Revivifying regions

In France, revivifying forgotten regions

Granting access to local services, fostering social cohesion, encouraging civic involvement: our ambition is to build solutions to develop and improve local life. We are committed to helping bridge the regional divide and are especially mindful of rural areas and priority neighbourhoods.

Whether it’s setting up, taking over premises, supporting and assisting initiatives or creating digital tools, we’re developing approaches tailored to the needs of each local community. These solutions are aimed at residents and involve them in developing answers that are relevant to them.

Revivifying France’s rural villages

Far from being a uniform landscape, rural areas vary greatly in terms of their economic, social and demographic situations. Nevertheless, these areas are facing some major common trends: a feeling of being abandoned, shared by 51% of French people, which is often related to the loss of basic services and places to socialise. Our 1000 cafés initiative aims to open or take over cafés in towns with fewer than 3,500 inhabitants that no longer have a café or are in danger of losing one.

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Developing the entrepreneurial fabric of each region

Since 2010, Geolink Expansion has been connecting and supporting regions and private entrepreneurs to promote their economic development and generate lasting positive impacts. Growing steadily since its creation, the group guides more than 10,000 business driven projects each year to establish, innovate and experiment in more than 80 urban and rural areas.

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Promoting local life

Simple Maps is an app that lets you rediscover the rich cultural and natural heritage of a region as well as the know-how and products of local craftsmen, shopkeepers and producers. It lists local players to help you give new meaning to a sustainable and responsible approach to consumption and gives you the chance to get involved as a true citizen.

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Training youths in priority urban neighbourhoods

In priority urban neighbourhoods, many young people find themselves without a job, an education, or some sort of training because they cannot adapt to the school system. That’s why we’ve decided to launch PrépApp, a first step towards a return to the world of education and work. This programme is free of charge, located as close as possible to the neighbourhoods and introduces young people to the work of nursing assistant or social worker, with the aim of giving them the opportunity to get a block release contract.

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Boosting citizen involvement in local life

Hacktiv develops platforms in partnership with local communities that want to promote citizen involvement and give everyone the opportunity to take action in their area. The white-label platforms developed by Hacktiv bring together local players, strengthen participatory democracy, and enable the co-construction of local communities.

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Reopening vacant shops

In partnership with Le Bon Coin, Auxilia consulting is organising a business start-up contest with the aim of revivifying small town centres: “Mon centre-bourg a un incroyable commerce” (“My town centre has an amazing business”). It places town centre shops and crafts, especially independent businesses, at the heart of local economic development. The programme encourages entrepreneurs to test their concept during a 36-hour creative marathon, and brings together local public and private players, owners of vacant premises and residents.

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Promoting social and work integration through inclusive transport

43% of French people are still struggling to get around due to a lack of transport. Wimoov enables the co-construction of local solutions by developing transport platforms as close as possible to the needs of residents, including in rural areas. Acting as an interface for all local transport services, these platforms provide support to more than 11,000 people a year, including people in work integration schemes, people with disabilities and senior citizens.

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The elderly: staying at home and in their own area 

In rural and coastal areas, the Observatoire des Territoires (Regional Observatory) reports a proportionally older population than in other regions. Yet a large majority of these people want to be able to stay in their own village and home, both sometimes isolated and ill-suited to a loss of independence. Groupe SOS Seniors manages 111 facilities and services, including 70 nursing homes (EHPAD) and 10 independent living residences (Résidences Autonomie) and retirement homes (MARPA), and is also developing inclusive housing solutions for the social housing stock in cooperation with landlords. 

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Promoting access to quality healthcare for all

It is becoming increasingly difficult for people of rural areas to access healthcare because of a chronic lack of GPs. 

Mobilising hospitals to better meet local needs 

To provide access to GPs outside and around the hospital, the Le Creusot Hospital (Saône-et-Loire) is offering a number of medical posts alternating between in-hospital and out-of-hospital practice. This means that several hospital doctors devote 3 days a week to community medicine. This arrangement could be extended to other hospitals and health facilities. 

In addition, Château-Salins Hospital (Moselle), which is in the process of obtaining the “local hospital” label, is setting up:  

  • A health centre within the hospital, managed by the hospital, allowing independent doctors to access an imaging centre and specialist consultations. 
  • Setting up admission channels with several nursing homes. 
  • Working with the local health professional community (CPTS) to roll out shared projects between local and hospital medicine: for instance, this has led to the opening of a Covid vaccination centre within the hospital. 
  • Opening rehabilitation rooms to out-of-hospital patients, for instance for prescription sports. 


Mobilising multi-professional teams to reach out to local residents in the PACA region

In a region marked by sharp contrasts between high living standards and extreme poverty, and by the divide between coastal areas and the hinterland, Groupe SOS Solidarités coordinates: 

  • A multi-professional mobile team to carry out medical-social interventions to reduce the risks associated with excessive drug use, in conjunction with local partner structures (health centres, regional support platforms, independent health professionals, the police, etc.). 
  • Outreach to people in vulnerable situations who do not have access to institutional or non-profit support services, due to lack of information, the digital divide, geographical isolation, etc.