Street vendors and Vache Qui Rit:
double impact partnership.

With the Bel Group
in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Madagascar, Kinshasa, Istanbul

If the wellbeing of street vendors seems far removed from the concerns of a world leader in cheese products, think again. Archipel&Co has worked for years with the Bel group's distribution networks to design, optimise and scale an innovative approach: Sharing Cities. By deeply engaging street vendors in the sale of affordable products such as the Vache Qui Rit, Bel was able to conquer a new market, drive growth and offer an award-winning, high-impact social support system.


Micro-entrepreneurs facing modern trading: innovating real commercial livelihood solutions.

More than half of the world's workers are in the informal sector. This represents 2 billion people, 93% in low- and middle-income countries. Among them are street vendors, whose issues and interests are discussed each year at the International Convention of Street Vendors: Cities for All.
Amongst many issues, securing incomes is the primary concern in an urban context where competition from more organised businesses is growing. While the vulnerable situation in which vendors find themselves leaves little room for risk-taking, how can they identify and experiment with new economic opportunities and avenues for development?


The Bel Group seeks strategies that reconcile economic sustainability and social impact.

How to gain market share in emerging markets? By focusing on affordable products such as La Vache Qui Rit, the Bel Group has adapted to the practices and needs of street vendors and integrated them into its go-to-market strategies and distribution networks.


One innovation,
two synergistic impacts.

To align the interests of both company and informal vendor, several design principles emerged:

  • offer vendors products adapted to the purchasing power of their customers while relying on a strong and aspirational brand like La Vache Qui Rit.
  • integrate seamlessly into the daily routines of vendors without the need for extra effort. To achieve this, Bel set up various logistics systems, most often hubs in existing wholesale markets.

To differentiate and ensure vendor loyalty, Archipel&Co identified attractive social incentives and sourced local partners capable of delivering them at a viable cost:

  • Better access to social protection and financial services through partnerships with insurers, mutual health insurance companies and banks.
  • A training offer tailored to street vendor needs, combining sales techniques and accounting with broader subjects like food safety, hygiene and health.
  • Support towards formalisation of their business (administrative procedures, licences, taxes, etc.)

With the Sharing Cities programme, the Bel Group built trust and legitimacy and has joined the voice of street vendors through advocacy, contributing to the public debate on the future of street vending.

Key figures

6 inclusive cities

9 000 street vendors

4 200 street vendors benefit from health services

1 000 professional training provided