On the Promoting Enterprise portal, we are interviewing entrepreneurs featured on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Successinitiative aims to highlight successful young entrepreneurs by documenting their stories with the goal of inspiring others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today, we feature Circul’Egg, a young French entrepreneur.
Yacine graduated from the environmental sciences and technologies engineering programme at AgroParisTech. He views everyone as a potential hero, recognizing that each person has something exceptional and unique qualities from which she can learn. At his company,Circul’Egg, Yacine and his team have a mentor for each specific area in which they lack expertise. This strategy allows them to quickly seek guidance and fins solutions when questions arise. Although Yacine never really envisioned himself as an entrepreneur, his innate curiosity led him to create Circul’Egg.
Tell us about your business.
Every year in France, 40,000 tons of eggshells are thrown away. At Circul'Egg, we recycle them by transforming the outer shell and the shell membrane into protein-rich ingredients and biomolecules that can be used in industrial sectors (nutraceutical, pet food, cosmetics, and materials). Our products are made from organic materials and our manufacturing process does not use any chemicals.
Where did you get the idea from?
While I was doing an internship in a consulting firm, I became interested in food waste from the food industry, including eggshells. In order to better understand the issues related to this bio-waste, I contacted managers of egg breaking plants, who told me how difficult it was to get rid of this waste, and that they had to pay to do so. I told myself that eggshells could be recycled and that it was a shame to throw them away. Then a manager at an egg-breaking factory encouraged me to start, and the adventure began!
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
I was 26 years old when I decided to found my company.
How did you get it off the ground?
With a lot of curiosity, answering one by one the questions that came to us.
Who did you turn to for help?
I look for help from everyone: whatever the need, there is an expert in this field in our close or less close network.
Describe some of the obstacles you face as a young person starting out in this business.
One of the obstacles I encountered in creating my own business at my age was the fear of not being legitimate (impostor complex). I had little or no knowledge of finance, marketing, human resources, etc. and yet I had to manage these subjects and convince my stakeholders that I was up to the task.
How do you define success?
The success of our company will be when we succeed in proving that we can reconcile profit, people and planet.
What was the most challenging aspect of setting up your business?
We do not want our products to be considered as niche products. We are convinced that it is by approaching the fairest price that we will be able to democratize our concept and to achieve this we have to do a lot of engineering to lower the costs as much as possible.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The most rewarding part of my career is to have created a company which activity is in line with my values, i.e. it not only aims at generating short-term profits but also takes into account social and environmental impacts.
What are the future goals of your business, and how will you go about achieving them?
After the launch of our plant in 2023, our goal is to expand in Europe.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
I would tell them to go for it, to create their companies while taking the time to consult and listen to competent people in each field, as then it will be easier for them to make informed decisions.
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- Publication date
- 25 April 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- Secrets of Success
- Promoting Enterprise - tags