Atout TPE

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The creation of very small enterprises complies with a strong demand in all social backgrounds. Surveys reveal that 3 million French have a precise project of company launch within the next 3 years. The 320,000 companies created or relaunched in 2004, record year, generated 632,000 jobs. It should be noted that a third of these creations of companies is carried out by job applicants or SMIC (social minima) recipients.


The creation of companies is dealt with locally by operators found among consular organisations, networks and associations. These structures have the overall know-how but do not always have the financial resources to ensure their function. One of their main difficulties is the receipt of numerous company creation candidates who are not part of the traditional enterprise creators.

This explains why these structures emphasis on counselling and support in fields where project sponsors often feel the most deprived. These structures also identified deficiencies in their mode of operation such as lack of communication on their existence and their results and the deficit as regards transfer of experience or of formalisation and distribution of methods. Consequently, their results remain below the expectations (only 10% of creators benefit from financial or counselling support) vis-a-vis a potential of creations or take-over of companies which have become increasingly important over the years.

Moreover, the local decision-makers and financers give priority to a macro rather than a micro vision. They await still too often the establishment of a major company rather than investing in a sustainable way in an aid strategy for the establishment of VSEs.

  • Acte-Genesis lead by 'Agence pour la création d'entreprise' (APCE);
  • ACOR-TPE (Groupe de recherche pour l'éducation prospective - GREP);
  • Cre'action : pépinière d'entreprises de solidarité internationale et d'économie (Centre d'éducation et de formation interculturelle Rencontre - CEFIR)
  • CAP création pêche (Centre de Gestion de la Pêche Artisanale - CGPA)
  • Recherche action pour entreprendre autrement - Union régionale des SCOP Rhône Alpes
  • C.R.O.N.O.S (Chambre d'Agriculture de Loir et Cher et l'association ANNA)
  • Creactive - (Agence nationale pour l'emploi - ANPE)
  • Appui aux activités génératrices de revenu dans les réseaux ethniques ou commun (Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique - ADIE)


In this context, the aim of Atout TPE was to develop the innovative actions carried out in France by EQUAL projects under the topic "creation of enterprises". These projects were centred on the accompaniment of persons encountering difficulties in setting up their creation project. Generally, the actions carried out are addressed to all project creators confronted with various discriminations, of cultural, economic, geographical, or social origin.

Atout TPEs' originality is the alignment of experiences undertaken from different points of view either through the public concerned (young people, women, seniors, job applicants and social minima recipients...), activity sectors (rural tourism, services, craft industry), affected geographical areas (employment areas, rural or urban areas), or tested accompaniment types (individual or collective, remotely).

Gathering more than 150 organisations supporting creation of companies and jobs, around EQUAL projects which were in action 2,


Atout TPE ( carried out an action of capitalisation and of distribution at the national level (action 3). Nine principal organisations undertook the project: ADIE, ANNA, ANPE, APCE, CEFIR, CGPA, GREP, RBG and URSCOP. Being given for objectives dissemination of results, the initiation of partnerships, the provision of know-how and of tools having proved their reliability, Atout TPE wished to make available to all actors in the creation of companies, communication tools, studies and analyses, methodological guides, training tools. The public concerned in particular were the local representatives and economic decision-makers who often are "large absents" of the events and conferences devoted to these problems. The aim was that they appropriate themselves the conclusions of the EQUAL projects submitted and that they take them into account in their local and regional policies.

As Virginia Dantard declared (, charged with projects for the APCE, agency for the creation of enterprises, "this involves locating interesting, reproducible and transferable actions on the territory, while saying to oneself, why not carry them out elsewhere?"

From 15 November to 15 December 2005, the Atout TPE partners mobilised themselves in 14 French regions to organise 37 local or regional events at the service of decision-makers and actors in the economy, employment and social sectors. These events brought together more than 1000 participants: elected, creators of VSEs, development agents, trainers, professionals in insertion, representatives of the consular chambers.

Atout TPE finished at the end of 2005. The wealth of the debates and the effectiveness of the communication gave ideas to the partners who entered into this project. They gave themselves appointments this year to continue their collaboration.

The website: Atout TPE (

Notes and references

The following documents are available only in French:

The ATOUT TPE brochure Project Creactive : communication documents "Creactive" and "Crédit solidaire" Projet Acte-genesis : communication document "Maison des entrepreneurs", pesentation document "Couveuse virtuelle" - Web site :

Project ACOR TPE.T: communication document "ACOR-TPE.T"; Histoires de cessions - Transmission et reprise de très petites entreprises (42 p.)

Project CAP Création Pêche : communication document "Cap création pêche" - Web site :

Project "Appui aux activités génératrices de revenus dans les réseaux ethniques et communautaires" : Rapport d'évaluation final (85 p.)

Project Creaction : communication document "De la migration à la création d'activité" and "Creaction" - Web site :

Création d'entreprises par les personnes handicapées : guide méthodologique "Au-delà des barrières" (120 p.)