Mathieu Ravard, a 2015 MBS alumni, co-founded GreenGo, a French and responsible alternative to Booking & Airbnb
From April 12 to 16, MBS is holding its Sustainable Development Week. We therefore take this opportunity to shine the spotlight on the careers of alumni who are committed to this noble cause.
Graduated from the MBS Grande Ecole Program and having lived several experiences abroad, Mathieu Ravard shares with us his path towards a more local and sustainable project.
Shocked by the figures of global warming and by his “carbon footprint”, he became aware of the stakes of the environmental issue and quickly understood the urgent need to come up with a more responsible, more equitable and more humane model of tourism.
He co-founded GreenGo with three friends, with the ambition of making it a more sustainable alternative to the behemoths Airbnb and Booking. The start-up has launched a crowdfunding campaign that has now reached 350% of its initial goal! GreenGo is now looking to find new accommodations throughout France.
Behind the scenes of this entrepreneurial adventure
Mathieu joined Montpellier Business School in 2011 and decided to take advantage of the international experience of the program. “I went to Latin America in my second year and then spent my last year in a work-study configuration between Amsterdam and Paris. After graduation, I joined American Express in Paris and was then sent to Sydney, Australia, for two years. “explains Mathieu.
” Following these various experiences, I understood what I was looking for: a more meaningful project, closer to my values and my convictions, specifically regarding the environmental issue. During this time, my good friend Guillaume has been sharing with me his knowledge on the impact of distant tourism and the concrete effects of global warming. The estimation of my carbon quota made me understand the extent of the damage. There is a real need to travel closer to home, to travel better.
With two other engineer friends, we decided to drop everything to take action and start an entrepreneurial mission to help travellers experience more sustainable local tourism,” says the co-founder.
A model that promotes local, responsible and ethical practices
“Worldwide tourism accounted for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions from 2009 to 2013, making the sector a bigger polluter than the construction industry. Transport associated with tourism is responsible for 75% of this pollution. For a long time, we thought we had to go as far away as possible to get a change of scenery, whereas in reality, it is possible to have an extraordinary experience without crossing the planet, in the Mercantour Park or in the Bay of the Somme, for example. This is what we have based our promise on: to find the finest accommodation all over France with friendly, welcoming and eco-friendly hosts. “
In addition to the environmental dimension, we want to make our contribution to the economic and social transition. “The implementation of a fairer commission system is an obvious choice for us. The commission fees charged by the large American companies represent 18% of the price of the reservation, both for the hosts and for the travellers. For us, it is necessary to reduce this commission to 10% in order to take a fairer approach and offer a fairer remuneration to the host and a reasonable price to the traveller while paying our taxes in France. ” says the graduate.
What are the next steps?
The start-up is currently running a crowdfunding campaign which has already reached 350% of its target. It remains open until 30 April. “The aim of this campaign is to finance the growth of our network of hosts, which we select individually by analysing the quality of experience, in particular the price-quality ratio, the hosts’ respect for the environment and the overall quality of the welcome.
With 130 hosts and more than 350 accommodations, we do not yet have the entire country covered. The objective of the campaign is to offer a selection of at least 5 quality accommodations per department. “concludes Mathieu Ravard.
So that other students and alumni can become actors of the ecological transition, MBS is currently holding the ODD Challenge during which they are trained to solve concrete problems related to sustainable development in Occitania. See you on April 16th for the grand finale, sponsored by Romain Troublé, Managing Director of the Tara Ocean Foundation.