017.

This article was first published in SILICON

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