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Social enterprise, Food · France

Sustainability Hero for France in the Community category of SME EnterPRIZE thanks to its inclusive spaces strengthening social cohesion

One of the 5 most recognized communities on social networks worldwide, with over a million members, Wanted is a company whose raison d’être is to provide a place where people can help each other out.

Their objective is to create participative environments where a renewed version of the concept ‘help thy neighbour’ can take root and flourish, stepping in where social services cannot reach.

Wanted’s purpose is to get people together and reveal opportunities to help out on a local level to promote a more inclusive and sustainable society. Wanted makes a concrete contribution by acting as host and manager of digital and physical environments designed exclusively to offer help and promote initiatives in favour of solidarity.

The company tag line? Always solidary, never solitary.

Wanted started off in 2011 as a Facebook support group created by Luc Jaubert in Paris, when Jérémie Ballan, friend and co-founder of the community, posted humorously “Can anyone shed some light?”. Hundreds of hilarious and inspiring replies then led Luc, Jérémie and a third friend Christian Delachet to a veritable lightbulb moment. What the three co-founder friends had discovered was the incredible demand for a chance to simply give a helping hand, the unlimited imagination and resourcefulness of community members, and the real desire of the human spirit to do good.

By 2017, the three friends had resigned their day jobs and by 2018 opened the first and incredibly innovative Wanted café in Bordeaux. This is a place where people can come and unleash their inner hero through a simple, yet brilliant idea: have lunch and while you’re at it, buy a coffee or a meal for someone in need by paying it forward.

“We wanted to get rid of the barriers that stop people in need from enjoying cafés and restaurants”, continues Christian, “and to create a place where people from different cultures, religions and nationalities could come, meet, or simply catch up”.

With their 86 local groups on Facebook, Wanted already counts one million people as members, a number rising by a 100 thousand every year. There are 18 million posts a year that provide help on a daily basis, ranging from simple “good deeds”, such as helping someone move or with DIY requests, to amazing feats of solidarity such as finding meals, jobs and lodgings for people in need.

During the Covid lockdown last year, Wanted launched the RAliment cooperative along with Yes We Camp, Les Grands Voisins, Refugee Food Festival and Linkee as a way to help those most in need, coming to the aid of 880 thousand people. This was achieved through almost 17 thousand volunteer hours and 100 thousand meals prepared, packed and delivered! The teams sourced 50 tons of free food, which otherwise would have gone to waste.

The Wanted cafés are a money-making enterprise, but their business model is far from ordinary; cash coming in from customers ‘buying forward’ meals and drinks for those in need totalled €8000 in 2019. Wanted gives 2% of turnover – not profits – to solidarity initiatives. Among the volunteers that have stepped up and helped, 75% said they had never done anything like it before. Interestingly, 100% of the volunteers reported feeling happy to have helped. We can hear Christian Delachet’s words like little bells: “Our platform helps reveal everyday heroes”.