Caisse des Dépôts supports the projects of Pepite Lille Nord de France

On 20 April, Dominique Mirada, the Caisse des Dépôts Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Manager, signed on its behalf and for the State, with Philippe Rollet, the Chairman of the Community of Universities and Shools Lille Nord de France, a partnership agreement to support the projects of Pôle étudiant pour l’innovation, le transfert et l’entrepreneuriat (Pepite) Lille Nord de France.

Education & trainingEnterprise

The Pepite (student hub for innovation, transfer and entrepreneurship) system is designed to make entrepreneurial training an integral part of higher education at every level (from first degree to doctorate) in every subject. Combining universities, post-graduate schools, business and finance, non-profit organisations and local and regional authorities, the hub seeks to offer a shared and comprehensive structure to raise awareness of and provide support for entrepreneurship among students and recent graduates, including access to existing financial resources (grants for project sponsors, seed-stage funding, unsecured loans). The Pepite system is also responsible for introducing the national status of student entrepreneur, which came into existence on 15 September 2014.

Pepite Lille Nord de France is one of the 29 Pepite selected following the joint call for projects by the State and Caisse des Dépôts. It is backed by the Lille Nord de France Community of Universities and Establishments, the universities and higher education establishments of Nord-Pas de Calais region, and their local, regional, institutional and business partners.

The aim of the agreement is to implement a series of initiatives in higher education over 2014-2016 period that will help to:

  • strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education and encourage the emergence of start-ups with the potential for growth and job creation;
  • acknowledge the value of an entrepreneurial approach through the national status of student entrepreneur;
  • reinforce the link between higher and secondary education;
  • encourage women's entrepreneurship;
  • offer greater access to entrepreneurship for young people with few or no qualifications by encouraging partnerships between the Pepite and local youth agencies.

Caisse des Dépôts, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, has undertaken to issue a call for projects for the establishment of 29 Pepite, and will provide financing of €1mn out of a total of €4.6mn, alongside the State.

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