In Burgundy, an association helps business leaders bounce back after bankruptcy

In Burgundy, an association helps business leaders bounce back after bankruptcy

Since 2012, the 60,000 rebounds association has helped business leaders who have filed for bankruptcy to get back on their feet. Free support, run by volunteers.

As an affable and serene man, Sébastien Bricout talks about his bankruptcy without apparent trauma: “When creating my business, I always had in mind that we could crash it. It’s part of the game.” But the shell is cracking little by little. Like when he confesses to having taken a year to change his answering machine on which he introduced himself as “Sébastien, Domaine du Goût”, the name of his start-up. His heart aches to see the latter continue without him – his business was bought from the court, during the liquidation. “For 10,000 euros. It hurts. It annoys me to see that they only sell low-end products. »

After years of marketing within the Burgundian domestic equipment group Seb, he founded his company in 2018, at the age of 40. He sells wine sample boxes. The buyer chooses their favorite vintage and receives three bottles. It’s a hit: Sébastien hires ten people. Then everything goes downhill: the company is liquidated in March 2023. The corporate officer slips him the name of the association 60,000 rebounds – 60,000, like the number of French liquidations in 2012, the year of its creation. Its founder, Philippe Rambaud, a former Danone executive who became an entrepreneur and was declared bankrupt during the 2008 crisis, realized to what extent bosses found themselves alone and fragile in the event of a hard blow. “Our association has two objectives: to help entrepreneurs find work and to change society's view of failure,” explains Sophie Gauthey, the manager in Burgundy.

A godfather and a coach

Within the association, each entrepreneur is supported by a coach and a godfather or godmother. Business leaders or senior executives, their role is to help put in place an action plan to realize the envisaged professional project, whether salary or entrepreneurial. Support can last up to twenty-four months.

Sébastien Bricout quickly found a job: marketing director of the Savoye group. His coach helped this running enthusiast understand that he needed to work through pain, probably due to certain childhood challenges. “She forced me to think about my values. I never put it into words. » Luckily, Sébastien's situation was not so desperate: house loan repaid, wife employed, no personal guarantee. “I testify above all to make the association known to those who need it most,” he confides.

This is the case of Nicolas Di Serio, 51 years old. This hotelier-restaurateur in Beaune for thirteen years lost everything. At the monthly meeting of 60,000 rebounds in Dijon (Côte-d'Or), he explains: he owes more than 150,000 euros to the bank, had to sell his house in Beaune and moved to Dijon, a neighboring town a little further away. affordable. “I’m giving back the keys to twenty-five years of my life, here. I don't know anyone here except you. It’s a blank page and I don’t have a pen,” he says. For a long time, Nicolas's business worked well. So good that he took a risk in 2018: renovating the hotel-restaurant for 400,000 euros. But Covid arrived. Nicolas was deprived of several months of activities. The state helped him with a loan, which added to his mountain of debts. And bankruptcy arrived in 2023.

Find motivation

“Not all failures are the same. Some have poorly established legal statuses, others suffer from a lack of vision. One of them had not insured his stoned window. We help them to stop making these mistakes again,” notes Samira Himeur, national director of 60,000 rebounds. In Dijon, Sébastien realized that he had favored marketing to the detriment of sales. “When things were less good, I thought more about developing new concepts than selling the existing one. I was convinced it would go that way. »

Behind the bad choices or the twists of fate hide the shame of failure and the anxiety of rebounding. In the Dijon local, Nicolas opens up. His urgency: to re-motivate himself to look for a job. “Yesterday, my 17-year-old daughter said to me: “Dad, are you planning to work again or not?” I took this in the face…” And the interest in the monthly meeting appears. The advice abounds: “relieve guilt”, “allow yourself to cut back”, “indulge in your passions”. Above all, allow you to build up your confidence. “I have not only made mistakes and there is life after liquidation. And it wasn’t all in vain, I grew up,” admits Nicolas, ready to leave.

Recipes for success

  • An extensive network Thanks to 1,600 volunteers, 36 employees and patrons, 60,000 rebounds has branches in each region and ten territorial associations. Two volunteers are attached to each supported person: a sponsor and a coach.
  • A common experience “Going from a job where the phone rings all the time to nothing is difficult. Hence the importance for the entrepreneur to meet his peers. They speak the same language,” according to Samira Himeur, director of the association.
  • Solid expertise Concrete answers are provided by legal volunteers, lawyers, certified coaches, HR, etc. In the event of suicidal thoughts, they are redirected to specialized structures (Apesa and Stimulus).

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