The De Medici Project: an opportunity for professional empowerment


The projects of the Ecosystem Fund reinvent the retail business in favour of a more inclusive economy through the experimentation of new models. Thus Danone develops its penetration in lower-income populations: that can only be done through the employment of a sales force from the same social classes, with a real ambition of professional empowerment.


Reblogged from Danone Ecosystem:

Retail careers offer a variety of opportunities for an effective professional reintegration. In Italy, over-50s who have been out of employment for a long time are especially excluded from returning to the labour market. The social cooperative Spazio Aperto and Mellin (Danone baby nutrition subsidiary in Italy) have developed a social business model with the De Medici project, which gives these senior citizens a second chance by enabling them to work as merchandisers. The merchandising activity, which is the basis of this type of project, fulfils a strategic need for many fast moving consumer goods businesses (FMCG): in territories where retail is highly fragmented and points of sales numerous and hard to reach, the merchandisers play a key role of optimization and valorisation of the products.

According to Andrea Ripamonti, Chairman of Spazio Aperto,

for these people and their families, losing their jobs is a tragedy, which it is hard to bounce back from.

De Medici helps to put them back on the path of work, and promotes a sustainable social reintegration.

Mellin has received the “Sodalitas Social Award” and is now recognised as a socially committed company, thanks to this innovative project that promotes the empowerment of excluded populations, while strengthening the companies that benefit from these merchandising services. “Economic effectiveness and social benefits are key” to the success of such a project, stresses Alejandro Pinillos, General Manager of Mellin. After Pernod-Ricard in late 2011, other companies are expected to join the project very soon.