In societies where the challenges of inclusion increasingly overlap with those of the environment, the map of actors for change is being redrawn. Certain private structures that have chosen to articulate their economic activity to the collective interest have been propelled to the forefront. Grouped under the banner of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), these companies are trying at their level to provide answers to the major issues of our time. Initiated and subsidized by the Ile-de-France region, HEC Paris has developed a “SSE Accelerator” program, whose mission is to provide strategic support for SSE SMEs.

The issue of employment is a central element of the Paris Region’s economic strategy. In addition to providing services and producing goods, jobs are required to participate in the development of solutions to the region’s three major challenges, which are reminiscent of the 3Zero principles: the inclusion of people in situations of economic and social exclusion, the major ecological issues, and territorial divides. On the one hand, the “SSE” brings together organizations whose means and ends are based on principles of solidarity and societal commitment, and provides a framework for these innovative dynamics. On the other hand, the Accélérateur proposes to support structures that claim to be SSE. Its program is based on four pillars: collective diagnostics; monthly mentoring by experts; personalized consulting missions; and a training cycle.

Class 2 & 3 focused on the disability and integration sectors of the SSE, and class 2021 has invited all SSE structures to apply. How does the Accélérateur, through its activity, concretely contribute to the operationalization of 3Zero?

Cèdre (“Creation of Sustainable Jobs in Recycling and the Environment”) is a family business that assists companies in the Paris region in the transformation of their waste to preserve tomorrow’s resources. It organizes the collection and recycling of 25 types of corporate waste (paper documents, plastic cups, light bulbs, furniture, etc.) while raising employees’ awareness of CSR issues. The Accélérateur has enabled the company to find the right balance between benevolence and hard work, qualities that are necessary in an increasingly competitive professional environment.

“Nothing is lost, only transformed”, says Ecodair. This social enterprise integrates disabled and socially excluded people into the workforce, makes quality reconditioned computer equipment available to all at an affordable price, and thus helps to reduce the digital divide, for a Zero Exclusion and Zero Carbon world. After being supported by the Accélérateur and bearing the costs of the health crisis, Ecodair has increased its capacity for integration, support and refurbishment: it has doubled its staff and now welcomes 150 people, 80% of whom are disabled or excluded.

What can an event company expect in times of Covid? That’s what the employees of Inspirience, an event communication consulting agency focused on social and ecological commitment, were wondering about. Driven by a strong value of inclusion of people with disabilities, Inspirience’s raison d’être was refined through contact with the Accélérateur, to the point of affecting its activities, which had been damaged by the pandemic. The Accélérateur helps to scale the project and harmonize the various functions that make up the company by offering two levels of support: a long-term level where training, tools and advice are given to restructure the business, and another that offers one-off external approaches allowing Inspirience to reinvent itself.

L’Accélérateur in a few figures

30 organizations accelerated between 2018 and 2021

24 months dedicated to work on the change of scale

+ 1937 employees in the accelerated classes 2 and 3 of which 937 are disabled and 598 are on integration programs.