Generally speaking, mobility is a prerequisite to a job

The problems of professional integration and of mobility for people in an uncertain situation can find a simple and effective answer with outreach automobile leasing and repair.

Social and Employment

Roubaix, France

Frédéric Potier

€6,000 to the Selection Committee at 2011/01/18

Project leader


The nonprofit Mobil'Emploi, created in September 2009 in Roubaix, in the Nord district, took on the challenge of creating an environment-friendly "outreach garage (garage solidaire)", offering low-cost repair, leasing and sale of automobiles to people seeking professional and social integration.

Since the unemployment rate in Roubaix (+22 %) is higher than the regional average, added to the growing poverty and under-qualification of the jobseekers there, the job situation is even worse if mobility is lacking. There is no way to enlarge the search zone, particularly up to the area of Kortrijk, in Belgium, which offers a very big job differential compared to the Lille urban area.

The repair and leasing services offered are aimed at minimum wage earners, upon presentation of evidence of their professional and social situation. They are often single women with children (single-parent families). The outreach auto leasing targets 30 to 50 beneficiaries per year. It is also available to craftsmen starting their businesses, with the aim of lowering their expenses by giving them a van for a period of time.

The "outreach garage" project meets social, economic and environmental objectives

The aims of the "outreach garage" are social, with very low rentals for people heading for a job interview, part-time or for a trial period; economic, since outreach leasing is only allocated if appropriate public transportation is unavailable to the users (time-tables, location) and outreach repair is only reserved for those who cannot afford the necessary repairs via conventional networks; and environmental, by applying the ecological charter of environmental conservation: waterless carwash, spent oil recovery, solar panels, recycled used spare parts, source-selections, email quote, etc.

Since the business began, the nonprofit has created two full-time jobs (a business development manager and a mechanic) whose fixed-term contracts will be converted to open-term contracts. An auto repair apprentice (professional diploma) and administrative apprentice have been recruited.

In the medium term, the Mobil'Emploi garage wants to become a workforce development business, and outreach auto repair and leasing will be used as a medium for professional integration.

The Veolia Foundation has been asked to help the nonprofit buy part of the equipment required to keep the business going.