Le Lab, Bpifrance’s think tank that offers knowledge to entrepreneurs

Le Lab, created in 2014, was thought as a bridge between entrepreneurs and the academic world.

What is Le Lab?

Le Lab was first the idea of Bpifrance’s CEO, Nicolas Dufourcq. The think tank was created in 2014, and now gives French entrepreneurs all the “know how” they need. It gathers experts, academicians and entrepreneurs to work around different subjects surrounding French SMEs and Midcaps, providing them more knowledge through studies, surveys, guides, interviews and testimonies, and even a glossary.

The main goal is to stimulate entrepreneurs’ sense of innovation and reflection. “Our studies are intended to generate two effects on the readers. First, a “wake up call” that draws their attention to a phenomenon or concept related to its business. The second one is the "so what? effect”, where we guide them into the first steps of business advancement”, said Philippe Mutricy, co-founder of Bpifrance Le Lab and member of The Montreal Group’s Chief Economists Roundtable, in an interview in September 2020.

In this aim, Le Lab’s studies focus on 6 main themes: economic and sector trends, business life cycle, digital transformation, governance and management practices, corporate social responsibility, and, of course, international. Studies can thus cover different subjects, from GAFA’s uberisation to guides for companies wishing to go greener. As another example, Le Lab recently shared a study presenting the different profiles of SME’s executives. Le Lab website offers these research works to SMEs and Midcaps for free.


Why focusing on SMEs and Mid-caps?

Le Lab’s main target is entrepreneurs, involved in SMEs and Mid-caps. Bpifrance focuses a lot on these types of companies as they are France’s main business ecosystem, producing almost 55% of French companies added value, and employing 7 million people in France.

However, even with such a huge impact on French economy, the SMEs ecosystem remains unsufficiently known. According to Philippe Mutricy: “Everyone talked about SMEs without really understanding them. And for me, this lack of understanding was a result of the complexity brought by the great diversity of profiles within the French SME ecosystem. I was convinced that we needed to raise awareness on this extraordinary variety and the richness it entailed.”

Le Lab tries to integrate entrepreneurs fully in the research process, where they can share their own experience. No one knows entrepreneurship better than entrepreneurs! This collaborative think tank also gathers partners such as INSEE, which is the French National Institute of Statistics and Economics Studies, or the Central Bank, and develops relationships with OECD research departments and universities research centers in France and around the world.

Learn more about le Lab and find the whole interview with Philippe Mutricy here.