AfB France a social and ecological non profit company

AfB France a social and ecological non profit company: To protect environment, while providing employment for people with disabilities.

Meythet, France
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AfB’s mission is to generate place of works for disable people while delivering a professional solution for IT electronics waste. The company is not only acting as a social responsible contributor but is also offering an important ecological benefit to the planet.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Companies have to find a way to manage their used IT assets. They cannot just throw it away and they have to think about their own confidential data. Most of the time, they do not even think those equipment could still have a second life and be used by others people who do not require the same level of IT performance. In addition, in most European countries, unemployment for disable people is twice more important than ordinary people unemployment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We decided to create a company offering mainly places for disable people and able to offer a very efficient professional solution for minimizing the risks associated with data security and improper handling of end of life IT assets. We collect the equipment anywhere and provide them with a web based secure track reports to inform about asset recovery, computer recycling and a full data eradicated certification on all equipment. Equipment are repaired and sold in our shops or internet online shop promoting circular economy. Too old or out of order equipment is fully recycled. Our goal is to demonstrate that disability and ecology can be compatible with an ambitious company project. We would like to expand this model to other cities/countries
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We started our activities in France 18 months ago and we already have created 10 places of work. Two thirds of them are people with disabilities. Some of them were looking for a job for a very long time. We even met a young person whose dream was to become a Sale man but his disability prevented him from convincing traditional companies to employ him. We have provided him with a strong training and we offered him a sales job.. This person will proudly show to traditional business companies that disability does not prevent him to perform….

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are expecting to spread our concept by creating subsidiaries close to our main partner whenever it is possible. Our target is to act local by providing jobs for disable people locally. Our partners feel more responsible in a local action and we are also having less transportation to collect equipment which represents at the end more CO² saving. We’re currently working on 2 new subsidiaries in France. This concept has been successfully spread all over Europe by our mother company created in 2004 in Germany and already expanded in Austria and Switzerland.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are several companies offering an IT asset recovery solution however we believed we are the only one with an efficient pan European solution as a non-profit organization.


The structure of the team is based on a Sales manager for Partner (collection of equipment), a sales manager for shop and online shop (equipment selling) and a Logistic manager to handle collection and equipment recycling process. They all have persons to manage in their team. We have also a dedicated person for the communication and the marketing project and the company is leaded by the funder.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Social enterprise

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



Communication advisor



Organization Name


Total Number of Full-Time Employees

Approximately 1400

Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



Sustainable Development engineer



Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, XX, Meythet

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

Germany, Switzerland and Austria

Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

Last mile distribution: Entries in this category focus on solutions that enable the physical delivery of life-changing services to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.).

What awards or honors has the project received?

Social economy price by Crédit Coopératif

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner: Somfy
-Type of partner [Business]
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
Somfy is the world leader in design and assembly of automatic controls for openings and closures in homes and buildings, driven by two Activities that are organized by application: Home & Building and , Access.
-Key motivation: The partnership with AfB France gives us the opportunity to act on all aspects of sustainable development i.e. to respect the environment while promoting employment for people with disabilities in our geographic area. In addition, the service provided includes an efficient process for Data eradication and an effective tracking system”. Justine Zawada
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] Somfy provides end of life or unused IT equipment for free. After having tested, refurbished or repaired equipment, if necessary, AfB resells it with a 12 month warranty.

-Partner: AfB France
-Type of partner [Social]
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
AfB France is specialized in warranted and tested professional second hand computers. This ecological project associates people with disabilities. We also propose a repair service.
-Key motivation: We want to build partnership with companies to give a new life to unused computers. And to create an ambitious project which could give places of work for people with disabilities.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] AfB France ensures a high level service of data erasure and gives access to warranted and low cost computers to Somfy’s employees. This is a way to communicate on the creation of an ecological and social project.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

We can see three different impacts:
The first one is a social impact. The activities generated by the company allowed us to create places of work and employ several disable people. Our Partner is also proud to contribute to this concept as a clear evidence of their Corporate Social Responsibilities engagement.
The second one is an environmental impact. We managed last year about 50 tons of IT waste and our recycling process contributed to save raw material and reduced CO2 emission. Refurbished equipment has been reintroduced to the market.
The third element consists in providing an easy access to IT for everybody. We resell our refurbished equipment at low price with a 12 months warranty. People who want to start with IT, People with modest revenue, schools or non-profit organization can get a computer for an attractive price with a high quality service.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Foundations, Businesses, National government, Customers.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The partnerships build with large companies are usually long term partnership allowing visibility and planning. Our economic model allows securing our own development using traditional solutions such as loan. We are keeping developing new services to sustain our development such as services to middle Stand Company or educational training and services.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Eric Laur, founder of AfB France, has spent several years in the IT industry. While traveling in 2011, he met AFB Germany’s funder. He was amazed by this social entrepreneur concept mixing up IT knowledge and social elements. He decided to develop it in France. He created a legal entity based on a commercial basis ( “limited” company) to be able to deal with large corporation but integrating a social element as the company has been qualified as a non- profit company which is an unusual form in France. This concept has been welcome by standard companies which started to work with AfB. This legal aspect also reflects what is happening in the company i.e. a professional service made with considerations for people and for the planet.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

During the validation process of this project, the Somfy IT department wanted to get clear assurance that the eradication process was strong and secure enough to let an external company manage their own confidential data. They decided to create a pilot with a sample of equipment to test. The result of the audit was successful and confirmed the high quality service of AfB France. Somfy then decided to launch this project and to extend AfB Services to all their IT equipment in France.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

The cooperation is based on a moral commitment; there is no specific obligation. However a cooperation contract has been signed between the parties to manage the process of collection and eradication as well as to set up the rules and role of each company.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

This is a win- win partnership. Since the beginning of this cooperation the workflow generated by the treatment of Somfy's material has given a full time job to one of AfB’s employees for 18 months. For Somfy, this is an opportunity to prove their social and environment engagement to their employees. We also organized private sales for Somfy employees. , They could buy a cheap, repaired and tested warranted Somfy computer from which all information had been erased by AfB. This kind of operation is a really good opportunity to communicate on the possibility to associate disability and high level service. It contributes to change people's attitudes.

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