Jean-Michel Pasquier
KOEO

January 2021

Pioneers in skill sponsorship in France

- An interview with Jean-Michel Pasquier, Founder and CEO of KOEO

The idea of KOEO came to Jean-Michel Pasquier almost naturally in 2008, while already having worked with consulting companies throughout his professional career. KOEO, which is Latin for ‘togetherness’, aims at creating partnerships between companies, profit and non-profit actors, through skill sponsorship in France. The company provides skill sponsorship on three fundamental levels: Consulting services, digital tools and solidarity events. Thus, the type of skill sponsorship that the company provides ranges from a variety of levels, such as the marketing level, financial level to even the supply chain level.

KOEO have aimed at making non-profits function in a more efficient manner. This has required them to provide both, soft skills as well as hard skills. This could include teaching people to use a computer, to building their communication, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.  

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The biggest challenge the company faced were in the first few years since their conception. Jean-Michel stated that “It was hard to convince and explain to help people understand the reality of such kind of a partnership that I was trying to create. It took months and in fact years for companies opened their doors.” The idea of such a company was almost unknown and alien-like to the market at the time and hence it took time to get the word out. The company has to set up pilots and different parameters of volumetric action. It took over three years for KOEO to achieve the steady growth they intended to target.

“We aim for non-profits to be more efficient and effective in the communities they serve, to grow and reach higher targets, and eventually have strong impact.”

The impact KOEO has created over more than a decade has been seamless. Since 2008, KOEO have helped over 100 companies with skills sponsorship in France. They have also reached 100,000 hours of skill sponsorship and have engaged over thousands of individuals in skills sponsorship throughout France. The skills they have provided to non-profits in France have helped them engage with their respective communities in a more meaningful way. The company also follows a pay scale between 1 and 7, which means that the gap between the highest and lowest earning employee is not too far wide.  

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Jean-Michel’s advice to the youth is to always listen to the voice inside you. One must listen to the signs that come from their inner selves and follow it. Jean-Michel also strong advises the youth to stay humble and try to think about each little gesture in life. “The smallest of gestures can have greatest impact.” And lastly, he strongly advises the youth to never ever give up.

KOEO are pioneers in skill sponsorship in France as their vision is to truly help those who wish to create an impact in society. Click here to learn more about KOEO, their services, partnerships and solutions.