Independent Work and emerging forms of Entrepreneurship


Independent work and emerging forms of entrepreneurship

The Chair "Independent Work and New Forms of Entrepreneurship,” financed for 3 years by AGIPI, aims to shed scientific light on tomorrow's work.

Indeed, the changes in the forms of professional activity are shaking up the previously well-established codes of work, giving rise to self-employment and new forms of socialisation. Faced with these trends and the rise of self-employment, the Chair aims to understand the socio-economic changes taking place (the motivations of young entrepreneurs in particular), to map new forms of entrepreneurship and to analyse the consequences of this rise (on the health of self-employed workers, management and governance in particular).

The Chair will focus on 4 axes of research:

  • Axis 1: Entrepreneurship, socio-cultural evolution and managerial practices: understanding the change of values and new entrepreneurial desires
  • Axis 2: Quality of life and well-being at work as a self-employed person: understanding the determinants of QWL (Quality of working life) and health issues
  • Axis 3: Governance and production methods: understanding new work organisations and the economics of platforms
  • Axis 4: New forms of entrepreneurship in Europe.

Having been present alongside entrepreneurs and the self-employed for over 40 years, AGIPI, is convinced of the need to understand the changes that these new self-employed workers will have to face and the solutions to be put in place to ensure their business development. These evolutions reflect a profound change in society.

AGIPI would like to address these crucial issues of transformation in the professional world. The company thus wishes to participate in the development of the resources necessary to better understand today's world and to better anticipate the world of tomorrow.

KEDGE and AGIPI awarded the best masters thesis on the theme of "Independent work and new forms of entrepreneurship (23/06/2021)

To mark the end of these three years of work and research on the subject, KEDGE and AGIPI held a special event on Tuesday, 22 June, on the Paris campus. Members of the Chair gave speeches and the AGIPI-KEDGE prize for the best thesis was awarded. The occasion provided the opportunity to review the trends identified in independent work and new forms of entrepreneurship.

The prize for the best paper on independent work and new forms of entrepreneurship

The Chair's Scientific Director, Saïd Yami chaired the jury for the AGIPI-KEDGE thesis prize, which was made up of two KEDGE teacher-researchers and the Chair's AGIPI partners. This year, 12 papers from Master 2 students of the Grande Ecole Programme were received and considered by the jury.

Gaël Coulombel was chosen as the 2021 successful candidate for the Best 2020 Thesis on "To What Extent do the Shifts in the French Labour Society Challenge the Social Protection of Workers?"

The conclusion of three years of research on independent work and new forms of entrepreneurship

At the end of these three years of study, the AGIPI KEDGE research chair can point to three major trends that should lead to changes in work models:

  • The growth of micro-entrepreneurship among young people

This is a real societal trend. Whether considered to be good or bad news, the facts are indisputable: the number of business start-ups in France steadily increased every year for the past 10 years. This upward trend is mainly due to micro-businesses, most of which are created by people under the age of 30. So it’s important to take note of what the younger generations find appealing about entrepreneurship (subjective to the individual), to the detriment of long-term, permanent, employment.

  • The need for companies to change their management style.

Faced with this growing inclination among younger workers to reject traditional jobs, businesses need to rethink their management practices in order to appeal to the new generations, who tend to shun organisational models that are too hierarchical and controlling. The spirit of the moment is one of empowerment and autonomy, which companies can promote through intrapreneurship - the ability to become an entrepreneur of actions or projects within an already existing company.

  • The need for social protection to be brought in line with new ways of working

Changes in working styles have a strong impact on social protection, which must also be redefined. The new hybrid and combined of ways of working (salaried employment, part-time work, slashing, freelancing, self-employment, etc.) require a rethinking of social protection, which have traditionally been based on a model of full-time, salaried employment. This is probably the main issue for social protection actors in the coming years. AGIPI has already made it an important focus of its work.