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"Being involved in a job with an impact gives meaning, it is rewarding and motivating" Fabien COGNAUD (TBS 2019)

16 March 2022 Portraits / Podcasts

Can you please introduce yourself?

I'm 26 years old and I'm originally from Vendée. After doing my preparatory studies in Nantes, I joined TBS with a major in "Strategy and Entrepreneurship".

At TBS, I really liked the associative life and I got personally involved in the BDS (volleyball manager) and the BDH (international solidarity project in Kosovo).

My first two 6-month internships in industrial companies in France and in England gave me an interesting international experience but not the direction I was looking for.

On the other hand, my third experience in 2018 in an Argentinean SME had a great impact on me because it allowed me to discover the gift economy through a very inclusive entrepreneurial model. Beyond the rather classical sector of activity (sale of building materials), it was really the meeting with the entrepreneur that allowed me to see very inspiring values put into practice on a daily basis: redistribution of profits, part-time work to support related social projects, role of contributor and social catalyst... 

This experience really made me want to become an entrepreneur myself, unfortunately when I returned to France, this entrepreneurial ambition came up against the reality of financial constraints and so I chose not to launch a business.

It was in the summer of 2019 that I discovered the Apprentis d'Auteuil Foundation and started my current job with this Catholic Foundation, which is recognised as being of public utility.

We have four main missions: child protection, support for parents, education and schooling (fight against school dropout) and training / integration of young people.

What is your role? What is the challenge you are solving or helping to solve?
I work in the Ile-de-France Regional Directorate where I support schools (4 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, 8 high schools and 1 continuing education centre) in their development projects or their opening up to the world/international projects. 

For example, I recently provided assistance to a headmaster for the opening of a new school, particularly in terms of coordination with the various stakeholders.

I am also supporting the creation of new training courses for certain high schools, in partnership with companies with whom we are co-constructing courses with a view to integration (business concierge, landscape or personal services professions, for example).

One project of which I am particularly proud concerns a class of 1st year students with whom I am working on an international and inter-religious meeting and solidarity trip to Bosnia, a country obviously still very much marked by the war 30 years ago.

Finally, I also intervene regularly to raise young people's awareness of the 17 UN Millennium Development Goals.


What satisfaction do you get from this? What motivates you on a daily basis?
First of all, I am very motivated by the global mission of Apprentis d'Auteuil, which aims to provide support to young people in difficulty. 

We are fortunate to have a very committed team, made up of very inspiring personalities who share all the Foundation's values.

Finally, in my job, I particularly appreciate the fact that I work on so many diverse projects. All the projects are different from each other, in their context, their objectives, their formats. I really enjoy making so many new encounters and discoveries.


A personality or a cause that inspires you and why?

German Jorge, this is the Argentinian entrepreneur I have already mentioned.

His vision of the world, of business and his embodiment of both economic and social responsibilities is really very inspiring for me.

What is your vision of a desirable world in 2030?

I hope for a Society built around responsible, sustainable and fair lifestyles: with less unnecessary consumption and more focus on local resources.


What advice can you give to someone who wants to get involved in an impact business?

I think that above all, it is important to work in a job that you are passionate about. 

I think that recognising yourself in the values and mission of the company you work for is also an essential element for professional fulfilment. 

Being involved in a job with an impact gives meaning, it is rewarding and motivating.


Interview by Benjamin COUTIERE (TBS 2015)

Tribu Sustainability CSR

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