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“Mobile learning is allowingus to support a newgeneration of fashionentrepreneurs”

The ESMOD International group is demonstrating its desire to address a new generation of fashion business entrepreneurs in an inclusive manner, wherever

they may be, by developing its operations in the mobile learning market.

Launched in April 2022, the Entrepreneurship in the Fashion Industry course, available on a mobile learning basis, is allowing the ESMOD group to train a new generation of entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. © Alara Concept Store_David Adjaye Associates, Nigeria Africa.

Co-founded by Olivier Pascal, alongside Julien Boeuf and François Catala, start-up

LAFAAAC, the acronym of the Franco-Anglophone Academy of Audiovisual Arts and

Cinema, has been publishing mobile apps aimed at creative professions since 2017.

These apps are aimed primarily at the African market. “There are 5 million people

currently working in the creative industries in French and English-speaking Africa”. Of

these, 90% are self-taught via the Internet or through peer-to-peer exchange”,

explains François Catala, a former strategy consultant in the telecoms and

audiovisual sectors, who wants to support future professionals by making training

courses accessible via mobile learning, in collaboration with schools that have been

recognised for their ability to train future cultural professions.

LAFAAAC’s partners include La Fémis, a prestigious Parisian film school, the

Asfored, which provides training for future professionals in the book trade, and

Rubika, which teaches techniques relating to video games and animated films. The

ESMOD International group joined this prestigious consortium a year ago. “The

founders of LAFAAAC approached ESMOD with a view to setting up a training

programme to improve the skills of young Nigerien entrepreneurs”, explains Hélène

Guénin, who is responsible for the group’s educational engineering. What makes this

course special is its format: “This is what we call mobile learning, meaning courses

that are always available right there on your phone, without the need for an Internet

connection, thanks to a dedicated app downloaded in advance”.

The app, which can be viewed at any time, combines two complementary areas of

expertise, with LAFAAAC taking care of the layout and designing the animation and

ESMOD providing the course content. “Fashion professional and regular speaker at

the school Jean-François Leguay designed the content of this first mobile learning

course entitled Entrepreneurship in the Fashion Industry. It’s a business-oriented

course that also develops a global understanding of the fashion industry and its

various markets”, explains Hélène Guenin, who adds, “there is also a lot of contextual

information, notably including figures, because the fashion business requires a real

understanding of the world in which the entrepreneur will be operating before they

can establish the DNA of their brand and set about producing and implementing a

business plan”.

Building a viable project linked to market demand

Launched in April 2022, the state-funded training course has been extremely

successful, and this success has justified the introduction of distance learning

courses. “Many people have completed the course, which consists of a series of

cards or levels. We had worked closely with LAFAAAC to develop a form through

which the most highly motivated learners could express their goals and ambitions. An

examination of these personal statements by a panel that included successful

entrepreneur and renowned Nigerian fashion designer Lisa Folawiyo enabled us to

make a selection based on what motivated the learners and the feasibility of their

projects. Those selected were able to attend distance-learning classes with Jean-

François Leguay”, Hélène Guénin excitedly explains. “Our expert then travelled to the

Nigerian capital Lagos to deliver his teaching, this time face-to-face”.

The students consequently learned how to develop a viable project that was in

keeping with market demand. “The projects were characterised on the one hand by

their sheer diversity, such as building a brand around the sale of wedding dresses

produced using local skills like embroidery and pearl beading, for example, and on

the other by the dynamism of the learners involved. I’m also keen to highlight the

richness of the creative scene that is currently flourishing in Lagos. There really are

some beautiful products about, as well as some great accessory brands and

outstanding artisans”. Then, of course, there is the great architectural strength that

drives this city teeming with innovative stores such as the three-storey Alaria concept

store, designed by leading architect David Adjaye and initiated by Reni Folawiyo, a

central member of the Nigerian jet-set, and offering a luxurious selection of African

and Western pieces.

“We are proud, within the ESMOD group, to be able to support these future

entrepreneurs in the fashion industry of tomorrow as they make their way in a market

that has evolved considerably”, Hélène Guénin concludes. “This partnership with

LAFAAAC is indeed a valuable opportunity to spread the recognised expertise of a

group that already operates in North Africa with schools in Tunis and Sousse on an

even broader scale. Through this initiative, ESMOD is reaffirming its position as a

leading player in fashion and fashion business education, and we look forward to

extending this partnership to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, notably including

Guinea, with a programme that will be delivered in French this time. There is, of

course, an element of reflection surrounding the inclusiveness that stems from this

beautiful partnership since it allows young African students to enrich their knowledge

of the market thanks to the ESMOD Fashion Business content to which they did not

have access before. And that’s the most important thing for us: beyond the

technological innovations it calls for, this project is really in keeping with our

pedagogical work, designing and delivering training courses that have a real link to

the world of employment”.

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