Pada1, the start-up that opens students up to freelancing

They became waiters, babysitters, salesmen, delivery men and even roofers or dogsitters. Hanane Oussemgane and Emile Geeraert studied for a long time, minimum bac +5 each, and had plenty of time to experiment with these food jobs that allow, at worst, to pay rent, to best way, to increase their student graduation the month .. It has never been a secret: “student status” has long implied “certainty”, and not since the health crisis to tell your students do the opposite.

Freelance versus precariousness

“There is a real subject of precariousness in young people that must be brought to hand”. Hassane Oussemgane was still a student at HEC, master’s in entrepreneurship, when he met Emile Geeraert through a cousin. He also has a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at ESCP, a major Parisian business school he attended after a BBA (bac +4 level) at EDHEC. Everyone had the opportunity, after an internship or by responding to offers of assignments from Junior-Enterprises-these companies are mainly made up of students and attached to universities- to experience freelancing. “After several years of study, we gained knowledge and skills that we can use for the benefit of companies,” Emile explains. For him, it’s more than no code development missions or organizing fundraisers. For Hanane, it will prefer the commercial and operational approach.

After years of difficulty combining different jobs and accumulating professional experience that was difficult to use in their studies, the conclusion was clear for two students: freelancing is an underestimated work mode. He who offers flexibility, right salary and skills development also allows you to build a professional network, practical when you are at the end of your studies. “We realized that being freelance changed our job: better salaries, building a network … And we also applied what we learned in lecture halls,” Hanane said.

If they share this enthusiasm for the freelance, royal way of student work, they also know its limitations. Each time, you need a very specific framework to access it. “I was lucky enough to be able to do freelance work after my internships, but not everyone had it,” Emile admits. Along with Hanane, they allowed each on their side a reflection: freelancing has so many advantages that it doesn’t democratize the largest number of students. So, in December 2021, they officially began working on a joint project, a platform that will connect students and companies looking for qualified profiles for specific missions. This is Pada1, homophone of Padawan apprentice Jedi in Star Wars.

Apprentice Pada1

Throughout the reflection, Hanane, Emile and Enzo Bouhalassa, a former team member who recently left the Pada1 adventure for personal reasons, began interviewing dozens of business leaders and managers. “We know that freelancing is very interesting for students, but we need to know if companies are willing to hire and pay students for it”, confess the founders of the platform. The feedback has been quite positive, the site was launched in early 2022 with the help of a LinkedIn post. The post was a hit, over 300,000 views on Hanane’s LinkedIn, several thousands on Emile’s. Messages are pouring in from companies, they want to know what services Pada1 offers, students are reacting in bulk. The witness of real enthusiasm, “on the one hand, we have the precariousness of the students. And on the other hand, there is the question of the basic skills that companies are increasingly looking for where students are trained in school “, explained Hanane Oussemgane and Emile Geeraert. In just a few months, there were more than 1,500 Pada1 is a registered student and has already become customers in about twenty companies, especially hyper-growth organizations, such as start-ups and scale-ups.

From missions to motivation

On the recruitment side, the founders insisted: they just want companies to offer “premium” students. Then comes the recruitment process, two meetings with the founders to measure student motivation and a skills assessment to ensure the profile matches the company’s requirements. Everyone has a chance: the CV is never requested, there is no question in favor of profiles from prestigious schools, Hanane and Emile insist. Without counting Pada1’s partnership with Article 1, an association that fights for equal opportunity to allow “everyone to work as a freelancer”. Strong in the first semester of existence, Pada1 did not intend to stop there. Hanane and Emile aim to incubate the project at the beginning of the next school year and plan to develop a dedicated application. In the long run, Pada1 aims to be the benchmark platform for connecting students and companies with qualified assignments, which is a good start. Especially since it is common that when a client hires a freelance student on an assignment, he or she extends the contract to the next month or hires more students on different assignments. .

What are the freelance working conditions?

Interesting compensation: approximately € 20 per hour, knowing that 11% of the total received is dedicated to costs (in the first 11 months), 22% from the twelfth month

Flexibility: students can work from home and terminate the contract when the assignment is completed.

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