What motivated you to sign up with microlux?
I discovered microcredit when Mr. Yunus won the Nobel Prize. When I read an article in L’Essentiel about Microlux, I got in touch with the team, initially with the idea of contributing financially to the association’s needs. But during our discussion, I learned that Microlux was looking for volunteers to support entrepreneurs. As I had just retired but wanted to keep a certain level of activity, this was a perfect match for my wishes and my availability.
What is your professional background?
I trained as an engineer and worked in Belgium, France and Africa before moving to Luxembourg. I’ve been active in a number of industries, from automotive to consulting to paper mills. For the last 20 years of my career, I have held general management positions.
How long have you been a microlux volunteer?
I started volunteering with Microlux at the beginning of this year.
What are your responsibilities at microlux?
When entrepreneurs approach Microlux with a financing request, they must prepare a dossier that includes a business plan. The aim is to ensure that the project is viable and can provide a livelihood. Most entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with the concept of a business plan. They have a vision of what they wants to do, but sometimes have difficulty translating it into numbers. It’s in this area that I provide assistance, helping them estimate the income they’ll be able to generate from their future business, the costs they’ll have to face, and their financing needs. If the project holds up (and so far, this has almost always been the case), the application will be accepted. I then help them to prepare for their new activity. They will have to overcome administrative hurdles, equip and organize themselves, buy goods, advertise, make themselves known, etc…. In general, the entrepreneur has a very good idea of what needs to be done, but discussing it with a coach can help him avoid forgetting anything and prioritize tasks. Once the new project is up and running and things have stabilized, the need for support diminishes.
What experiences have you drawn from this role? (What do you like about it? What’s in it for you personally?)
I love being a support person at Microlux, first and foremost because you get to meet great people. There’s the Microlux team, of course, but also the contractors. These are people with ideas who are willing to take risks to make them a reality. The exchanges with them are very enriching. They have often gone through difficult times, but have not let themselves be discouraged, and have decided to take their destiny into their own hands. For me, these are examples. Working with them is a real pleasure. . Their enthusiasm and energy are a pleasure to watch and contagious. What’s more, they’ve introduced me to areas of the business I’d never been in before, from grocery shopping to dog grooming.
If you had to define microlux in one word, what would it be?
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur?
It’s courageous and daring to embark on an entrepreneurial project. But if you find yourself facing unexpected problems or difficulties on your own, you may be caught off guard and not know how to cope. You have to surround yourself with people, try to create a network and use all the resources available, whether it’s the House of Entrepreneurship, the Chamber of Commerce or the microlux teams.