François Marty, Groupe Chênelet.
A social enterprise that generates employment opportunities in sustainable catering, tourism and hospitality activities and the creation of environmentally friendly buildings, mainly for social housing.
What solution does the innovation propose?

An employment integration programme that trains long-term unemployed people and helps them pursue an employment path in construction and other sectors (such as forestry, sawing, pallet and eco-materials manufacturing and the agri-food industry). As part of its work, Chênelet employs participants to build social housing with high environmental and energy efficiency standards.


François Marty is an Ashoka Fellow (2008).

Impact evidence

  • On average, 40 people are trained on each construction site, with an average duration of 12 months.
  • 800 people have been employed in 17 projects through the Chênelet construction network.
  • The organisation directly employs 250 people, 150 of whom are part of the work reintegration programme.
  • 50% of the 3,000 people trained found full-time employment in traditional companies.
How does it work?

Chênelet runs several job integration and training programmes, including: - ‘The Chênelet construction network’: focusing on the construction of energy efficient social housing intended for low-income families and on training people to work in the sector. - ‘The Chênelet cannery’: providing organic food processing and packaging services, offering training and job integration opportunities. - ‘Integrated wood industry’: manufacturing wood pallets for paper mills. Alongside these ongoing, sector specific programmes, the organisation offers one-off specialised workshops and working-holidays.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
North Pas-de-Calais, France.
Where has been implemented so far
Implemented throughout France and Algeria.
Last updated: 
June 2017