François-Henri Pinault, PPR's Chairman and CEO, handed out the first four awards to social entrepreneurs yesterday, at the Group's Paris head office.
The SolidarCité association, founded by PPR in 2001, supports community and social initiatives and commits to "Entrepreneurship for education and inclusion". Within this framework SolidarCité - PPR has decided to support social entrepreneurship, an interesting challenge since it involves reconciling economic efficiency with social innovation, private initiatives with community action.
These grants include a financial support of €50,000 per recipient, but also and above all, human and professional assistance given in person by a director of the Group.
Four winners have thus been selected by the teams of SolidarCité - PPR according to three criteria: the entrepreneurial qualities of the driver of the project, the project's economic viability and its social added value.
François-Henri Pinault, PPR's Chairman and CEO, declared: "We are proud to bring our support and our expertise to these four entrepreneurs. Their projects are very different but they all embody PPR's treasured value: the entrepreneurial spirit. Since it was created, SolidarCité PPR has been supporting men and women whose entrepreneurial activity combines economic initiative and community action."
Denis Olivennes -Chairman and CEO of Fnac- is sponsoring Ideo: France's first ethical fashion brand. Rachel Liu and Antoinette Giorgi founded this company in Paris in 2002 to design, import and sell a line of organic, fair trade clothes.Regarding his sponsorship, Denis Olivennes declared: "Our social commitment is also to help 'different' entrepreneurs to take off, to serve sustainable development."
Thierry Falque-Pierrotin -Chairman and CEO of Redcats Group- will accompany Sineo: a car cleaning without water and with 100% biodegradable products Inclusion Company, founded in 2005 by Olivier Desurmont, in Lille. Thierry Falque-Pierrotin highlighted about the founder: "Olivier has an entrepreneur's daring, perseverance and enthusiasm: qualities intrinsic to Redcats Group and PPR. We are particularly pleased to support him, both as a neighbour from the North of France, where our historical brands are based, and because his business carries a social and environmental dimension which is dear to us."
Alain Viry -Chairman and CEO of CFAO- is sponsoring the organization La voûte nubienne: founded by Thomas Granier and Seri Youlou in 2000, this organization is devoted to spreading knowledge among builders and the populations of the Sahel about an alternative building technique, called the "the Nubian vault". This technique uses no wooden formwork, only earth, and thus brings elements of sustainable solutions to several types of economic and ecological problems. Alain Viry is pleased with this choice for sponsorship: "The organization La Voûte Nubienne is conducting an "adventure in African popular architecture" which creates value for the population of the Sahel (inhabitants, workmen, partners). With CFAO teams, I chose to support this project led by Thomas Granier and all the builders who have already been trained."
Lastly, Alain Luchez -PPR Group's Senior Vice President Human Resources- is accompanying the organization AIL 46 – auto-insertion lotoise (“integration through mobility”). Created by Jean-Pierre Clair in 1996 in the Lot department, this organization assists people in difficulty to find jobs. AIL 46 allows them to hire vehicles at low cost and thus facilitates their mobility and their travel.Alain Luchez expressed his enthusiasm for this project: "For me Jean-Pierre Clair is someone I enjoy meeting, who has a great project, commitment, results and job creation, in a word everything I like!"
PPR develops a portfolio of high-growth global brands. The Group is present in 75 countries with approximately 78,000 employees. Through its retail businesses Redcats Group, Fnac, Conforama and CFAO, and the Luxury brands of Gucci Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, YSL Beauté, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney), PPR generated sales of EUR 19.8 billion in 2007. In 2007, PPR acquired a majority interest in Puma. PPR shares are listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (# 121485, PRTP.PA, PPFP).
For more information: www.ppr.com
Created in July 2001 by PPR Group, SolidarCité is an association that supports initiatives from its employees to foster solidarity and citizenship. It commits to Entrepreneurship for Education and Inclusion and encourages its employees to participate in this initiative on a volunteer basis.