How did you get the idea for United Linkless?
“The idea was there, under my eyes, for ten years, since my aunt had for a long time been wearing these unrelated earmuffs that she had bought in Sweden. Finally, that’s it, entrepreneurship! Take off her blinkers, look around and see the opportunities. ”
How long have you put in to start your business?
“Setting up a business takes time. We had the idea in October 2011 and we created the legal structure in June 2012, but we did not really market our products until the end of December 2012. Between the construction of the brand identity, the commercial strategy and the mounting of the financing file, we put more than a year. ”
How did you manage to convince your bank?
“Finding money has not been easy. It was necessary to build a very solid financial file, with a detailed cash flow plan. It is not enough to align numbers, it is important to understand them well in order to be able to explain them and prove to the banks that everything we have put in place is consistent.
It is true that our student status has a little worried our interlocutors, who wondered if we would have time to devote to our company. But we always stressed that the school allowed us to be surrounded by professionals able to give us a real support. That reassured our banker a lot. Finally, we obtained € 5,000 from the bank and € 5,000 from France Active. We personally contributed € 2,000. ”
Did you receive specific help for young people?
“There are a number of aids for young people. As far as we are concerned, we have benefited from Accre, which allows people under the age of 26 to be exempted from charges for a year. ”
How do you get started with little money?
“When you have a small capital like ours, you have to manage differently. We appealed to friends and family, who appreciate our approach, who have skills and are willing to help us. Thanks to them, we were able to make a video clip with very little means. ”
Listen to Martin’s testimony:
Did you have to make concessions?
“Yes, our lack of resources forced us to have our earmuffs made in Asia, which was not what we wanted at the beginning: it does not fit in with the ethical values of our brand. As soon as we can, we will relocate production in France. ”
What brings you this dive into entrepreneurship?
“I particularly appreciate not having hierarchical pressure. The constraints, we are the only ones to impose them! Being an entrepreneur allows us to exploit 100% of our capabilities. If we were in a company, we would use only 20 or 30% of our skills and we might be stuck in our initiatives. There we are free, and it is particularly pleasant! ”
How do you see the future?
“We will continue to grow the business. We are currently thinking about a new collection of fleece sweaters that we will make in France by Esat (establishments and services of help by the work). ”
Accre, a help for jobseekers
Under 26, regardless of their situation, and 26-30 years old who have not worked for a long enough period to qualify for unemployment benefits, or who are disabled, can benefit from the Accre (help for job seekers creating or taking over a business).
This aid allows a total exemption from social contributions for 12 months or a partial and progressive exemption over 3 years.