On March 5, 2015, LVMH celebrated the second graduating class of its LVMH RISE (Results in Social Entrepreneurship) program, an ambitious, groundbreaking skills development initiative that pairs internal talents with social entrepreneurs. During an emotion-packed day, the tandems who had completed their training shared the very tangible results that had been achieved over a very enriching year. Their enthusiasm provides fitting inspiration for the third generation of RISE participants.
A women’s leather goods product manager at Fendi, Anita never tires of vaunting the merits of the business plan La Mia Pelle, a social enterprise that makes cosmetics and hires people seeking to regain a foothold in society, as well as people with disabilities. A member of the second LVMH RISE graduating class, she’s acquired an amazing amount of knowledge about the sector, analyzing the market, preparing marketing studies and studying the distribution chain. “Carlo and Francesco, who founded La Mia Pelle, opened all the doors for me. We worked closely together to determine whether the company was ready to sell directly to consumers.” Their in-depth market study showed that it was still a bit too early, but the time will come. “It’s not a setback at all! And personally, this has been a tremendously enriching experience. I discovered that I’m capable of leading a team, including in an area where I was out of my comfort zone.”
Thriving outside the comfort zone was also a key part of the experience for Stefanie, Louis Vuitton’s zone manager for Canada. She teamed with Sarah and Elton, founders of EllieFunDay, a social enterprise that makes baby blankets in a factory staffed by marginalized women in India. “I learned a lot about myself as part of this LVMH RISE tandem. I understood that you can be efficient and have an impact even when you don’t have an answer to every question.” Stefanie was especially excited to learn that Fereshteh, who works on her team as a store manager in Vancouver, will be joining the next LVMH RISE class. “Fereshteh and I have a lot in common, we both like to be in control. With RISE, she’ll discover that sometimes you can’t control everything. I know she’ll find this adventure extremely rewarding, just as I did.”
This win-win approach helps participants develop true entrepreneurial spirit, discover a new set of skills, deal with situations that are not always crystal clear and engage with environments quite different from their day-to-day work. The third class of around 15 people is set to embark on their own LVMH RISE adventure with considerable enthusiasm.
Fereshteh is looking forward to a particularly enriching professional and personal experience. “There aren’t any clearly identified KPIs, and yet all the tandems end up with tangible results after a year. I can’t wait to sit down and start working with my social entrepreneur!”