INSERTION PROFESSIONNELLE GRÂCE AUX MÉTIERS TECHNIQUES DU WEB
Pour faire face au chômage dans les territoires défavorisés, Frédéric Bardeau crée un programme de formation au codage pour des jeunes défavorisés, chômeurs de longue durée ou seniors en reconversion. La formation permet de répondre aux besoins croissants des entreprises tout en facilitant l’insertion professionnelle. A travers les écoles Simplon, qui se répliquent en Europe, en Afrique, au Moyen-Orient et en Asie, Frédéric permet “l’empowerment” de talents différents et l’émergence de qualités d’acteurs de changement. La formation est gratuite grâce à un modèle économique hybride (commande publique de formation pour demandeurs d’emploi, franchise du modèle dans les territoires, activités de production et de formation de salariés, subventions et mécénat).
En 2018, 45 écoles sont ouvertes en France et 6 à l’étranger et 33 sont en cours d’ouverture. 2265 personnes ont été formées, dont 60% de jeunes peu ou pas diplômés et 38% de femmes avec un taux d’insertion de 80% dès 6 mois après la sortie de la formation. Simplon.co a élargi ses publics pour toucher des jeunes décrocheurs ou sous main de justice, des personnes réfugiées ou en situation de handicap. Simplon.co bénéficie d’une forte reconnaissance nationale institutionnelle (French Tech, La France S’Engage et Grande École du Numérique, le Grand Prix de l’Innovation de la Ville de Paris etc.) Frédéric a remporté le Prix de l’entrepreneur social de l’année 2017 du BCG. Simplon participe également à l’Africa Code Week, la Code Week Européenne et Hour of Code : depuis 2013 plus de 150.000 enfants ont été sensibilisés au code.
QUI EST-IL ?
Frédéric a étudié les sciences politiques, la sociologique et l’intelligence économique, a été Saint-Cyrien et parachutiste dans l’armée. Passionné de cyberculture, de communication et d’empowerment, il est co-auteur de “Lire, Ecrire, Compter, Coder” (2014) et de “Anonymous” (2011). Frédéric a 5 enfants.
companies. As a result, four training centers are already open, from disadvantaged urban suburbs of France and Romania, to abandoned rural areas; and 150 projects are under progress in Europe and Africa, with a high adaptability to local socio-economic contexts and specific inclusion issues around women, youth, prisoners and more.
Participants are carefully selected to train first people underrepresented in the web sector, mostly women, low-qualified and long-term unemployed persons, youth from disadvantaged suburbs, the handicapped and seniors. Potential trainees are sourced by local partners (local public employment agencies, city programs, NGOs…) and beyond a necessity to know already how to write, read, count and very basic computer skills (switch on a computer or send an email), the decisive criteria is motivation. More and more popular, the number of candidates is increasing and about 10% are shortlisted.
The training program follows a frame of reference to cover knowledge of hardware and software, and various coding languages. But more important than becoming experts of web languages, the students are trained to solve coding problems. Frederic believes that it is only by understanding how code works and practicing their capacity to analyze a problem and look for solutions that the students will be able to adapt themselves to the rapid changes of the digital world over the long run. The pedagogy is very dynamic, relying on problem-solving workshops, peer-learning, collaborative work and real projects for clients. To boost leadership and self-esteem, Frederic empowers his students to teach others. The trainees are for example in charge of the online course for external participants : Each week, they work on a coding problem; they collectively look for solutions, and then test and conceptualize the best solution to post it online; a forum with distance learning participants is open to debate about the solution and learn more about it. To work on their creativity and empathy, the trainees are also engaged in the Kids Coding Club and facilitate weekly workshops with children and parents on simple coding activities.
To support his initiative, Frederic relies on a hybrid model that combines non-profit and for-profit activities. To make the program free and accessible to those who most need it, he raises philanthropic funds but also generates incomes through a for-profit social company (the company benefits from “the national social agreement” which protects the social mission, gives a frame for salaries, limits distribution of dividends etc.) which offer paying short-term coding trainings (1 to 3 days) for companies’ employees and individuals as well
as coding activities (developing websites or applications for clients) and events (eg: hackathons). Therefore, major functioning costs are covered by the company (rent, teachers and coordinators) which put its resources at the disposal of the free training program. For the first year of activity, the project has generated about one million euro of incomes and raised 500,000 euros of donations.
After two schools open in the suburbs of Paris (Montreuil and Villeneuve la Garenne) and about 100 people trained with a rate of reintegration on the labor market of 100% (either get a job, become a freelance or continue studies), Frederic has obtained the national training agreement and is organizing a massive replication of his idea all over France and abroad. Convinced that his program can be adapted to very different contexts and types of populations as an engine for social integration and economic development, he has structured an open replication model in which anyone - a local entrepreneur, an NGO, a company, or a public actor - can take the idea and apply it, with a necessity to respect the two core principles: the selection criteria for students and the training framework and pedagogical methods. He has designed different levels of support to be assisted in the launch of a new school – with only a license cost until a franchise model in which resources are dedicated to mobilize local ecosystems, raise funds, and recruit the students and the teachers. In average, the replication costs between 30,000 to 100,000 euros per year; and 10,000 euros are systemically brought by ORANGE as key partner of the replication of the initiative. Two schools have opened in 2015, one in a very rural area to maintain economic activities and another in the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Marseille for youth who have dropped out school; and 150 projects are currently under progress. Besides, the expansion is also abroad with a school in Romania open by a former trainee, and two currently under progress with Orange in Bamako, and with SAP in Johannesburg.
In parallel, Frederic is exploring new activities to reinforce his impact, with an adaptation of the program for specific populations like refugees and prisoners; as well as the creation of an incubator of social enterprises as half of the trainees decide to become entrepreneurs.
Back in Paris, his most transformative encounter happened with a computer. As an intern at DDB, an international advertising company, he spent all his nights discovering the power of Internet and becomes the first cyber consultant of the agency. Passionate about the web and communication, he continued his career in that field for 15 years but towards exclusively a change of paradigm in the non-profit sector. Unsatisfied with existing approaches, he co-created a pioneering advertising agency for NGOs to enable the digitalization of citizen organizations. But defining himself as a developer and social innovator, after four years, he left the agency and its 3 million annual profits to explore new topics.
Coding as a weapon for citizenship becomes his new leitmotiv. Teaching at CELSA, the most
popular communication school in France, he leads what he calls an “Open Bar Innovation Course” to stimulate students’ creativity. In 2012, with one of them, he investigates and writes a first book on “Anonymous”, a famous group of hackers who defend values of justice and transparency. Two years later, he develops the idea of SIMPLON with two scholarship students, Andrei and Erwan, who learned coding by themselves, selling some programming services to earn extra money.
Equipped with impressive entrepreneurial skills, Frederic sets up the project idea very quickly. In six months, the training framework is designed, the premises are rented, paid training programs are organized during the summer and sold to companies to generate incomes, corporate donations are raised and the school welcomed its first group of 30 students. With a cool branding and an image closer to the Tech and web innovation field, rather than traditional social organizations, SIMPLON becomes rapidly popular. Frederic writes another book - “Write, Read, Count… and Code!” - that becomes a reference and enables him to join workgroups at a governmental level to work on solving the digital divide in France. Innovative in its core idea, its hybrid model and its capacity to scale, the project has won many social and tech innovation awards, among which “la France’s engage”2 that celebrates the French President’s fifteen favorite social initiatives.