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Dream Act: For the responsible consumer

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“As consumers, we need to make conscious choices, to know that selecting a €3 t-shirt has hidden consequences,” says Diane Scemama, co-founder of Dream Act. “Behind each product, there’s the raw materials, production line, manufacturing, shipping, and workers. Ultimately, this one simple act can potentially have huge repercussions. Our goal is to make sure that people are aware of that”.

Dream Act is a social enterprise promoting responsible and sustainable commerce through its online platform. “We offer ecological and fair alternatives to everyday consumer goods. We find local artisans, small emerging brands and retailers that sell innovative and environmentally friendly products and are committed to tackling social and environmental issues; we provide a platform where they are given visibility and a one-stop marketplace to reach consumers”. The company operates via two channels: as a marketplace selling 35,000 products from over 1000 brands to more than 30,000 clients and as a local B2B platform helping 500 businesses with their marketing and sales.

Already as students Diane and Claire Chouraqui, her co-founder, knew that they wanted to do something purposeful, improve the way we consume, make it more ethical, transparent, and respectful of people and nature. In 2015, it all fell into place when, after a fieldwork trip to India and Peru, they created Dream Act. “It was like the last piece of our puzzle,” Diane says. The company’s fundamental objective is to develop the social and solidarity economy and help create a model of sustainable, less wasteful and fair society. “Our artisans have one thing in common: they all have that dream to change things, address a socio-environmental problem. We help them turn this into a reality: Dream and Act.”

Finding the right financing partner as a social enterprise is vital. The two founders turned to La NeF for an EU-guaranteed loan backed by the EIF to develop the platform. The loan helped professionalise and develop the website, expand the existing offer to professional clients, and create 10 jobs. “Five new brands per month now join us and our B2B pro platform is growing by 30% per year,” says Diane proudly. “We are definitely seeing a change in consumer attitudes. It has become more mainstream to be conscious of sustainability and ethics.  Our job is to keep supporting the local economy and demand transparency from brands, so that more people can make informed eco-responsible choices.”

Location: Montreuil, Ile-de-France
Financial Intermediary: LaNef
SME: Dream Act
Sector: e-commerce; social enterprise
Number of employees: 15
Job creation: +/- 10
Financing purpose: platform development
EU financing: EaSI Guarantee Facility Instrument (social entrepreneurship)

 

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