The two winners of the Social Entrepreneur Award, created 13 years ago by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) strategy consulting firm, of which Le Parisien - Today in France is a partner, will be known on January 30. Business creators, among the six finalists, explain their approach and their vision of the social and solidarity economy.
"Our flowers come exclusively from France"
Hortense Harang, 40, co-founder of Fleurs d'été
A company with a mission, Flowers from here "reconciles profit with social and environmental responsibility", explains Hortense Harang, its co-founder. “The statutes include the safeguard of French horticulture. Our flowers come exclusively from France, ”says this 40-year-old former journalist.
With her partner Chloé Rossignol, 35, a business school profile, she launched herself into an industry that was "completely delusional and polluting". Supporting figures from the Ministry of Agriculture: nine out of ten flowers are imported from Kenya, Colombia ... Hence the idea, in 2017, of creating a digital platform. The principle: the Ile-de-France producer no longer sells the flowers he has just cut to wholesalers in the Rungis market. The florist directly pre-orders those still on his feet. The system limits loss. “We are remunerated on the value previously evaporated by lack of logistical and commercial optimization. Before, up to 50% were lost, ”says Hortense Harang.
Boosted by a fundraising of 800,000 euros, the young company ticks all the boxes. Its flowers are in season, no need to raise them in batteries in a greenhouse. It does not make work "women paid 60 dollars per month and exposed to pesticides, as in Colombia". Finally, the delivery is made by bicycle, by courier companies like Olvo, "founded by old people of platforms not very scrupulous". This “respect for employees” comes at a cost: 44 euros for a small “garden style” bouquet. "The fair price, all year round, makes it possible to remunerate all the players in the sector", she defends herself.
Flowers from here, which employs 15 people in Paris (9th arrondissement) and in Le Mans (Sarthe), brings together 500 producers (out of 3,000 in France), a hundred independent florists and dozens of bicycle courier companies. Its customers are mainly companies: Orange, Publicis, Crédit Mutuel, etc.
"We adapt to the territories"
Thomas Matagne, 33, co-founder of Ecov
In addition to modes of public transport such as bus, metro or train, Ecov wants to add carpooling. It is for this purpose that the company, launched at the end of 2014 by Thomas Matagne, is aimed at local authorities and manages on their behalf stations and lines exclusively dedicated to carpooling in areas where public transport is little or not present. , from Vexin to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
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To build these lines - around twenty in France and twice in a year and a half - "we adapt to the regions, we try to understand their needs, we study the traffic flows in cars", says the entrepreneur. 33 years old, specialized in public policies applied to the environment. Ecov then provides the missing innovation brick: connected stations placed on a specific route. So that users just have to go to the stop, as they would to take their bus, to signal their presence on a box and wait for the drivers to board them.
To not exclude any user, the service is also accessible from an application, by SMS or a hotline. If drivers are generally compensated at the rate of 10 euro cents per kilometer, the journey is for the passenger, according to the choice of the community, either free or integrated into a mobility package. This system of public carpooling, "without equivalent in France or abroad, according to its founder, costs between 50,000 euros and 1 million euros and must lead" to do without the car structurally.
Still marginal in volume (15,000 users anyway), its penetration rate is "10 times higher than BlaBlaCar for example", insists the entrepreneur, who employs 40 people and creates a position every two months.
"Single service provider to recover all waste"
Emmanuel Bardin and Augustin Jaclin, 33, founders of Lemon Tri
Friends of childhood since kindergarten, Emmanuel Bardin and Augustin Jaclin dreamed of co-creating a box in a useful area. It was done at the end of their studies, Edhec for one, Dauphine for the other. At the end of 2011, Lemon Tri was born, "like the Lemon Tree song from Fool's Garden", released in 1995.
To boost recycling outside the home, they rent to companies, airports, stadiums, restaurants, schools, etc., in the form of subscriptions, collectors. These intelligent machines, which each require 10,000 euros to 20,000 euros of investment, are able to sort beverage packaging (bottles, cans and cups) and optimize the recycling process.
But the principle is also to match this collection with incentive systems. "At the Parc des Princes, for example, details Emmanuel Bardin, the supporters who deposit their packaging in our machines win, in return, a T-shirt or a balloon." The rewards can also be a voucher, an association donation, etc.
Since 2016, Lemon Tri, which has convinced 450 customers to date with its technology, for a turnover of 3.5 million euros in 2019, wants to "become a single service provider to recover all waste - cardboard, paper, glasses, capsules, butts… - like other players, like Paprec ”.
The company also guarantees their recycling in short circuit, in France. And to collect, sort and package, Lemon Tri relies on a social branch, its subsidiary Lemon Aide, an integration company created in 2016. It allows people far from work to be trained for 6 to 8 months in the waste sorting and recycling businesses.
"Advanced vocational guidance"
Ludovic de Gromard, 32, co-founder of Chance
It was during his studies at Essec, a social entrepreneurship specialty, and his first professional experiences abroad, that Ludovic de Gromard realized how difficult it is to recruit people who are really committed to their work. So he creates Chance, a platform to help people find their way and a job. Its target is in particular "the young unskilled who multiply the missions of interim as deliveryman or handler and do not like that", says the entrepreneur, anxious to promote social mobility.
Thanks to the “psytech”, a combination of technology and psychology, he designs “the most advanced vocational guidance system in the world”. This individual three-month course, 100% online, alternates one-hour video sessions with a professional coach and 1.5-hour introspection sessions materialized by questions and answers from a computer program and algorithms, Chance keeps refining. As for the coaches - a hundred, independent - they are chosen by the teams.
The model has been freemium since early January: the first 3 hours are free and applicants must then pay 825 euros for the whole program, with however a reduction and payment facilities for those whose last net salary is less than 1400 euros . At the end of these three months, Chance issues a certification and undertakes to reimburse candidates who have not found work. After correcting its strategy in 2018, the company, which has the support of Google.org, wants to accelerate its activity this year.