GiveActions X Daoust - Interview about impact entrepreneuship

In today's world, many entrepreneurs are launching projects with strong societal and/or ecological values. One of the challenges they face is maintaining these values while achieving successful growth. We had the pleasure of discussing entrepreneurship, values, and challenges with Maxime, co-founder of GiveActions, and Giles Daoust, CEO of Daoust, our friend and partner.

Maxime, you embarkedon the GiveActions adventure in 2019. Could you tell us more about what GiveActions is and how it operates?

Our mission at GiveActions is to make socially responsible entities more desirable, appealing, and visible. We aim for these entities to become the norm in our society, addressing climate and societal issues. We support these organizations, including socially responsible brands, NGOs, and public entities such as the Belgian Red Cross, Fairphone, Microstart, etc., in their marketing challenges. This includes communication strategies, creative studios, marketing, advertising, and IT solutions.

As far as advertising is concerned, we have succeeded, thanks to strategic partnerships(and the right tools), in obtaining the lowest prices on the market in all the major media. This means we can help our partners get their name out there and get their message across, without breaking the bank (in terms of media planning and distribution).

Of course, at GiveActions, we prioritize impact. We are selective about our clients, avoid greenwashing, highlight carbon footprint, and support awareness campaigns.

In addition to our agency, we have an innovation division where we develop concepts to makea dvertising more responsible (and lobby) and promote responsible consumption.

What role do you play for businesses and organizations?

We do everything possible to offer maximum visibility to companies without requiring exorbitant investments. We open doors to advertising spaces in renowned media outlets and provide strategic support while closely monitoring results.Together, we tailor a bespoke media plan based on your goals, target audience, and budget. Then, we carefully track the campaign to ensure its success.

Giles, what's your take on GiveActions?

GILES: I think it's a fantastic project because many associations aspire to access communication media but often lack the financial resources or knowledge to do so. The idea of bringing together and supporting companies with a strong social commitment is, in my opinion, an excellent initiative.

MAXIME: On the association side, we only work with tangible and measurable projects. We select brands we work with based on their societal impact.

Giles, in your view, what are the essential steps when embarking on entrepreneurship?

GILES: I believe the crucial step is to create a kind of virtuous circle, to be able to show concrete results that motivate SMEs and associations and encourage the media to provide visibility. The advantage of your system is that it allows businesses with limited budgets to have visibility and be active in societal projects. They find a channel to target potential clients.

MAXIME: The system we offer allows companies to reach a younger audience they may not typically engage with. The associative world is generally quite traditional, and they are not active on social media.

Giles, any advice you'd like to share for achieving successful and sustainable growth over time?

GILES: I think it's about visibility and the ability to highlight the platform's successes. The more concrete it is for companies, the more you can demonstrate that it has helped specific projects with supporting figures. The next challenge will be deciding which clients you accept. For now, it's clear what type of clients you work with, but at some point, these clients have limited budgets. If a larger brand, like a multinational, with strong CSR actions, offers support even though it's not in your segment, would you accept? If you limit yourselves to small companies, you need hundreds of them to cover operational costs, be self-sustaining, and finance projects significantly.

MAXIME: To avoid endless discussions about who we accept, we've written a charter that covers three points: 1/ rejected companies, 2/ eligible activities(environmental, social, or cultural), and 3/ oversight. This allows us to have a clear guideline and transparency for both users and businesses. Our intention is also to attract larger clients with a positive societal impact who can provide more visibility and other clients. One client can bring in others, and that's crucial to play on.

GILES: You need to attract game-changers; clients or projects that are so iconic that they'll bring you mainstream press coverage and attract other clients, creating a ripple effect.

About Daoust

A Belgian family business with strong values.

Daoust is a 3rd generation Belgian human resources company. Founded by Albert Daoust in1954, it was run by Jean-Claude Daoust for over 30 years, succeeded by his sonGiles Daoust in 2015. Values, a vision for the future and continuity characterize this successful transmission, which revolves around the"Welcome to the Family!" and "We Love Solutions!" plans.

In 2019, Daoust celebrated its 65th anniversary! The company has sales of €250 million, employs 9,300 full-time equivalents, through a network of over 55 Job Centers.

In 2020 and2021, Daoust is certified Top Employer at the official Top Employers Institute ceremony in Brussels, recognizing the excellence of the HR practices implemented for its employees.

In February2021, the editors of Trends and Trends Tendance awarded Daoust the prestigious prize of Super Gazelle de Bruxelles 2021. This prize is awarded to the company that has experienced the greatest growth over the last 20 years.

"This is above all the result of the efforts of all our teams, past and present (and future!) who work day after day in the service of our workers and our customers."

The Daoust family continues to grow... but retains its personality!

Many thanks to Giles for this interview.

About GiveActions

GiveActions is a brand-engaged marketing agency committed to help engaged companies to become the norm.

The project was founded by Maxime, Elias and Gaspard in September 2019. Today, GiveActions boasts clients such as the Belgian Red Cross, Fairphone, Microstart and more.

2019 was the launch year, but also the year in which the start-up received its first official award (Prize for the most socially and environmentally active digital start-up) at the Digital First trade show, bringing together no fewer than 100 Belgian digital start-ups.

Thanks toGiveActions, several large-scale actions have been carried out, such as support for animal protection in Australia during the major fires that ravaged the country in 2020.

GiveActions also helps refugees and the homeless, and enables users to play an active part in cleaning up rivers, protecting bees and the environment by planting trees in Belgium, and so on.

If you'd like to launch your own start-up, don't hesitate to apply to the Start.LAB.

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