Les Cafés Joyeux (Happy Coffee Houses), where 70% of the employees have Down’s syndrome or cognitive disorders, has been awarded the social entrepreneurship prize by the Boston Consulting Group in France in 2022!
The founder’s idea is clear: to make disability visible and encourage encounters. To do this, he wants to employ and train 70% of “happy crew members”, most of whom have Down’s syndrome or cognitive disorders such as autism, all of whom are supervised by managers and supervisors he calls “skippers”.
The first “Café Joyeux” opened in 2017, in the centre of Rennes, the second one a year later, in Paris, and then six others, including the one on the Champs-Élysées, inaugurated in 2020 in the presence of the presidential couple, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron, a few days before the lock-down. Despite this blow, development continues, including in Lisbon (Portugal).
“It is not an adapted company, nor an ESAT (establishment and service of help through work) but an ordinary company”, insists the entrepreneur-founder. “We have even invented the first general interest company,” he adds. Indeed, another singularity: this company, with a turnover of 4 million euros, does not belong to its founder but is wholly owned by an endowment fund whose raison d’être is inclusion. Its sole aim is to reinvest all profits in the opening of new addresses and products, employment or training.
To know more about it : https://www.cafejoyeux.com/en/