Lulu dans ma rue opens its first kiosk in Paris

On April 8, residents in the Saint-Paul neighborhood in Paris discovered the first "Lulu dans ma rue" kiosk. What is it exactly? An innovative and inclusive neighborhood concierge service!

The nonprofit behind this alternative employment model puts their "Lulus" - i.e. people looking for work opportunities - in contact with residents looking for a service. Taking shopping up to a 5th-floor apartment not served by an elevator, putting up curtains, ironing or an evening's baby-sitting: the services, at a fee starting at €5 for 20 minutes, are as varied as the skills of the Lulus. The system is simple: the Lulus are self-employed entrepreneurs who invoice the services provided to the nonprofit, which manages the customers, offers mentoring for the Lulus and organizes contact between the two parties.

Thanks to the support of the Veolia Foundation, Charles-Edouard Vincent, the man behind the initiative, was able to conduct the feasibility study and set up this first operational platform. Opening the kiosk in the 4th arrondissement of Paris is the pilot phase of the project - after a year's trial, which the Foundation is also supporting, it should enable the nonprofit to envisage rolling out these "local service counters" across France.

Some explanations with Charles-Edouard Vincent
Founder of Emmaüs Défi and Lulu dans ma rue

You want to create one-time local services, sorts of "petits boulots" (odd jobs): what makes this socially innovative?

"Petits boulots" is not the right word, there's a hint of precariousness whereas we specifically want to pull people out of insecurity by creating a network of quality local services. By belonging to this network, whose "hub" is the kiosk of the conciergerie, service providers can earn a status, a reputation in the neighborhood. It's a social conquest: we want to contribute to the evolution of our society, which condemns many talented people to inactivity. Some of them send dozens of letters begging for a job, and the answer is always no, no, no. We would like to make access to work possible for everyone. There's no such thing as a stupid craft: the fact of working with one's heart, in a service logic, is enormously enriching, and one becomes proud of what one has done.

"Lulus" can work in this way for a month, 6 months or 10 years, as they wish. It's a new form of integration by work: every provider enhances his employability and expands his network. The boss of a small or medium business who has been pleased with a personnel service can call on the "Lulu" in a more organized and recurrent manner. 

"Lulu dans ma rue" combines the physical presence of the conciergerie with a web platform: how can technology be used in the service of social cohesion?

"Lulu dans ma rue" combines the physical presence of the conciergerie with a web platform: how can technology be used in the service of social cohesion?

The Veolia Foundation contributed in 2014 to financing the feasibility study of the conciergeries in Paris: what lessons were learned from this?

The study helped us understand how web platforms are already used by microentrepreneurs to sell local services, about their motivations and their challenges, and how "Lulu dans ma rue" can be positioned vis-à-vis the present. The result of the study is the installation of the pilot conciergerie kiosk in the 4th District of Paris, in March 2015.

The key to the smooth running of the system is that trust must be established between customers and service providers: how do you achieve this?

I believe that the physical installation will make a huge difference, it will reassure the people in the neighborhood. Our partners acknowledge our credibility: we didn't come from nowhere! We have the backing of the City of Paris and of major corporations.

Besides, the "Lulus" are selected, trained and evaluated: their clients can publish an assessment of the service provided, on the web platform.

By experimenting, we'll learn how to improve the concept, the most popular services, and no doubt, others we haven't yet considered. We can investigate the relevance of services dedicated to businesses. My hope is to "embark" the whole neighborhood in the evolution toward a more inclusive society: it's everyone's business.

The first results a month after the opening

In one month, Lulu dans ma rue registered 311 orders and carried out 225 service assignments. The dossiers of 17 Lulus have been completed (referencing, declarations, etc.) and 15 more are being finalized. The kiosk received more than 3,600 visits - 10,000 for the website. From physical concierge kiosk to web platform - social innovation comes in many forms!


Social and Employment | France (Paris)
Comptoir des services
In the IVth District of Paris, experimenting with a network of local services at neighborhood scale to create jobs and foster social cohesion


About Lulu dans ma rue