Rue Rangoli, a project to combine the fight against exclusion with sustainable development!
I am Patricia Lavocat , a Business Developer, and I started working to improve solidarity values and international cooperation. I started off in an NGO and later moved to a large bank where I initiated microfinance banking networks in several countries in Africa and Asia.
I traveled across Africa and Asia for over 20 years, I met many people, especially the most disadvantaged and passionate men and women who were animated by the same values. Ethics and solidarity. They have chosen to put their skills at the service of the fragile populations and to fight on a daily basis to preserve our planet. It was from these encounters that Rue Rangoli was born.
Personally, for 20 years I have been involved in a humanitarian association that supports a primary school in Niger to promote access to girls’ education in Niger, the poorest country in the world. I believe that access to education remains one of the keys to development in the South.
To thank me for my involvement, I was appointed knight of the national order of merit.
What is “Rue Rangoli” about?
Rangoli is a very ancient ephemeral art in India. Every morning, using rice flour, the women draw something on the threshold of the house to welcome and ensure the protection of the house. Fruits of their creativity, these drawings nourish the animals on the street and thus honor all living beings.
It is this humanist vision that Rue Rangoli wishes to make loud and clear in order to combine the struggle against exclusion with sustainable development.
How? Rue Rangoli distributes chic solidarity and ecological products that tell beautiful stories and sublimated by craftsmen, true artists from disadvantaged backgrounds.
We sell our products through an online store: www.rue-rangoli.com and ephemeral shops.
Why did you choose the HEC Incubator?
For its excellence, its programs for women social impact entrepreneurs and its operational expertise.
What can the HEC Incubator bring you?
It can boost the project and help me move on to a higher stage. It will bring me synergies with other projects supported by the incubator and visibility to allow me to expand my customer base and network, change scales and make the project viable. It can help me achieve my goal of becoming a leader in this market in France.
What links do you have with the Alumni HEC Paris network?
I belong to the network HEC Stand Up, women involved in business projects, with great meetings and exchanges.
What is the best advice you have received at the HEC Incubator?
From the beginning, I received a lot of advice during the rush week: on how to improve my communication and the enhancement of my products on the website and my communication supports to highlight my difference. The main advice is to put the product in parallel with the story that it tells with visuals more than text. For example a picture of the material used to make the product, a photograph of the people making it and the final product.
An anecdote that goes in this direction: during the rush week, to present Rue Rangoli, I systematically showed examples of products because my interlocutors had difficulty concretely identifying my activity when I evoked the barbaric term “upcycling solidaire” or “Even design and solidarity recycling”. Whenever I showed my products, I discovered that my interlocutors had the same astonishment I had when discovering these products. At the end of the rush week during a workshop, one of the speakers asked the candidates to introduce one of his neighbors. One of the participants said, pointing to “she in her bag, she has a notebook in elephant dung, a tablet cover on a tire” and was able to describe my activity, he did not remember my name and it is unimportant because it has been able to identify me differently and got the essential bits.
What could you bring to the incubator community?
My experience, my knowledge of international affairs and my different network!