Groupe La Varappe

Laurent Laïk
Job insertion model for people with low professional qualifications, focused on the opportunities of the green economy. It has a group of several companies in this sector enabling them to maximise social impact.
What solution does the innovation propose?

Help the long-term unemployed to improve their vocational skills, to gain access to a genuine trade within the group, and then to find steady work in a similar industry. La Varappe’s projects are designed around environmental issues. One of the most recent is Homeblok: used shipping containers are recycled to build social housing.
Combining economic, social and environmental performance is a bold but successful gamble for La Varappe Group.


Laurent Laïk awarded Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by Schwab Foundation (2011).

Impact evidence

  • More than 19 years operating.
  • The company's sales and net profit have quadrupled in the last five years, and they have consistently trained and assisted more than 100 people annually to secure long-term employment.
  • 15 million euros in revenue in 2014.
  • 500 full-time equivalent employees, including 400 in work re-integration programmes.
  • 350 former participants now have permanent jobs.
  • 85% of Groupe La Varappe’s income comes from the sale of its services.
How does it work?

The group focuses on 3 sectors via a number of organizations: Temporary employment (Eureka); the environment (LVD Environnement); and the construction sector (LVD Energie). LVD Energie recycles old shipping containers into comfortable housing for disadvantaged individuals.
Eureka uses its six agencies based in the south of France to focus on finding temporary employment for people with minimal qualifications. Many succeed in getting short-term contracts as painters, drivers, masons and in other professions.
LVD Environnement focuses on three environmental areas: construction and green spaces, waste, and renewable energies. In renewable energies, the group intends to double its current activity through its work on a new large construction site. It is also developing an environmental self-service for companies and individuals. This activity proposes painting or plumbing services for the home, gardening and installing different types of renewable energy systems.
Since 2010, Groupe La Varappe has created a think tank charged with mapping out projects for the future development of the group, as well as new social programmes at the national level. One project being the transformation of shipping containers into low-cost houses for students and poor people. Groupe La Varappe also manages a camp of Romani people in the city of Aubagne.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
Aubagne, Francia.
Where has been implemented so far
Six locations throughout the south of France.