Flora Joly and Céline Lapeyre are two entrepreneurs from Hérault who have taken up the challenge of transforming the plastic collected on the beaches into eyeglass frames. Accompanied at every stage of their project, they also benefited from financial support.
Based in Pouget in the Hérault, Flora Joly and Céline Lapeyre make eyeglass frames from recycled plastic. 30% of the plastic used was recovered from nature in Occitania by associations and communities, the rest is recycled plastic purchased in France. Their adventure began in 2018. “We had the idea but not the technical skills, remembers Flora Joly. We then turned to the Mines d’Alès incubator where we entered into a partnership with researchers. Two years of research and development later, the technique for making eyeglass frames from recycled plastic is perfected. At the same time, the two entrepreneurs understand that these plastics collected in nature, due to lack of sufficient volume, have difficulty in finding outlets with recycling professionals and are therefore rarely reused. This observation is enough to finalize their project: to produce plastic cups facing the challenge of recycling this plastic micro sector.
Strengthening of equity
“From there, we followed the standard start-up path,” continues Flora Joly. The two entrepreneurs, co-accompanied by the Novel-id pole of Community of municipalities in the Hérault valley, it gave birth to R&D Concept. At the same time, Flora Joly and her associate knocked on the door of the support network of the Cœur d’Hérault Initiative. “They first contacted us in 2018, recalls Sylvie Painvin, the president, but we encouraged them to come back once their project was more mature, at the time of the launch phase. Indeed, it is at this stage that the Cœur d’Hérault Initiative is able to offer financial support through an honor loan in order to strengthen equity. Very often this loan of honor – for a maximum of € 5,000 – is also associated with a loan of an equivalent amount of the public investment bank Bpifrance.
The backing label
To benefit from this honorary loan from the Cœur d’Hérault Initiative, the Flora Joly and Celine Lapeyre he was submitted to a committee made up of three bankers, two chartered accountants and two business executives. These professionals focused on three criteria before deciding: the number of jobs that the project can generate, the coherence of the project with the territory and, finally, the good match between the project and the project leader. “By granting us an honor loan, the committee validated our know-how and our predictions in a way,” says Flora Joly. The approval of this committee is very often used as a sesame with other lenders. “As a bit of a label, the loan of honor reassures the banks most inclined to lend,” confirms Sylvie Painvin. From now on, Flora Joly and her partner continue their entrepreneurial adventure and are interested in the BtoB market. “Our glasses can be perfect corporate gifts, responsible, with a real social and ecological commitment. With our know-how in manufacturing recycled plastic cups, we could also imagine transferring it to other waste, even without a recycling solution. “