LE MAT – Special Places, Special People, Special Values A SOCIAL BRAND to mainstream SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP in TOURISM by Renate Goergen – President and brand manager LE MAT EUROPE
Social co-operatives were developed in Italy by social entrepreneurssince the 80ties as a result of the closing process of PsychiatricHospitals, the battling against prisons and for inclusion of peoplewith disabilities or other problems….than social entrepreneurs cameup all over Europe…They work in the general interest of the communities for a moresustainable and inclusive development….they create not only jobs inmany economic sectors and social and democratic capacities formembers and workers and specially for people with lower socialopportunities…
Social entrepreneurs areindividuals with innovativesolutions to society’s mostpressing social problems. They areambitious and persistent, tacklingmajor social issues and offeringnew ideas for wide-scale change.Rather than leaving societal needsto the government or businesssectors, social entrepreneurs findwhat is not working and solve theproblem by changing the system,spreading the solution, andpersuading entire societies to takenew leaps….ASHOKA
The Le Mat SPECIAL people set up social co-operativesbecause they are social entrepreneurs, love collective ownedand community shared businesses, like a more sustainableand inclusive development, want to do a work they like andhave an equal salary, want to be independent and take theirown decisions…Brussels, the 26° of June 2012
HOW DID IT START?SOME OF US SOME YEAR AGO HAD A NEW IDEA!We wanted to do a job where we could meet new and interesting people
We wanted social entrepreneurship to become more touchable, visible,shareable, traceable, open to everybody, we wanted to attract new people, have new friends and clients and show our abilitiesAnd so we decided to search a Hotel and we found a small and old one owned by a local bank…
IT WAS A HARD BUT EXITING WORK!!!!!! We discovered to be good in welcoming and including people from abroad We discovered that Travellers like SPECIAL PLACES, SPECIAL PEOPLE, SPECIAL VALUES We discovered to be able to tell our stories about socialentrepreneurship, active citizenship, empowerment, recovery We learned to be a SPECIAL PLACE and an INNOVATIVE TOURISTIC PRODUCT!!!!!
Le Mats social entrepreneurs like tourism to be something more thanspending free time and consuming new adventures, more than a specializedindustry.We like tourism as an opportunity to restore communities and landscapes…a tourism able to open minds towards those who are different from us, atourism where you meet people and where you can listen to the thousandsof stories and cultures of a local community and where the local communityis curious to meet, to exchange and to welcome who comes fromabroad, discovering unknown methods, thoughts and actions…
LOGO vs We decided that ACCOGLIENZA and SUSTAINABLE TOURISM had to be our job, our business model! We developed our competences, the organization, the marketing concepts… We knew to be UNIQUE but we had to stabilize our product, the services… We wanted travellers to come back, to guarantee always the sameBELLUNO, 10 febbraio 2012 quality… 11
We developed MANUALS, METHODOLOGIES, WE DISTILLEDour daily practice…. AND ANOTHER IDEA CAME UP!!!!!! OUR BUSINESS MODEL FUNCTIONS! MAYBE IT IS REPEATABLE, IMITABLE??????? COULDN’T there be a HOTEL CHAIN of Social Entrepreneurs WORLDWIDE?????
In 2000 the European Programme EQUAL gave us the chanceto try to realize this big project. We organized an ItalianEuropean partnership and presented:“Albergo in via dei mattinumero 0”, in English LE MAT – decent work through social economyFrom 2001 to 2005 we worked to develop a BRAND,to write the Manuals, to experiment replication in Italy andmaybe in another European country and we learned about franchising developing SOCIAL FRANCHISING
FRANCHISING – SOMETHING NEW FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS!“If somebody uses resources merely “to reinvent the wheel”, it is rightly consideredas a waste. Yet, the systematic replication of projects in the non-profit sector stillremains the exception to the rule. This is understandable - many players in the so-called third sector rightly see themselves as “social change agents” – as an outlet forinnovation. They prefer to focus their energies on the development of newapproaches. Imitating those of others is considered as “not sexy”. The result is onepilot project after the other. Many prototypes, but few replications.The potential gains offered by the scaling up of successful prototypes into otherplaces, have largely been neglected. There are, nevertheless, those exceptions to therule that show the following: Systematic replication with local adaptation not onlyleads to greater efficiency and faster expansion. A well-organised replication processcan lead to intelligent project networks with positive qualitative effects.”Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen
LOGO vs LE MAT ITALY was set up by Social Co- operatives and Social Entrepreneurs in 2005. WE wanted to be owners of our BRANDLE MAT EUROPE - a cooperative based onSWEDISH LAW - was the next step in 2008 AND the replication process towards LE MAT SWEDEN could start!!!! 15
LE MAT today is a sexy brand standing for social entrepreneurship in tourism owned and developed by social entrepreneurs in Europe and can – as a social franchise system – be replicated in a very unique waywherever there are social entrepreneurs who want to imitate it
LOGO vsTHE SOCIAL FRANCHISING PROCESSStep by step by step by step by step by step…..
