Opened in 2008, it is the hub for innovative and responsible business
Paris, Canal St Martin. The place for social innovation in France is here, on the banks of the canal, in a vast magnificent 700 m2 open space recently ecologically renovated.
La Ruche, which translates as “The Beehive” is “a space for collaborative work for social entrepreneurs, dedicated to social innovation”. It is a place where social entrepreneurs can get inspired, meet other innovators and teach each other, building common answers in the field of social innovation. Social entrepreneurs who want to be part of the community have to join La Ruche’s participative culture.
La Ruche was born in 2007 on the initiative of some social entrepreneurs who could not find a space similar to them where they could work together. They then decided to create an answer to their need, that was the result of a practical cooperation between all of them . Charlotte Hochman came back to France after eight years abroad where she participated to such spaces, especially in London where she learned from the experience of The Hub. She wanted to reproduce the concept, adapting it to the local eco-system of social entrepreneurship, still very emergent. She met very soon Arnaud Mourot, director of Ashoka France, who decided to participate to the adventure , Aymeric Marmorat, director of Entrepreneurs Sans Frontières and Abdellah Aboulharjan, then director of Jeunes Entrepreneurs de France, who also became co founders. INSEAD and ESSEC then join the team of the four co-founders. So La Ruche was born – at least in paper. It was opened in May 2008.
In order to be admitted to La Ruche social entrepreneurs have to meet some criteria: social innovation, dimension (preferred solutions are the ones that involve the largest number of people), transparency and economic potential.
La Ruche is an eco-conceived open-space that can welcome 80 full-time entrepreneurs and 30 part-time entrepreneurs. The first correspond to the “Residents” formula, whereas the seconds to the “Pied-à-terre”. There is also the “Butineurs” formula, entrepreneurs who don’t have a workplace but who can participate to common activities.