Today we have four employees, some interns and support 15 families thanks to the activity of our collectors
Ghaees, a 33-year-old Syrian refugee, launched Kaoukab, a company that collects metal objects and household appliances on demand directly at home via an app, enabling marginalised people to become self-employed entrepreneurs.
"I had already been very attracted to entrepreneurship for years, in Syria and then also in Turkey, before arriving in France. I started giving Arabic language lessons in exchange for French and from there I obtained the status to stay in France. During these years, I came into contact with Singa, but my project at the time was not yet mature. Then, after participating in La Ruche's incubation programme for several months, I managed to develop my network of contacts and obtain substantial financial support (30,000 euros) to professionally develop my metal collection application.
I launched Kaoukab at the end of 2017 to collect, on-demand and for free, via our app, metal objects and small appliances directly from companies or individuals. And I had the idea to rely on a network of marginalised people as metal collectors, convincing people of Roma ethnicity to set up their own professional collection business. To do this, I proposed to them to change their lives by starting an official business, which would benefit their lives and the lives of their families.
Singa and La Ruche helped me a lot, thanks to the network of contacts, the constructive view they gave me of my business and of course the funding. But beyond that, they gave me visibility and opportunities thanks to the exchanges with the incubator's partners, starting with Generali, with whom we negotiated an initial contract for the collection of their metal and metal/electronic waste. This contract was a turning point for the credibility and acceleration of my business. I am in regular contact with them: it feels like family.
Today we have four employees, some interns and three partners, and we have created a network of about 15 self-employed collectors. We have won several awards for innovation. Our turnover is several hundred thousand euros. With our scrap metal storage project in cooperation with Suez, which is open to Kaoukab collectors and private individuals, we plan to develop our business further. Our ambition is to collect and process more than 100 tonnes of scrap metal per month and, why not, to export our concept outside the Paris area. We are testing in Nantes and Perpignan'.
Ghaees, a 33-year-old Syrian refugee who arrived in France in 2015, was incubated by both SINGA and La Ruche in Paris. The support he received allowed him to develop a network of contacts, refine his idea and obtain substantial financial support to launch his business with a dedicated professional-level app. In 2017, he launched Kaoukab, a company that collects on-demand metal objects and household appliances directly at home via an app, enabling marginalised people to become self-employed entrepreneurs.