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  • RSE

Young people in Le Havre, France, are learning how to run a business by operating a store of their own in the Klépierre shopping center.

Plenty of young people want to start their own business. But taking that first step toward making your idea a success isn’t always so easy. The Lab’O was created by Mission Locale, an organization in Le Havre, France, that helps young people ages 16 to 25 get their start in the workforce. It’s an incubator for entrepreneurs in the making, who receive training and support from experienced professionals. Through a unique partnership, some of those budding business owners can now set up shop for several months in a spacious 111-square-meter space inside the Espace Coty shopping center. The experience provides excellent training in skills such as displaying products, greeting customers, following schedules, managing inventory, ringing up transactions and more.

The Lab’O shop opened its doors in April 2019 with Bilel, Quentin and Amanda commandeering the space for three months. Bilel was testing a new collection of organic cereals, while Quentin was launching a line of streetwear and Amanda sold clothing, accessories and jewelry of her own design. “Financially, I couldn’t have gotten off the ground on my own,” says Amanda. “The shop was a huge opportunity.”

A year later, Amah-Outfit, her line of creations, can still be found online at her website, while Bilel’s Bol&Bio cereals are being sold in three regional stores.

As for the Lab’O shop, it’s already hosted several generations of novice retailers and captured a loyal customer base, thanks to the unique and constantly changing selection of products on offer.