With almost 1 million businesses created in 2021, micro-enterprises in the lead, what are the main challenges and projects for the self-employed? Analysis and decryption with Arnaud Edus, CEO of Betao, legatee specialized in their 360-degree support.
Going freelance is more popular than ever, but is there a typical profile for these new freelancers?
I would say that there is no standard profile, but rather standard profiles. We can highlight 4 main ones: people with specific skills who are looking for an additional income (or who wish to monetize a passionate activity); those who want to become self-employed to finally check their schedules and choose their customers; job seekers who see entrepreneurship as a new beginning; and finally the new workers of the so-called “gig economy”, who arbitrate for platforms such as Uber. Contrary to popular belief, the latter category is by no means in the majority: we estimated it at less than 20% of self-employed workers during our barometer survey published in the fall of 2021.
How do you explain this trend, which seems to affect all levels of French society?
With the passage of the health crisis and the movement of the “great resignations”, the classic wage earner loses ground. People seek more freedom while still wanting to do something meaningful. We can therefore also see a rejection of the wage system and the boss / worker relationship. We have also observed this at Portail Auto-Entrepreneur through a boom in the creation of businesses in the craft sector: it is simply former employees who decide to set up their own business.
Starting a business is one thing, supporting it is another. The figures are also eloquent: about ¼ of them do not exceed 3 years of existence. In your opinion, what are the obstacles that self-employed workers currently face?
We realize this every day: what entrepreneurs mainly lack are not skills and know-how, but everything else. Because starting on your own is not just doing your job, you also have to master all the collateral issues: accounting management, administrative compliance, reaching a financial break-even point … This is precisely what prompted us to develop billing and software management software called Mon Portail. The target. the goal? Simplify the daily life of entrepreneurs and prevent them from making mistakes.
To go further and tackle the problem at its source, we have also launched our own CPF-eligible entrepreneur training organization: Educademy. We offer training courses that pursue a single goal: to enable people who are starting to be successful, adapting to their development needs. For some it is, for example, learning how to manage accounting, or creating a business plan; for others, understanding the basics of digital marketing or even launching an e-commerce site.
Is the lack of technical background really the only obstacle facing new entrepreneurs?
Not only. The other big challenge is the lack of security self-employed people feel with their status. This is currently their first concern: better social protection. We saw this through a survey launched on the occasion of the presidential elections on our Facebook community. The first three demands are: to improve the pension system for self-employed workers, to be able to contribute to unemployment insurance, and finally to better access and a greater amount of daily benefits paid in the event of sick leave and maternity / paternity leave.
Are there any improvements from the government on these specific issues?
At the moment it is not very clear. There have been some improvements in the past couple of years. For example, self-employed workers can now activate the previous rights acquired with the employment relationship if they are not yet entitled to daily allowances for self-employment. But this does not solve the question of the amount of daily allowances once the first year has passed and the terms of application have not yet been communicated.
Same goes for unemployment: there is an allowance for self-employed workers (ATI) which activates a safety net in case of forced cessation of activity. € 800 for up to 6 months. Very little used by self-employed, its terms of assignment were simplified a few months ago thanks to the independent plan. But this still does not replace real access to unemployment insurance.
And for pensions?
For pensions it is even simpler: the social security does not officially communicate the turnover to be made to validate its quarters since 2020 … We therefore do the calculations ourselves for our customers and for our community. ! There is therefore still work to be done to make self-employed status as protective as possible.
On the contrary, are there any important findings to remember?
Completely! Just because there is still a lot to do doesn’t mean nothing has been done. Some major projects are now well underway, or even completed. I am thinking in particular of the attachment of self-employed workers to the general social security system, the introduction of daily allowances for regulated liberals, the new CFE exemptions, the protection of personal assets for all individual entrepreneurs, the simplified contributions for collaborating spouses. . ..
And you, what is your role in all these projects?
This is precisely our mission at Betao: to support all entrepreneurs, at every stage of their adventure, to help them launch their project, manage it daily, anticipate the various challenges and better understand how their social protection works. We help even the most ambitious to create a company, with our Simplitoo branch. Of course, we cannot replace the government and we cannot change the law. But since 2014 we have already supported more than 250,000 entrepreneurs. By training them, informing them and supporting them in a personalized way, we have acquired a certainty: the French have everything they need to be successful and thrive in entrepreneurship … talent, energy and creativity. Sometimes they just need a little help!