This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out competition.
Combining Leroy Merlin strength and passion together with its close network (customers, suppliers) and social partners in order to create new solutions that meet the needs of people at the base of the pyramid (BoP), who are non-client citizens in a situation of precarious housing.
Tell us about yourself/your team.
After developing a micro-credit project in Chile 20 years ago, I now have the opportunity to strike the same balance between public good and economic sustainability by developing social business at the heart of Leroy Merlin.
I’m really motivated to change the rules of the game in order to start innovative projects, with meaningful and concrete solutions.
Social business can be a transformative avenue for a company's business strategies. It reaffirms the company's mission: help each person obtain their dream home.
The real challenge lies in making this dream possible for everyone—as many people as possible—and especially those in financially challenged situations.
What makes you an intrapreneur? What are the skills, capabilities, and personality traits that make you an intrapreneur?
An intrapreneur is an innovator who changes the rules of the game, capable of creating a change while integrating it into the company's strategies.
I try to bring different energies and various skills to my projects. Driven by the vision of an emerging future that I communicate with enthusiasm, I am pragmatic and action-oriented, quickly moving from talk to action. Think big and start small. The intrapreneur must be persistent and patient, flexible and demanding not just in style, but also at his core. He networks both inside and outside the organization—his creativity aims at creating value. He is a driving force and an accelerator of change within his company.
About Your Organization
France, XX, Lille
Primary country where this project is creating social impact
Additional countries or regions
Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Romania, Ukraine
The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..
Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)
The Need: What social or environmental problem are you trying to solve?
The different forms of precariousness at the housing level do not allow people to have a dignified standard of living, whether they are homeowners, tenants of social housing or people waiting for this type of housing. The problem includes people's isolation, lack of DIY know-how to equip/rehabilitate homes, and the cost of access to certain products. The relationship between beneficiaries, social actors and private land is at the heart of the project.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Creating an incubator for social business projects within Leroy Merlin, allowing innovative partnerships with actors in the field. The skills and passion of the staff (and their close networks, customers and suppliers) can help find solutions for insecure living conditions in a "no loss/no gain" model for sustainable development on a large scale. Tracks explored in this pilot phase are:
- "DIY and rental maintenance" modules, in preparation to relocate people waiting for social housing, who are currently living in Emmaus Solidarity shelters.
- The participation of the housing equipment solidarity bank to equip clean, but empty lodgings.
- Construction of Auto Accompanied Restoration projects with the Companions builders for 150 homes in Clichy sous Bois.
The Solution: Why is this solution innovative for your company and industry?
The main paradigm shift lies in the fact that the resolution of a social purpose is considered an integral part of the company business; it is not a limited or isolated action. This willingness to create shared value for the benefit of the greatest number of people in precarious housing situations is unique, as well as the construction of partnerships with actors in this field.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities.
The preparatory workshop for relocation has created a unique collaboration space for people who would never meet in any other situation.
The Solidarity Emmaus experience supports disadvantaged populations to determine the elements that better prepare them to obtain social housing. This is combined with educational engineering from the Leroy Merlin Training Centre, in which staff share DIY "job actions" and other skills with people who really need them.
- The animation module is carried out in a special training space, at a store with sales consultants, which reinforces participants’ pride and self-esteem.
- The store manager and human resources manager foster commitment that gives collaborators a sense of purpose and enhances their motivation.
- The instructors are enthusiastic about the experience of passing on their know-how.
- The teachers whole-heartedly live by the values upon which they instruct, they're committed to helping people make their dream homes a reality, even for those non-resident clients in a precarious situation.
- The participants as collaborators- organized video testimonies, helped generate an internal dynamics across the enterprise.
This partnership allows even lends itself to scaling, as these types of workshops can be replicated to other members of the FNARS (The National Federation of Reception and Social Integration Associations)
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Public Authorities, especially at local level, public housing offices, social housing institutions, associations of general interest: many actors coexist but rarely does their work combine the type of skills and passion present in the private sector. Innovation with stakeholders in the field is a fundamental condition for the success of the project. With these new alliances of various profiles, new and hybrids solutions will be found. A major challenge will be to overcome pre-existing power structures and defining responsibilities of each stakeholder.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
> A first experience of creating a micro-credit institution 20 years ago in Santiago, Chile introduced me to social business, self-sufficiency and maximized social impact (in connection with the Grameen Bank Yunus)
> The development of innovative business/ private actors associations in the field in a model "no loss / no profit", especially with Grameen Danone
> On the one hand, my commitment was triggered by life changing testimonies and by the consideration and the dignity of people due to the improvement of their housing in Chile, Togo, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines, France and Spain. Lifestyle is structuring for all man!
