Using parental leave to prepare for a new career is at the heart of an ESF project in Brittany
“In France, most of those on parental leave are women, and more than one-third enter this situation without a job to return to,” explains Emmanuelle Mary, director of BGE Côtes-d'Armor – a national entrepreneurship support network. For this reason, France has launched a pilot programme in several departments, including Brittany, to allow these women to benefit from their ‘leave’ by preparing for an eventual return to work.
They are encouraged to develop their ideas as future employees and entrepreneurs and receive training in market analysis, legal issues, commercial feasibility and financing. There are early signs of success: six of the 15 current participants are already well advanced with plans for careers in, for example, ready-to-wear clothing sales and animal-care services.