Entrepreneurship as a Way to Be the Change

Part of an AUP graduate education is learning to take the issues you care about into your own hands. And one way for graduates to take on the challenges of today’s world is to create, themselves, the means to face them, through, for example, entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship may be an option you never thought about, but it is certainly one of the paths open to AUP graduates, particularly in France, where young professionals can start a business actually quite easily.

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How to Start your Own Business

French society has what is known as “auto-entrepreneur” status, which offers the possibility of creating a startup or small business, including offering one’s services in their field of expertise. Though it is never easy to decide to stay in France after graduation, this option may facilitate things, if you’re up for the challenge. Helpful structures, simplified tax regimes, government support, and certain visas are even available to support those who choose this path. Recent graduates must, nonetheless, be able to formulate a business plan in French and generate at least minimum wage in income to apply for a visa as an “auto-entrepreneur”.

Generally speaking, France is actively promoting entrepreneurship and Paris has emerged as a hub for startups with many opportunities to network with potential investors, other entrepreneurs, and research institutions that may help you further develop your next great idea. 

AUP Alumni Entrepreneurs

Alumni entrepreneurs include Lory Martinez (MA in Global Communications, ‘16), CEO & Founder of Studio Ochenta, a multilingual and multicultural podcast platform; Bakht Waqar, (MA in Global Communications, ‘16), Founder of BeeLingue Academy, an after-school activity center for children in Paris; and at the crossroads of  sustainable development, next-generation materials, and activism, Shannen Henry (MSc in International Management, ‘20), a Sustainability Specialist and founder of a sustainable fashion group, The Kaylia Group, run out of Italy; Eileen Claudia Akbaraly (MA in Global Communications in Fashion Corporate Responsibility, ‘18), Founder of Made for a Woman, and Sanna Rasmussen (MA in Global Communications and Fashion, ‘18), CEO & Creative Director of SANNA Conscious Concept.

CEO & Founder

Studio Ochenta

Lory Martinez G‘16

Studio Ochenta is a leading multilingual audio production company based in Paris. Ochenta produces award-winning podcasts in over 20 languages for audiences across the European continent, the MENA region, Asia, and the Americas, making it the leader in multilingual podcasting and audio around the world.

Lory Martinez


BeeLingue Academy

Bakht Waqar G'16

BeeLingue Academy is an after-school activity center for children in Paris. It aims to provide a free, fun learning environment for children aged 1 to 13.

BeeLingue Academy


The Kaylia Group

Shannen Henry G'20

The group specializes in made-to-measure solutions for sustainable development across industries. With a focus on meeting science based targets and reducing carbon footprint, Shannen is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals work towards a more sustainable future, ensuring that each client receives a solution tailored to their specific needs and goals.

Shannen Henry


Made for a Woman

Eileen Claudia Akbaraly

Made For A Woman’s is the first women-led and women-centered fashion brand in Madagascar, aiming to disrupt the paradigms of the fashion industry
through a commitment to radical transparency, authenticity, and genuine storytelling, leading by example and weaving a better, fairer, and more sustainable future.

CEO & Creative Director

SANNA Conscious Concept

Sanna Rasmussen

SANNA Conscious Concept is an online platform that offers a curation for sustainable living, offering +30 fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands from around the world.

Sanna Rasmussen