SOStech, enabling local authorities to combat digital exclusion

29 June 2023
Digital inclusion


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Meet the four winners of 13M, the first nationwide digital inclusion gas pedal created by Banque des Territoires, Groupe SOS, H7 and Pulse.

Hello Arthur, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Arthur, I’m 21 and I’m the founder of SOStech. SOStech’s mission is to give everyone the means to take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies. I founded the company when I was 18, while studying for my Masters in Finance and Strategy at Sciences Po Paris.

What is the SOStech concept?

SOStech is the partner of local authorities in the fight against the digital divide. We help them implement solutions to combat digital exclusion, and train and support people in difficulty. For example, we can work with senior residences, local missions, municipalities and other local authorities, or even private individuals.

The SOStech team in workshop with a senior audience.

We believe that digital technology is a huge train that everyone needs to get on to manage their professional, personal and administrative lives. SOStech takes on the role of stationmaster: we make sure that everyone has a ticket to get on board, and that no one is left standing on the platform.

How did you come up with the idea of founding SOStech?

Entrepreneurship is one of the few sectors where youth is not a barrier, and I really wanted to take the plunge. The idea came to me from my grandparents, for whom digital technology is a real challenge, and who perfectly represent the target I want to reach.

Before the creation of SOStech, every time I visited my grandmother, I was busy solving her problems and teaching her about digital technology. I wanted to help on a larger scale.

The digital divide widened during the Covid period. For people in difficulty, the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on their ability to obtain information and treatment, and on their relationships with their loved ones. – among others.

I think that digital inclusion is a national issue, and public players need to get to grips with it. However, I also think that they need to be supported in their operational implementation, in order to best help beneficiaries.

How have you been received by local authorities and public bodies?

It was a difficult start, as I was young and had very few commercial skills. I decided to train myself, to work on my speech to be more at ease.

At the start of the pandemic, communities became aware of the difficulties and challenges I was talking about. Despite existing initiatives, the market was far from mature.

SOStech never set out to replace existing solutions. We position ourselves as a complementary player to these initiatives, as with “Les Conseillers Numériques”, a government scheme that supports beneficiaries in their digital procedures.

Once I had the confidence of the local authorities, everything was simpler. The town of Courbevoie was the first to place its trust in me in November 2020. After an initial contact with an elected official, we worked hand-in-hand to develop a tailor-made assistance service for residents.

What is your scope of action?

I was born in Paris and grew up in Courbevoie. I’m very attached to the region, so I logically started out in the Paris region before expanding to other cities.

In 2022, following a call for tenders from the Centre-Val-de-Loire region, we set off on a major digital tour of communes with populations ranging from 500 to 3,000. Like a concert tour, we went out into the cities to help people who are far from the digital world. Over the course of 10 days, with the help of our 4 speakers, we completed 12 stages and accompanied more than 400 people.

Since our launch in 2019, we’ve worked with local authorities such as Courbevoie, local missions such as Nantes and Roubaix, and major local authorities such as the Lyon metropolitan area and the Hauts-de-Seine department.

The SOStech team in the heart of towns and villages.

Three years after the launch, how is the team shaping up?

The team has grown a lot recently! I was on my own until 2022, when I took on my first sales trainee – Alexis – who is now an employee of the company. A few months later, we were joined by Romain, a second salesman, to help Alexis find new opportunities.

Today there are six of us: two sales people, two digital trainers, a digital project manager and me. We also have a network of digital trainers that enables us to be present throughout the country.

What do you expect from the 13M program?

We’re in the phase where we want to scale up. 13M is exactly what I was looking for, with group and individual support, a variety of content and very regular activity monitoring.

The format is flexible, allowing me to optimize my time and get through the process smoothly.

What can we wish you for the future?

2022 was a test year. For 2023, we want to accelerate, accentuate our impact and increase the number of beneficiaries.

On the operational side, we aim to strengthen the team and complete a €1 million fundraising campaign in January 2024.

Selena Miniscalco


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