Le Mat is a brand and a social franchise system developed, earned and used by social entrepreneurs in tourism. We help small, local, social cooperatives on a local level to develop their activities in sustainable tourism . Le Mat is a Consortium of social co-operatives and associations which was set up to develop together tourism hospitality, sustainable tourist products and employment for people who have experienced disabilities, drug addiction, mental illness or social exclusion. The social brand and franchise methodology was developed to replicate well functioning practices all over the country and abroad. Today in Italy there are about 20 SPECIAL LE MAT PLACES all over Italy (in 12 different Regions from the extreme North of the country to the South), 3 in Sweden and 1 already in Poland. Usually the Le Mat social co-operatives don’t work only in the tourism field. Sometimes they are very big (up to 400 working members), sometimes very small (4/5 working members). They work on local sustainable development.
LE MAT is a consultancy and branding organization. Through mentoring, coaching, consulting and marketing we help the local co-operatives to develop and sell their products in sustainable tourism. We like to call it community tourism, as our co-operatives work in the field of sustainable local development, frequently in difficult areas. They all need tourism as a way to develop the area, which means all the year round. Generally, we use storytelling as our main tool to develop the identity and the tourist product. We developed TERESA the LE MAT TRAVELER http://www.lemat.it/en/travelling/teresas-videoblog
How we promote cooperatives’ values and culture
Le Mat is completely inspired by the cooperative culture and our brand represents the culture and values. The social franchising system adopts a MANIFESTO: "Le Mat’s enterprises are managed in a collective and democratic way. Workers are both members and owners who co-operate to achieve the best results in their social business. Many of the workers and members have experienced social exclusion, unemployment, mental illness, drug addiction, and disabilities. Le Mat values particularly their experiences and competencies. Le Mat’s entrepreneurs and enterprises share planning processes and like democratic decision making: one special person, one special idea, a different point of view, a right, a word, an opinion, a vote to build something richer and more precious through wider participation.
Le Mat doesn’t prefer those who have more money. We rather appreciate good ideas and the undertaking of responsibility:
all the good things you may see and take in when entering a Le Mat venue. Le Mat’s social franchising network and Le Mat’s brand are invitations to participate"
English, French, German, Swedish, Polish
We are in constant contact with all our local organizations
Car (good road connection)
In the local Le Mat special places facilities are sometimes provided directly, other times through local partners
Facilities for Disabled people
Generally the Le Mat special places are accessible or at least they work together with the local associations of people with disabilities