Translations Best practice in French version Best practice in English version

GROUPE BEL supports the Vietnamese street vendors.

7. Community involvement

Community development


Bel is a family group founded in 1865 by Jules Bel in Jura. It became world leader in manufacturing and marketing cooked  or semi-cooked cheeses. Located in 35 countries, the group sells products in 130 countries through 30 brands including "The laughing cow", "Kiri", "Leerdamer", "Boursin", Mini Babybel. In developing countries, the last kilometre travelled to reach the consumer is insecure, more often carried out by street vendors. Faced with this challenge, Bel Launches in 2011 Bel Access program.


  •  Facilitate access to Bel products in developing countries,
  •  Developing the inclusive business; allow vendors to integrate the modern economy and make accessible the economic services (insurance, micro-credit, training)
  •  Gain visibility and develop the social dimension of the Bel brand


In 2012, Bel Access creates the collaborative platform "sharing cities" to discuss solutions. A method is presented on the site to adapt to each selected city : identification of the network of street vendors, market study, experimental study, deployment, identification of local partners, social support and measurement of impacts.

In 2013, two experiments are underway :
- A project launched in the Congo, Kinshasa, in 2010, with 1800 vendors who benefit from a micro credit in 2013
- A project launched in 2013 in Viet Nam,Ho Chi Minh City, with 300 vendors who benefit from a micro insurance starting their first year.

This program in Viet Nam has different aspects :
- Knowledge of the network : identification of the 3 unique points of the city where vendors gather each morning
- Supply : Bel Access consider in 2012 a product adapted to the tastes and nutritional needs of the poor; the product is manufactured on-site in 2014
- Training on the  Good practices of business management.
- Microcredit offered through partnerships with banks
- Micro-insurance and coverage in the event of loss of employment, in partnership with Groupama Viet Nam, with 2 years of tuition and fees guaranteed for the children in case of incapacity to work of the seller

Bel wants to implement this model business in other countries, particularly in France, the biggest challenge is dealing with public authorities.

Best Practice spotted by the World Forum for a Responsible Economy 2014.


  •  Growth of sales network: 2100 Street vendors in 2013 (Congo, Viet Nam) , 3,500 in 2014; 30,000 expected in 2019
  •  Extension to new areas, access to more consumers
  •  Positive impact on the image of Bel both socially and in terms of innovation.


  •  Improvement of the standard of living of the street vendors: income, insurance, access to a credit card
  •  Education of children
  •  Increase of skills: business, technical management
11 000
2,7 milliards deuros (2013)


Jean-Marc Guesne - Intrapreneur Social créateur de la plateforme "Sharing cities"

Mise à jour le 25/05/2016

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.