Le Baudet Cévenol
Please, help us to create jobs for Seniors and younger while improving the quality of life and attractivity of our region, Gard, south of France.
Le Baudet Cévenol
This project was initiated through discussions between friends having in common both significant professional experience, and being unemployed.
Often regarded as too old for hiring while still feeling young enough to create, we researched our region, Gard (south of France), for possibilities.
Tourism is one of the main resources of Gard, but while seaside tourism is very well developed, rural tourism still has a slightly artisanal character.
The Tourist Office in the Cevennes ‘motto: "The Cevennes, an archipelago of worlds apart! " describes the problem very well! Who says archipelago says needs for links between the islands!
We, therefore, developed a daily shuttle system from campsites and B&B to discover our terroir, its winemakers, craftsmen, typical localities as well as local meals for a reasonable price.
But that covered only a few months per annum so we researched further to find out that transportation companies, to maximize their profits or fight against competition through economy of scale, totally dropped a segment of the market, the transportation of small groups.
It gave us ideas and a lot of trouble, but, in the end, a project: "Le Baudet Cévenol" (a Baudet is a donkey!!), which would not only allow us a permanent activity but also to offer others a job!
We developed and combined two market studies:
"Gard, the day-to-day unexpected " for seasonal activities, a market of 3,200,000 overnight stays in campsites excluding seaside (source: Chamber of Commerce Nîmes / Alès 2013);
"Gard, the day-today proximity" covering regular activities, an annual market of at least 2,500,000 travelers (source: General Commissariat for Sustainable Development of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy);
With the following:
Purpose: Passengers' transportation service associated with other activities.
Organization: 2 small 8 passenger seats buses (minibus); one founder as driver at least the first year plus one additional driver on permanent contract. The other founder in administrative / commercial duties, initially on 70% basis.
For summer time, 4 additional employees on seasonal contracts thus an equivalent full-time basis of 5.29 jobs for the first year.
Summer: excursions of about 6 hours 45 € / person with three (3) alternatives: Gastronomic: a vineyard / olive grove / etc ... + cellar / facilities + meal
Discovery: a craftsman and a craft + meal
Outdoors: a lake / a river + meal
Winter: About 6 hours of snow in one of the 7 nearby ski resorts 30 € / person
€ FINAUDS (€ smarts) : round trips to the Spanish border - 25% savings on shopping 55 € / person
CARPE DIEM: 2 to 3 hours of well-being in thermal baths 45 € / person
YES OUI CANNE: one day trips (180 km A-R, meals included) for associations and groups of Pensioners 45 € / person
VARIOUS: transport for sports groups, associations, other ... 30 € / person
A FEW WORDS ABOUT US
In my case, information are available in my profile. What I could add are my reasons and the first is that although I spent all my life abroad, I love this country even if it's a real mess but also and mostly, my old mother slowly finish her days in Alès and I want to take care of her.
More generally, "there are no stupid jobs, only stupid people" (as we say in French) so as I’m too young to remain idle, too experienced and therefore too expensive for many, I have no choice!
Last I am horrified by the waste of all these skills dropped on the ground of age and aghast by our education system that leaves behind at least 10,000 NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) young people per annum for our region alone!
Enough about me, there is another element in our team, a decisive one.
It’s a She who brings a management experience in France that perfectly complements my skills and a character as "developed" as mine.
Marie-Dominique will soon be 51 years old with a pretty well filled in life comprising 6 years as a manager in mass distribution followed by more than 20 years in the field of pastry-chocolate-bakery, 3/4th of which as General Manager. Do I have to specify that there were several production and sales sites with all the corresponding staff.
This didn’t stop her from conceiving and educating 3 kids including twins and this is not, as you certainly knows ladies, always that easy!
She doesn’t speak much, but when she does, few aren’t saying "yes, boss"
If 2018 meets our minimum expectations and we are very cautious, 2019 will see a doubling of our fleet and jobs with part of previous year’ seasonal workers hired on permanent basis thus bringing the total of permanent contracts to 8 and seasonal workers (old and new) to 12, a full-time equivalence of 12.78.
Subsequently we’ll pursue our development in Gard and, gradually, neighboring departments.
DETAILS for those who want to go further
Seasonal activities: Regarding our summer activities, we enjoy the support of the Departmental Tourist Reservation Agency of Gard (ADRT30), an offshoot from the General Council of Gard.
In summer: GARD A VOUS (Gard for you):
Cevennes are offering a plethora of possibilities but rarely any unicity of places or action, therefore connecting shuttles between camping and these sites is the sole solution to discover our terroir unless being ready to drive on our roads!
If we associate with each of these outings a typical lunch and tasting of local products then we have Le Baudet Cévenol!
Our programs, all of them are priced at 45 € / person:
Gastronomic: Vineyard / Olive grove / ... + Cellar + lunch
This program is organized around a winery and its vineyards or olive groves or … and aims to help discovering our culinary specialties. It includes visit of the vineyard (or olive grove or…), cellar visit and facilities, tasting, lunch then return.
Discovery: Craftmanship + lunch.
