“Entre Castraises”: the network of female entrepreneurship and mutual aid

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Created at the end of 2022, the “Entre Castraises” network already brings together around forty female entrepreneurs. The idea is to develop social and professional links between these women and to valorise local know-how.

Understanding, benevolence and cohesion. A network of mutual aid between women entrepreneurs and project leaders, this is the whole concept offered by “Entre Castraises”. At the origin of this private group, Julie (jewelry designer at Uniyou) and Marine (photographer at Marine Blue Photographe), already members of the Albigensian entrepreneurs but eager to have the same network of independent and ambitious women in the lands of Castres.

It was then that they decided, at the end of 2022, to contact several entrepreneurs they already knew to tell them about the project. Without hesitation, a dozen of them agreed to join. “The feeling immediately passed and we immediately realized that it was very good for our morale to be able to talk to people who understand the difficult life of a business executive, especially when you also have to manage a family life at the same time,” said Manon, manager of the O’Moka café for 5 years.

Forty entrepreneurs

Thus, since January, the members of Entre Castraises have been organizing regular “meeting” evenings to talk, get to know each other, exchange advice and help and above all have fun together. “And every night we are more and more!” added Manon d’O’Moka. In fact, today Entre Castraises has around forty female entrepreneurs of all ages and all trades.

Between these “meeting” evenings, the “core” of Entre Castraises, made up of 7 entrepreneurs from the network (Marine, Julie, Manon, Camille from Camille Guiraud Maroquinerie, Romane from Tweediafleuriste, Cécile from Time to frip and Nathalie from Jungle Thé Pâtisserie) also meets to refine the organization and creation of events. “The idea is also to join forces by offering entertainment for the public of Castres and to bring the city to life. In addition, on September 10, we will organize a small market for creators and producers with various workshops. There will also be a small pampering corner with spa treatments but also something to eat for lunch on site, “explains the roastery, which will host the event on its premises.

“We are here to help each other, not to compete”

In just a few months, all of these entrepreneurs have already formed “real social and professional ties,” as Cécile, manager of Time to Frip, an online and traveling thrift store, points out. “Yes, the strength of this network is that we are all moving in the same direction with the desire to undertake, to mostly create and to share our passion,” confided Julie, the jewelry designer.

“This network already brings me a lot, especially in terms of visibility thanks to social networks, but I also had the opportunity to welcome the girls three times during social evenings and it allowed me to establish collaborations, in particular with Lola from “Basta!” of the Halles de l’albinque who sells my coffee in her greengrocer and I her delicious New York biscuits. Not to compete with each other, we all give each other advice!” added Manon.

“A Beautiful Dynamic Sisterhood”

For Marine, the photographer, it is also a way “to get out of the loneliness of the profession, especially for those who work from home. I like meeting other people who are like me, in entrepreneurship, and being able to discuss our doubts, our successes and our respective strategies. And the fact that we are women creates a beautiful dynamic of sisterhood that I really appreciate,” she explained. An opinion entirely shared by the pastry chef Nathalie: “There are already groups of mixed entrepreneurs but having worked with some of them they are less accessible to small businesses. In any case, I didn’t feel in my place. Instead here, with the girls, it is much more jovial and friendly. It is a real strength!”

To follow the news of Entre Castraises, go to the Instagram account “entre_castraises” and Facebook: EntreCastraises.

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