Majid El Jarroudi

Ashoka Fellow


This profile was prepared when Majid El Jarroudi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Majid is radically transforming the purchase practices of companies by revealing the untapped potential of doing business with underserved entrepreneurs in marginalized neighborhoods. By targeting France’s young generation of procurement officers and connecting them to potential suppliers in these localities, he manages to break down stereotypes, create more competitive and fair business practices, and foster a community of like-minded, diversity-conscious decision-makers. To accelerate this shift, Majid has designed his organization, Agency for Diversity in Entrepreneurship—Adive, as a marketplace where large companies can submit their calls for tenders to entrepreneurs in marginalized neighborhoods and entrepreneurs can promote their services.

Through local networks, Majid identifies and vets a large number of entrepreneurs working in underserved areas and who have the potential to meet the needs of big companies. In addition to opening up new markets to them, he helps the entrepreneurs build capacity and trains them to the specificities of the tendering processes. Among the 200 entrepreneurs on Adive’s platform, one-third has successfully won bids. Furthermore, in a “satisfaction evaluation” 83 percent of entrepreneurs reported being “very satisfied” with Adive’s service and commented that their businesses would no longer exist without Adive. By acting as a bridge between big business networks and an emerging generation of talented, but marginalized, entrepreneurs, Majid’s marketplace strengthens vulnerable communities by building sustainable local companies, creating employment, opening up economic opportunities, and developing positive role models for youth.

Within a year and a half, Adive has had a tremendous impact on the business practices of 35 leading companies, who have purchased over 500,000 Euros worth of goods and services from companies they would have previously overlooked and undervalued. More recently, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) decided to dedicate 50M EUR (US$70.644M) in purchase from the entrepreneurs supported by Adive. Starting with the 40 largest firms in France, Majid is fostering a world where all companies have the intuition and reflex to choose their suppliers among entrepreneurs from marginalized and underprivileged backgrounds, while still maintaining competitiveness.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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