A clothing boutique in the heart of a workforce development project

By opening a boutique on the Quai de Valmy in Paris, two young women wanted to train youths undergoing vocational integration in the trades of selling, logistics and business management.

Social and Employment

Project leader

Rachel et Valérie

Paris, France

Claire Billon-Galland

20 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/10/02

"One comes from the business world, the other from workforce development: together, the founders of the association Rachel et Valérie have, through their past professional experiences, acquired the skills indispensable to conduct the project. It is original and financially viable. They have also succeeded in selling the idea to the network that will help them survive. They are in fact closely linked to the team in charge of integration by economic activity of the ANPE Stendhal (State Employment Administration), the local Missions, the services of the Plan Local pour l'insertion et l'emploi (PLIE), etc. Thanks to these many backers, they hope to spread their concept rapidly and thereby hire other employees through workforce development."
Claire Billon-Galland

Female fashions and workforce development don't rub shoulders every day. And yet, the association of Rachel et Valérie aims to use the former to promote the latter. Created in early 2007, this young structure enjoys the benefit of the experience of its two founders: business school graduates, each of them worked in the private sector before putting their skills in the service of integration. By accompanying unemployed persons seeking jobs, they have gained familiarity with the world of workforce development. Their project is an extension of this quest.

Selling clothes and accessories from the fair trade circuit

Reaching for the stars... Rachel et Valérie have opened a boutique on the Quai de Valmy, on the bank of the Saint-Martin canal in the 10th district of Paris, where they offer clothing and accessories for women, obtained exclusively from fair trade sources.

The socio-professional impact of the approach of Rachel et Valérie is therefore measured in Paris - thanks to the hiring of persons in vocational integration - and in the developing countries where the association procures its goods. The choice of the clothing sold in France will help promote the traditional skills of the developing countries by making use of fair trade circuits. The sales area will accommodate regular exhibitions on these topics.

In concrete terms, a first integration job will be proposed upon the opening of the boutique, followed by another two once the basement has been completed, and a fourth on the launch of a site for online sales. The boutique will thus become a springboard for youths in difficulty: trained in the trades of selling, logistics and business management, they will be able to find a job in these areas. Alongside the Fondation Agir pour l'emploi and a sympathetic club of investors, the Veolia foundation is financing the project with a 20 000 € grant.