illustration thèse Clara HerculeResources, proximities and networks of entrepreneurs

Clara Hercule, member of Géographie-cités, will present her thesis entitled: “The anchoring of companies in the city’s political districts: Resources, proximities and networks of entrepreneurs”.

Friday 25 March at 2pm

Institute of Geography
Nouvel Amphi (ground floor)
191 rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris

If you wish to attend the presentation (on site or by videoconference), please register via this form.

The presentation will be followed by a drink. As places are limited, the presentation can be followed by videoconference. The link to the videoconference and additional information on how to attend the presentation in person will be sent by e-mail a few days before the presentation.

Composition of the jury

Marie-Hélène Bacqué, Professor, University of Paris Nanterre, Examiner

Sylvie Fol, Professor, University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, member of Géographie-cités, Director

Isabelle Géneau de Lamarlière, Associate Professor, University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, member of Géographie-cités, Director

Leïla Kebir, Professor, University of Lausanne, Rapporteur

Fabien Nadou, Professor, Normandy School of Management, Examiner

Bernard Pecqueur, Professor, University of Grenoble, Rapporteur

Francine Savidan, President, Initiative Ile-de-France, Expert


Since the 1990s, low-income neighborhood policy has been based on a logic of positive discrimination in favor of the most disadvantaged areas. The low-income neighborhoods are areas delimited by the State where the average income of its inhabitants is lower than in the agglomerations encompassing them. The 2014 Programming law for the city introduced a new ‘pillar’ for this policy, economic development. In this context, intercommunalities are invited to build support systems for entrepreneurs, encouraging an endogenous development approach.

This new approach implies paying attention to the dynamics of anchoring businesses in low-income neighborhood. This thesis uses the notion of territorial anchoring of companies, developed in territorial economics, to account for the relationship companies have with their territory of establishment. Two aspects are analyzed here. On the one hand, the resources, proximities and social networks used by entrepreneurs are studied in order to understand the construction of company-territory links in the context of low-income neighborhood. On the other hand, this thesis questions the role of public actors and local associations in the anchoring of companies, through the notion of intermediary actors.

To this end, two interview surveys were conducted in several low-income neighborhood: one with entrepreneurs and one with intermediary actors. They revolve around the neighborhoods of Franc-Moisin, in Saint-Denis, Les 4000, in La Courneuve, and four others located south of Les Mureaux.

This analysis shows that the entrepreneurs mobilize various local resources that encourage them to set up permanently in the low-income neighborhoods. Some intermediary actors contribute to the development of these resources and to the anchoring of economic activities in working-class neighborhoods.

Keywords: territorial anchoring, low-income neighborhood, entrepreneurs, economic development, intermediary actors