LE MAT ITALY IS WORKING in ITALY and there are already 19 SPECIAL PLACES offering LE MAT ACCOMODATION and TOURISM PRODUCTS www.lemat.itLE MAT SWEDEN is working in SWEDEN and 3 LE MAT B&Bs are alreadyopen www.lemat.seLE MAT EUROPE is working in UK, BOSNIA &HERZEGOVINA, POLAND, GERMANY, SPAIN……Brussels, the 26° of June 2012
WHAT IS A SPECIAL PLACE LE MAT???? A Hotel, a Hostel, a B&B, a ship, a restaurant….a UNIQUE PLACE, managed by UNIQUE PEOPLE and SPECIAL VALUES!Guests feel to be in middle of social entrepreneurs, their colleagues and friends, theirlocal network: the feel to discover not only traditional tourist sides but a SPECIAL WAY OFLIVE!Travellers find a lot of information not only about thesurroundings but about relationships, the functioningof the co-operative, the costumers etc, a good (equal)and traceable price, no physical, psychical, sensorialand cultural barriers…..The beds are really good, the breakfast is excellent and very nice people give the welcomeThe traveller feels included in the community, as a citizen for a while The quality card of THAT UNIQUE LE MAT and information about all the OTHER LE MAT are available and you can become member of the Travellers’ Association Le Mat!
HOW YOU BECOME A SPECIAL PLACE LE MAT? - You have to want it and to ask it - You read the MANIFESTO LE MAT and we tell you about all the services and advantages there will be in becoming a LE MAT - You are asked to give a self description of your organization and your plans - We agree a visit, we analyse your project (the already existing hotel/hostel or your needs and ideas to open one) - We write a proposal about all the next steps you need to become a LE MAT SPECIAL PLACE and the costs of our consultancies - You agree and we sign the contract TOWARDS BECOMING A LE MAT - At the end of the process you become a LE MAT SPECIAL PLACE, you pay your yearly fee related to the services you want and need and once a year we come and control!If you don’t have the money to restore and/or to pay the training andconsultancy services we help you to find the money!
WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE….Competences and knowhow, Handbooks, a registeredBRAND, already a lot oftravellers, travel agents promotingthe LE MAT TRAVEL PRODUCTS, abusiness model and businessplans, a technical staff ofconsultants…..Some really good partners in Europe,Wonderful workers,And many interesting stories told byTERESA the LE MAT TRAVELLER!http://www.youtube.com/watchv=__fSHw1jT9I&feature=player_embedded
WHAT WE NEED …….SPACE and BUILDINGS:we would like to use the ABANDONEDBUILDINGS (private or public), the propertyof MAFIA and ORGANIZED CRIME, all theCOMMUNITY ASSETS in order to turn themto valueRISK MONEY – CREDITS and START UPCAPITAL:ABANDONED BUILDINGS have to berestored and we need some time in thestart-up period to teach how to become aLe Mat and bring the guests and travellers
WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS:• A SPECIAL PLACE LE MAT in EACH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE• A LE MAT FRANCHISE SYSTEM IN EACH EUROPEAN COUNTRY• A CENTRALIZED BOOKING SYSTEMAT THE MOMENT YOU CAN TRAVEL LE MATALREADY TO: