Michaël Menot, who headed a coworking room in the Soulé Activity Zone, had to leave the offices he shared with other entrepreneurs.
This site, focusing on digital activities, was created in August 2016 (see article from March 7, 2022). The division of offices between freelancers, to collect costs, has gradually become an economic development project for the Haute-Bigorre territory: it was a matter of offering business creators and freelancers only to teleworkers, offices, quality IT equipment and long-term support .
The project was presented twice to the President of the CCHB and to its Vice President of Economic Development, and the second time was undoubtedly the right one as discussions began to establish the feasibility of this project in the old building of ENSTO Management. Michaël then hired at his own expense 2 students from the School of Management and Commerce in Tarbes who were looking for a company as part of their graduation project. For 3 months, on a work study basis, they carried out a business plan, an impact assessment, set up a website and prepared public information meetings, which were to take place in each village in Haute-Bigorre. It was a week before the first of these meetings that the economic development officer had to decide to inform Michaël that these meetings would not be held.
And then a year later, CCHB launched a company-oriented installation project feasibility study in third place. It is therefore a consulting company specializing in coworking spaces that is winning the market and reproducing a study for which it had already been consulted in the Pays des Nestes: “Fortunately, this company has met various actors who are likely to welcome and manage this place. ., it has designated me and the offices I occupy as the most suitable to welcome and manage this third place. “
This study was never published and a good year went by without anything happening. Then, on March 8, 2022, a meeting was held in Michaël’s premises in the presence of Jacques Brune, Chairman of the CCHB, the Economic Development Manager and a couple of local self-employed and teleworkers. The contours of the third-place project dedicated to companies are presented by CCHB; the conditions of use as well as the future rehabilitation work on site, which is also unhygienic: “To every question we asked, we were always kindly answered that ‘everything is open for discussion’. And then suddenly, on April 25, 2022, Michaël and the other users a registered letter with AR.This is a contract that will apply from 1 May 2022, stating the conditions under which they can continue their activity, and that the site, like the management of the residents, will be taken over de facto by CCHB.It’s astonishment and disappointment: “I have the impression of being cheated, and the only way to defend myself is to bring out the truth. I have all the exchanges via email with CCHB. My disappointment is also to have presented this project to Deputy Sempastous, 3 years earlier, and to have achieved only a polite listening, without the slightest follow-up. “However, the entrepreneur’s only ambition was to promote this area for which he fell in love with several years ago, and to bring activity there for its appeal.
After all, optimism reigns: “This project and others, creators of activities and jobs will be carried out elsewhere”.
The fighting spirit also wins: “There are certainly other people who have been confronted with similar situations in this community of municipalities in Haute-Bigorre, and who can contact me. Together we will no doubt be able to weigh in for a better listening and more respect from this community “.
Jacques Brune, for his part, claims to have tried to find a solution with the person in question: “” There was no contract between Michaël and CCHB. In particular, we take over the fees, and subsequently we sign agreements with the residents. They will be given priority to integrate the former offices in Obatala. We offer the same conditions. Since April last year, we have budgeted with the new premises, under the same financial conditions, I let it be. I met Michaël, I have no problem with him. I was ready to negotiate with him, we set him special terms on the rent and he could have kept managing the different participants as he was used to it.
We get a beautiful coworking room that is accessible to people who want to commute by phone. “