Charles-Edouard Vincent

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2012
Emmaüs Défi


Utilisant en priorité le levier du travail comme moteur d’insertion, Charles- Edouard Vincent a imaginé un système très flexible en fonction des capacités et besoins des personnes vivant à la rue. Emmaüs Défi propose un cadre de travail adapté, notamment en termes d’horaires (à partir de 1 à 2 heures par semaine), dans un lieu porteur d’activités utiles à l’ensemble des personnes en précarité (Bric-à-brac, vente de forfaits téléphoniques adaptés, prêts d’équipement, etc.).



80% des SDF embauchés à l’heure signent in fine un contrat de 24h/semaine : Emmaüs Défis a lancé un partenariat avec la Mairie de Paris pour répliquer le modèle de travail à l’heure.  Avec deux lieux Bric-à-Brac à Paris et plus de 130 emplois en insertion créés, Emmaüs Défis a lancé une plateforme en ligne, les Amistocks, pour accélérer et faciliter le don d’objets de deuxième main.



Ancien champion de ski de fond, et diplômé de polytechnique et Stanford, Charles-Edouard a débuté une carrière internationale dans l’informatique. Après un séjour en Afrique, il s’est engagé pour Emmaüs Défis en 2005. Charles-Edouard Vincent a remporté en 2014 le Prix de l’Entrepreneur Social de l’Année, organisé par le Boston Consulting Group et la Fondation Schwab. Il développe aujourd’hui Lulu dans ma Rue.


This profile was prepared when Charles-Edouard Vincent was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Charles-Edouard’s critical insight to transform homelessness in France is that we must incentivize people to begin to change their own circumstances. Charles-Edouard’s flexible framework offers a homeless person access to paid part-time work, offered in hourly increments each week, and ranging from one hour, two hours, four hours, part-time or full-time. Unlike existing social employment companies, this model is not contingent on a weekly or 24-hour per week contracts that discourage participation. Instead, it considers the individual’s condition and capacity as the starting place, which lowers the barrier to entry for the homeless. In the beginning, a person may work only a few hours per week, but this “social employment” system economically empowers fragile men and women living on the streets to become agents of change in their own lives and become progressively reintegrated into society. Charles-Edouard believes that employment represents an important first step in regaining full economic citizenship.

Charles-Edouard uses “street” social workers as the levers to spread the impact of his idea. Previously only able to offer short-term charitable help by serving a hot meal, care or shelter for the night, Charles-Edouard redefines a street social worker’s work to become professional recruiters. Equipped with a new job opportunity tool, street social workers are also empowered to systemically solve the issues faced by the homeless. Not only identifying potential workers, these social educators chaperon the homeless during the early stage of their employment, provide reassurance, build trust, and support their regained pride. The social worker and the homeless can together set processes in motion to improve the homeless person’s life; with access to housing and care, awareness of better hygiene, tackling drug or alcohol addictions, and even solving administrative and legal issues that hinder full economic citizenship.

Through his holistic approach, Charles-Edouard is integrating across previously isolated stakeholders. He has set up unprecedented collaborations and shared protocols to transform the whole system of support for homelessness. Charles-Edouard has pioneered an assessment tool to measure impact in a holistic way: a multiple-entry software to track the impact of coordinated efforts on a person’s situation (i.e. job, housing, and health). He then developed innovative collaborations between various actors in the social sector—street workers, emergency shelters, addictions centers, and psychiatric services—and created the first shared protocols across social actors at the relevant French Ministries (i.e. Social Welfare, Housing and Health). While simultaneously spreading his work at national scale Charles-Edouard is also facilitating the expansion of his idea by other organizations.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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