President & Founder, Le Carillon
BACKGROUND / Professional and educational background:
Louis-Xavier Leca, founder and director of La Cloche (non-profit) and the Le Carillon network, has studied economy with a major in development at Université Paris-Dauphine. He benefited from an exchange in Chile for a year, as part of his Bachelors, along with a gap year in Australia between his first and second year of Masters. He then worked in the sector of responsible finance, only to specialize in development project management at Université Paris-Sorbonne within its Economic and Social Development Institute. This naturally led him to work in developing countries in his early professional experiences. He then joined the PlaNet Finance group (now Positive Planet) and worked as a Development Manager for the Western and Central Africa, and Indian Ocean Regional Office located in Dakar. He developed multinational initiatives with multiple funders (AFD, EU, World Bank mainly) around microfinance. In 2013, he decided to return to France and learn about local development and innovative initiatives in social entrepreneurship. He joined the “Social Business / Enterprise and Poverty” chair at HEC Paris, where he met Charles-Edouard Vincent, serial entrepreneur and founder of Emmaüs Défi, which led him to starting the Lulu dans ma rue adventure for over a year.
This allowed him to better understand the stakes and problems linked to high insecurity, and especially acquire skills and a network. In parallel, he worked nights and weekends on putting together his first social initiative: Le Carillon.
ACHIEVEMENT / What does the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum consist of?
Individuals most marginalized (i.e. the homeless) in the Paris area suffer from a double sentence on a daily-basis. Indeed, their main concern, aside from finding a place to stay and some food, is to keep a good self-image while facing the looks and attitude of reject from most passers-by and shopkeepers. Le Carillon, the first initiative from the organization La Cloche, is looking for answers to the homeless’ material and immaterial needs. Its objectives are to improve their living conditions, rehabilitate their image in the eyes of their fellow citizens by rebuilding a social bond, and shedding light on the network’s committed members. The project is therefore set up through the following actions: services offered by shopkeepers to the homeless with stickers on their windows (warm beverages, phone charging, haircuts, access to restrooms, etc.), a solidary label through the sticker on their window, indicating empathy for those most in need, etc.
Shopkeepers are advertised on the Facebook page and the project’s website, which gives them more visibility and a new network of clients. Teams working the streets use this network as a social inclusion took and indicate beneficiaries how and where to look for those services.
In 18 months of existence, we have developed the network in 15 arrondissements in Paris, in Lille, Nantes, Lyon and Marseille with the help of over 500 shopkeepers. Over 13,000 services have been provided to homeless individuals locally.
We have been awarded the ESS trophies from Paris City Hall, the Prix des Bonnes nouvelles from the MMA Foundation, the Prix du Jury from the Google Success Engine Contest, the SCOPS Dauphine trophy, and are counting on the support from a number of Foundations (Carrefour, MACIF, PWC, etc.) and non-profits (Fondation Abbé Pierre, Petits frères des pauvres, etc.). We have been approached by 120 French communes who would like to see this project take place in their area, but also European, American and Asian cities. We are proud to have helped the network develop in Seattle, Gand, and soon Brussels, New York and London.
IMPACT / How do you evaluate the economic, social, politic and environmental impact of your project / action?
The organization is looking to help lower the feeling of rejection the most excluded experience and improve response to their most basic needs.
The project will be using questionnaires, opinion polls and interviews to track its impact on stakeholders. In order to do so, tools and indicators have been put into place to answer the following questions: what are some of the beneficiaries’ characteristics? How many beneficiaries have been informed about the project? How many use some of the services provided? How are beneficiaries informed? Are actual beneficiaries really those targeted? How do they gain in dignity?
QUOTE / A sentence, quotation or a word that best describes you
They can cut all the flowers, but they can’t stop the spring from coming – Neruda