With the objective of relying on businesses with financial means and strong know-how‘s to boost the reintegration of his employees into the job market, André firstly identifies market leader companies, joins the most influential management clubs of the region and eventually invites top general managers to join his Board and get engaged in the strategic development of his social mission. Thanks to these key relationships, he then designs with them new opportunities that can both accelerate his growth and reinforce his social impact while responding to his partners’ core business stakes. Indeed, the extension of activities on “social” markets offers private companies the opportunity to reinforce their core businesses by accessing skilled human resources, cutting-edge technologies in green businesses, or market penetration in the French territory.
On that basis, 4 joint-ventures have come into being such as Janus, in 1998, a temporary work agency co-created with the global leader in that field, Adecco, which needed to respond to social clauses in its commercial offers; Envie 2è Nord, the first and biggest electronic waste recycling factory born in 2005 from the alliance with Van Gansewinkel, a Dutch recycling company that needed a national branch to penetrate the French market; or more recently, in 2010, the bakery stores “La Part du Pain” (“Piece of Bread”) with Paul, the leading network in that field, that has invested in the social venture to develop a powerful recruitment channel of trained bakers for its own franchises.
As the capital of these joint-ventures is always partly held by the business partners, André has designed a specific governance model to preserve the social mission of his holding towards job insertion: the business partner is always in a minority position and cannot have more than 49 percent of the capital, the majority stakeholder is always the holding Vitamine T. In addition, each creation is completed with a shareholder agreement that states that there cannot be a financial remuneration of the capital, and all the profits must be reinvested in the social holding.
Structuring a process of synergies to combine the added-value of social and business stakeholders, André has transformed Vitamine T into an impactful social insertion machine able to compete on the market with business players through his 14 social companies. In 15 years, he has successfully scaled the company: from 650 employees, the group now provides more than 3,000 insertion job contracts yearly; the turnover has been multiplied by 10, now reaching 50 million euros per year, and allows permanent investment in social innovation.
The joint-ventures represent half of the total workforce of the group and have the best results in terms of professional reintegration, from 65 percent to 100 percent. They generate profits that are re-invested to scale affiliated ventures, maintain and open new insertion job positions even without any public fund (public subsidies only represent 13 percent of total budget), improve individual follow-up, offer a-la-carte trainings as well as support Research & Development programs to explore new business opportunities, especially green.
André’s model is now highly attractive for public, private and social actors. While supporting the replication of his work, André keeps developing new competitive activities with leading business firms. Through his green growth department, he invests in high-value activities and creates demand for his insertion employees in the coming future. As examples, he has invested 500,000 Euros to lead the first R&D program on TV plasma screens recycling. With the support of his business partner, he creates new supply chains that reach all the way to China, and becomes a market leader in France in front of top global companies like Veolia. He is also developing the first large-scale organic catering company with Sodexo, the world leader on quality of life services.
In addition, André encourages the shift of practices of other job insertion companies and at all levels of his business partners by replicating his model all over the French territory. He engages business franchises network and transfers his know-how to local social organizations to implement hybrid value chains at regional levels. With the network of bakeries Paul, he has planned to open 100 bakery stores over the next 5 years in collaboration with local job insertion companies that he affiliates to Vitamine T; and already have the engagement of Paul to hire 100 percent of the trained bakers after their one-year insertion contract.