Talents des Cités

A competition that encourages urban initiatives

Launched by the French Ministry for Cities and the French Senate, and organized in conjunction with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and BGE (the Boutiques de Gestion business startup agency), Talents des Cités (Inner City Talents) is a flagship program for inner city communities. This annual competition is held to recognize the work done by men and women who create new businesses in priority urban neighborhoods, thereby making their contribution to economic growth, long-term sustainable employment and job creation.

ENGIE has partnered the awards since their introduction in 2002, and every year sponsors a young entrepreneur who has created or developed a business in one of the industry sectors served by the Group or in an area consistent with its own CSR initiatives.

The 2013 winner

As a former professional soccer player, it was only natural that Karim Boukraa should focus on the sport when he founded the Deïzo Academy in February. This non-profit association puts sport at the heart of education to promote the social and employment inclusion of young people in the inner city neighborhood of northern Le Havre through a range of activities, from sports training to visits to other countries.

The 2012 winner

Masters graduate in the Solidarity Economy Martin Douçot set up ‘Etre mobile, c’est permis !’ in 2010: this non-profit driving school offers disadvantaged groups appropriately structured lessons and innovative solutions for funding them. Based in Papus, this driving school takes the view that a driver’s license offers people a route into society and the world of work.

The 2011 winner

30-year-old Linda Senoussaoui lives in Marseille, and in September 2011 opened a community center in the city’s fast-developing La Joliette neighborhood. This is the first non-residential community center in France to receive multi-company support, and is open to all local residents with the aim of improving working conditions and supporting family life.

The 2010 winner

The 2010 prizewinner Adamas Ly was 29 when he created the E2CO company near Bordeaux. E2CO uses a range of different technologies to deliver a uniquely innovative solution that measures and improves home energy consumption. Electricity savings of up to 30% can be achieved, cutting bills and helping to reduce the world’s carbon footprint.

The 2009 winner

In 2009, Daouda Sanogo set up a business to collect and recycle non-hazardous waste (household electrical appliances and electronics) via local authorities and companies to ensure that this type of waste is recycled in approved centers (SE and VE centers). His career is an example to others: Daouda Sanogo started work as a waste sorting information officer before becoming team leader, and later selective collection coordinator for urban waste collection. He was ultimately recruited as a deputy manager. Since 2009, his company has expanded internationally, especially in Africa.