STATEMENT made on 28. 03. 2017 on Les Echos Start
Armed with a business school diploma, Solène Gondrexon, 25 years of age, decided to start working for a social enterprise NGO. Today she is Project Manager for ATE Co, the access to energy programme set up by Entrepreneurs du Monde in the Philippines. Delighted, she has absolutely no regrets!
"My taste for entrepreneurship stems from my temperament: inquisitive, and with a range of interests, I have always wanted to do unusual things. I chose to attend the Neoma business school, on the Rouen campus, for its dynamism in entrepreneurship. I gradually gravitated towards social entrepreneurship.
During my studies, I gained experience in large groups, then in startups in France and abroad. In this way I found out about social entrepreneurship projects and met their founders, who were a great inspiration to me. The thing I like about entrepreneurship is its adventurous side, the risk-taking.
Working in Manila, bringing light to the poorest people
Upon gaining my diploma (with an ‘entrepreneurship’ specialism) I decided to join Entrepreneurs du Monde, the NGO which incubates social enterprises in developing countries. Today I am in charge of their access to energy programme in Manila in the Philippines.
Over there, a hugev part of the population is housed in slums which are very densely populated, with no running water or electricity. We give them access to solar lamps which provide good quality, safe lighting, unlike candles and kerosene lamps which can cause serious burns and fires.
An innovative social business
We are currently creating an innovative and sustainable social business: a leasing system which enables families to acquire a lamp with no need for an initial financial investment (which would be impossible for them). We install a solar lamp and a meter in their homes, and they then pay for the equipment as they use it, eventually taking ownership of it. After seven months, it feels as if, on a daily basis, I were managing a startup whose clients are the families from the slums of Manila."