A network of
socially-conscious digital factories
Simplon.co is a network of social digital factories that offer free, intensive courses in digital professions in France and abroad.
At the heart of Simplon.co’s work are courses in technical digital skills and hard-to-fill occupations for people alienated from work with a goal of male/female parity as well as for employees in need of reskilling or upskilling. We firmly believe that digital transformation is a powerful vehicle for social innovation and that it can enable those who struggle to access training and/or the job market, to become the talents of tomorrow, by finding a job or becoming an entrepreneur. There are several ways to deploy abroad, depending on local market needs and situations. We can either decide to opened factories directly in the country or we can choose to rely on existing local organizations, in the form of a social franchise or knowledge partnership.
Simplonians in the world
Factories opened in France and abroad
Of positive outcomes
We are a socially-conscious business with strong commitments in terms of limited profitability, participating governance, and wage differentials .
We are part of the social economy network in France. More specifically, we are involved in solidarity projects with other cooperatives and organisations, such as Emmaus or MedNum. Our ecosystem also includes : Ashoka (membership within their network since 2015), la Grande Ecole du Numérique, of which we are the largest labeled network, La France S’Engage (as winners of the first promotion in 2014), and Mouves and France Eco Sociale Tech (FEST).
Simplon.co also joined in 2020 the United Nations Global Compact.
Simplon is certified via the Lucie 26 000 Label, a guarantee of our commitment to Social Responsibility.
Created in April 2015, Simplon.Prod designs and develops digital tools for solidarity projects.
Resolution inscribed in the DNA of Simplon.co, it supports associations, inclusive project stakeholders, and NGOs in their development and digitalisation.
The Simplon Foundation Endowment Fund, created in 2019, is both a collector and a redistributor.
It enables the funding of pilots and accelerates the promotion of inclusive digital.
The great Simplon adventure began in 2013 with Frédéric Bardeau, Andrei Vladescu-Olt, and Erwan Kezzar. Inspired by the first bootcamps popping up all over Silicon Valley, they dreamed of a more inclusive, French version of this model with recruits from different backgrounds and parts of the world. The factory in Montreuil, France was quickly acquired and refurbished, and the first cohort - uniting 30 people from 17 nationalities - began in October.
Simplon began developing outside of Montreuil, and factories quickly began being established across France. Priority was given to factories in rural areas thanks to a successful first round of financing and investing. Simplon was then authorized to issue the Professional Qualification Certificate, “New Technology Developer”. At the same time, Simplon expanded its activities with the creation of Simplon Prod, the socially-conscious digital manufacturing workshop for ESS shareholders, and the Simplon foundation, its philanthropic branch accommodated by Face.
2016-2017 marked the beginning of our international development. After the opening of our factory in Romania in 2014, we then chose to expand to Belgium, Lebanon, the Ivory Coast, and South Africa. Shortly after, France Active (via SIFA), la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), Phitrust, INCO, Aviva, Crédit Coopératif (via ESFIN), Amundi, and Mirova became Simplon’s financial partners. With our new partners, we expanded our activities and began doubling our workforce.
Less than two years after fundraising over 4.75 million euros and on its 6th anniversary, Simplon.co raised another 12 million euros from its pool of investors in the social and solidarity economy (ESS) to continue growing its social impact in France and abroad. Over the last two years, driven by a constant and growing need for digital skills, Simplon.co has quadrupled its social impact and has trained nearly 6,200 people worldwide in digital skills with a 73% rate of positive outcomes 6 months after training. In 2019, Simplon.co has 97 factories, including 20 abroad.
In 2020, the Simplon network continues to grow and take root. In Europe, Simplon partners’ pursue their development and opening of new factories powered by Simplon in several cities. In Africa, four new countries opened early 2020: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Mali. In India, after a first pilot project in Mumbai and Pune, Simplon currently develop further its actions in several Indian states. Simplon explores new opportunities across the world in countries where digital skills are in demand, such as South America and Australia.
Simplon's network of factories
The Simplon Pedagogy
At Simplon, we aim to engage our students as much as possible in their training and to encourage them to take active responsibility for their learning, thanks to a specific pedagogical approach. For learn more, watch this introductory video of the Simplon Pedagogy