> On the other hand, my commitment was triggered by the inclusion vision at the heart of the company business, finding new solutions to improve the living conditions of the poorest, in serving the company vision. While a paradigm shift!
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
> The realization of 9 relocation preparation workshops with 4-7 participants each, allowing the acquisition of basic DIY to build and maintain housing on the basis of a co-educational frame created with Emmaus Solidarity.
> Establishment of a partnership with the Companions builders to rehabilitate 150 housing in the area of Chêne pointu in Clichy-sous-Bois: training of beneficiaries, implementation of a tool-library, cost price materials, integration of passionate DIY customers from the nearest store in order to increase the numbers of volunteers on these "meaningful" projects.
> The participation of the housing equipment solidarity Bank (launched by Emmaus Challenge and Carrefour mid 2012) for the provision of unsold and stock excess to allow the first housing equipment and the rights-holders are qualified by social workers and social landlords.
What is your projected impact over the next 1 to 3 years?
In the next 3 years:
> Rehabilitation of 1000 housing with 5 partner organizations
> Training of 200 people housed in emergency structures to prepare them for re-housing.
> Development of 2000 housing through the housing equipment solidarity Bank
> Establishment of a volunteer yourselfers clients network, 300 participants in France
> All Group employees in France strengthen their sense of belonging by knowledge of projects, 600 collaborators have contributed concretely to one of the projects
> Starting operations in 4 countries (in addition to France)
> Top 10 international cooperation projects initiated by collaborators in countries where the group is not present
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
- Poor integration understanding of the social impact research at the heart of the company's business in a logic "no loss / no profit"> we must develop a methodology for project management, which validates the model and expected benefits
- Lack of commitment to the store network in order to free up time for their employees for this new kind of mission> enhance learning at the heart of the collaborator profession.
- No decision to validate a specific mode of governance in social innovation, linked to the management of the company and with adequate resources to pursue R & D
What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
Beyond its results, social business strengthens company strategies:
- Pride of belonging to the enterprise and loyalty
- Reason for uniting on an ambitious mission
- Recruiting the best talent waiting involvement and sense
- Skills in action, new life for some employees
- Innovation facilitated
- Open to non-residents customers
- Apprehension of future markets
- Place of co-creation
- Customer exceptional relation for those who involved as volunteer
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
The leroymerlin.communities resources available are varied:
> Projects are at the heart of the business and as close as possible to the independent structures that are stores, 20,000 employees involvement is possible
> The supply of cost products in logic no loss / no profit
> In-kind products donations (entitlement to a tax reduction, 60% of cost price)
> Skills-based sponsorship (including entitlement to tax reduction)
> DIY passionate customers volunteer "in projects research"
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
In addition to redefined value chains to be over the cost and time left to men entrepreneurs to participate in these projects, two financing alternatives solutions are considered:
1 / solidarity investment funds, an alternative to PEE for employees and eventually available for public subscription
2 / micro-donations organization (employees and customers) through the rounded invoice or payroll or transfer of loyalty points.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
- Meetings between Leroy Merlin leaders and personalities: Muhammad Yunus (Grameen), Emmanuel Faber (Danone), Martin Hirsch, Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignont (HEC Paris)
- Participation in HEC Poverty & Action Tank Company, the Convergence Forum 2015, danone.communities days.
- Meetings with many organizations: ALFI, Arcade Group, Solidarity Emmaus Emmaus Challenge, Habitat & Humanism, Companions builders...
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
> Reporting directly to the CEO who wrote: "For pioneering, courage and determination as well as fun to fight their avant-garde, make them explore areas untouched and generally wonderful. You are a true pioneer and lm.communities is a great ambition that you carry within you: do share it widely! "
> Shops and internal services directions
> National and international Conventions: 200 managers and executives
> President and board