NAME: COQUIN Eve
BACKGROUND: "Autrement Dit" actively participates in changing our society for sustainable employment of people with disabilities, and more specifically the deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.
ACTION/SECTOR: Education, lifelong training for disabled.
Our goal is to make any message accessible to understanding, regardless of the mode of communication of the person, to facilitate the encounter between those who hear and those who hear little or not at all.
ORGANISATION: AUTREMENT DIT
My Background and Career
I first studied History and then – as I was 25 years old – I obtained a Master in French Sign Language which allows me to be translator. I worked for 7 years in a social, educational association until it closed for economic reasons … Then, with two colleagues, we decided to continue the same sort of work … but in our own project.
We offer training for deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and courses in French Sign Language (LSF) for company employees as much as for individuals.
Economic : after a layoff, we are three women of the old staff who decided to go on with our own company "Autrement Dit".
To launch our project, we have been helped during 2 years by « La Maison de l'Initiative »
We chose to keep on this work, in a cooperative and innovative citizenship way, which answers society needs and makes sense, even if, and we knew it, this choice meant a drop in wages. It is difficult to get a break in one’s career and trying the business creation causes a decrease in revenues. It is hard to lose purchasing power, even if it is perfectly justified on the project. The creative process was a euphoric phase. The risks were low, the dynamic was great. We developed a creative response to the crisis with a strong sense of confidence. The project developed well, we could not believe it. Afterwards, I was leader of the cooperative and had to take on this new position with respect to my colleagues and it was not easy. Today, I lead a team of 5 employees.
Family: being at the same time, manager, mother, woman and still trying to keep time for oneself is hard!
Entrepreneurship often means that the relatives are involved in this daily adventure.
My parents have been of great support, financial and also moral when telling me : « do not doubt but better think and plan »; « don't try, just act »
I like learning new topics, I quickly adapt to changes and I'm a good team worker.My personal development is important through my work.Natural optimist, I am creative, patient and flexible, I like the action.
Hints & Tips
Lucky Saying: To a valiant heart, nothing is impossible
Take time, do not hesitate to ask for advice , the help of entrepreneurship professionals is very important. Be a little selfish, listen to all the "forked tongues" who will tell you it is a hard way … and find good support … it will help.
Don't forget to take holidays and remermber that sometimes you will have to say No !
Keep time for yourself, it will be the best help when you'll have to go through difficulties.