Villages Vivants, first real estate company with solidarity aims to revitalize rural areas

France Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Short presentation

To revitalize rural areas, Villages Vivants is setting up innovative and socially useful activities by buying empty shops, renovating and renting them.


- Fight the desertification of the hearts of towns and villages
- Facilitate the steps of people who want to open a business / local service useful to the territory.
- Ward off the vacancy of commercial premises
- Develop the historic social link of the shopping streets

Contexte (territory issues, targeted audience)

The abandonment of village centers
Desertification of rural town centers, with consequences (loss of social link, centrality, social cohesion)
Commercial real estate: a stagnant domain

Yet, rural areas in France offer a quality of life that many of us value, and a growing number of citizens are looking for the advantages offered by the rural world.

"With their experiences in local development, in France and abroad, Sylvain Dumas and Valérie Dumesny decided to create a structure that would help to offset the vacancy of commercial premises and feed the historic social link of the shopping streets." Raphaël Boutin joined in the adventure, followed by Marie Isserel, Anne-Sophie Daudon, and Thibault Berlingen, employees of Villages Vivants.
The association is the very first stone in the building. It was created in March 2017. Quickly, to be able to buy premises, it is a property in the form of SCIC (cooperative society of collective interest) which was created in June 2018.

Target audience:
- Large public
- Shop owners
- Investors
- Communities

Actions implemented

In order to revitalize rural areas, Villages Vivants installs innovative and socially useful activities by buying empty shops, renovating them and renting them out. Villages Vivants is also the partner of local authorities, and accompanies them in their efforts to revitalize.

Our actions :
- Buy, renovate and rent commercial premises
- Support project leaders and the creation of innovative activities in rural areas
- Supporting communities in their revitalization efforts
- Make money move profitably through solidarity investment
- Shake real estate
- Participate in public debate

Human resources and partners

Laureate of the Foundation "La France s'engage" in 2019

Other information

Project's start year : 2012

Points of vigilance, difficulties to pass through, success factors

Values of the social and solidarity economy


SCIC Villages vivants (Company, Private structure )
10 rue Archinard
26400 Crest
Contact : Sylvain Dumas, co-manager / Marie Isserel, Head of communication