This program combines the discovery of a typically regional or original artisanal activity with local meal. It breaks down in visit of a workshop with the craftsman, lunch on site or nearby, then back.
Outdoor Activities: Essentially Nautical Recreation + lunch
This program is essentially designed to allow you to enjoy water activities without minimum 2 hours traffic jams to get to the Mediterranean’ beaches.
It consists in the discovery of lakes, reservoirs and riverbanks whose access are often too poorly indicated to be noticed. Like the others, this program includes a meal.
Cultural: Village / History/People + lunch + Tasting.
This program will be developed later. In partnership with local towns, it will allow the discovery of local history and their inhabitants. It will include the visit of the places, discussions with inhabitants, their stories together with a meal and tasting of local products.
By the way, here are some of our specialties you’ll discover during your lunches with us:
In winter: SK'P NEIGE (Escape Snow):
A program based on the fact that within a radius of 150 km around Alès / Nîmes there are 7 ski resorts but without public transport. In addition, in Gard, winter tires are often an option!
So, for all those who cannot afford a car or have snow tires we intend to organize, from Alès and Nîmes, with possible intermediate stops, a shuttle service (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday) to these stations, January to March depending on snow conditions. This program will start in 2019.
The cost per person will be 30 € / person.
Regular activities: There will be 4 with
€ FINAUDS (€ smarts): Our people, with their 1504 € of average monthly income, are in the lowest quartile of French income (only 83rd out of 96 regions) BUT they have an advantage, we are close to Spain and its generally lower prices (~ 25%).
We therefore intend to organize regular trips to the Spanish border for € 55 / person with a frequency of 3 trips per week, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, throughout the year except July and August.
The month of December will see rotations double. The period from January to March will allow to take advantage of the Spanish special sales.
If you look for more accurate France-Spain comparisons for food, clothing, other ... prices, here is a link on one of the many existing comparators:
Some could blame us for acting against local businesses! This might be true on the short term and for large supermarkets BUT when the poverty rate is 20.3% and the unemployment one for 15-64-year-olds is 17.4%, any saving is good to take.
In addition, basic necessities being a little better covered, many will be able to redirect their resources towards more sustainable purchases thus beneficial locally in the medium and long term.
As an indication, we are' nt the cheapest, some Companies’ Committees organize, time to time, trip to Spain for approx. 30 €/person for their employees and families. The difference with us is that you won’t have to leave at 06:00 and return at 21:00 nor wait for the goodwill of a CC!
Gard enjoy a thermal center located in the vicinity of Alès, Allègre-les-Fumades.
Traditionally Spa activities are associated with the notions of care and often luxury. The reality is that many benefits are within the reach of most households.
In collaboration with SOGATHERM (Society Gardoise of Thermalism) we elaborated basis for a cooperation in order to develop, within local population, an increased interest and thus demand for these activities and in particular balneotherapy (sauna, spa, ...) and body care (massage, ...) through a combined transport and care package (3 hours) at a price of 45 € per person.
The periodicity will be 3 sessions per week.
Small bonus, if you feel hungry after that, there is also a nougat factory in Les Fumades!
FYG, the cheapest package of Les Fumades is 39 € when we propose transport AND similar package for 45 €. 6 € not to bother, is that really expensive??
YES OUI CANNE:
Gard comprise 353 villages/town, each having at least one association of Elders. Pensioners represent about 25% of the total population of Gard.
Because very few small and medium sized buses are available but also because it is always difficult to have everybody available on the right date, the pensioners’ clubs and associations do have a lot of trouble organizing trips while their members still have a lot of appetite for life.
With our 8-seat minibuses we expect to offer them the flexibility they need and expect to develop increased demand for one day trips, some comprizing extracts from our summer programs.
For example, a one-day Alès-Carcassonne roundtrip (580 km), including meal, would cost € 65 / person based on 8 passengers while a train journey would cost each about € 60 without meals and no flexibility.
The size of our means of transport and their adaptability should allow us to offer our services to numerous associations (hunting, fishing, musical groups, etc ...) but also, for the same reasons and because of the relatively small number of their members, to many clubs and sporting associations.
For example, a basket team based in Alès and willing to play a game in Avignon (200 km roundtrip) would have to pay € 30 per person with us.
Allocation of funds
We already collected € 24,200.
Over the € 45,000 we are seeking from you, € 12,600 will go to settle VAT and commission for the crowdfunding website.
We will therefore be left with € 32,400 to add to our own funds.
We intend to use them to acquire two (2) second hand small buses, each valued at € 16,000. This gives us the following initial financing plan:
For your information, your donations will join, if of course we reach the targeted amount or more, the 24,200 € we already got on my account.
They’ll stay there about a month, time to create and especially to register the company, before being transferred to the account of the latter.
If you help us reaching or even exceeding this first level of 45,000 €, we will set-up a second step at 70,000 € total, which would allow us to start not with 2 but with 3 minibuses and a total equivalent full time of 7 jobs.
Of course, we could wish even more but it would be a useless risk as we aim to last and as a French poet (La Fontaine) said so well, "no points in running, one must start on the right foot".
A first year with 3 buses will be perfect to test and prove the concept!