Ecological car washing service employing a majority of people with disabilities
- Seco Chile
- Country of Implementation
- Latin America & Caribbean
- South America
- Start Year
- First published
“While maintaining our values, we have achieved labour inclusion and personal satisfaction.” Rodrigo Carvajal, CEO and Founder, Seco Chile
Seco Chile is a social enterprise that provides ecological car-washing services to businesses and institutions across Chile. Currently, 55 per cent of its employees are persons with disabilities, and employment is open to anyone physically able to wash a car regardless of age, gender, education level, or type of disability. Further, full training is offered. The average wage is 15 per cent higher than Chile’s minimum wage. From 2017 to 2020, Seco Chile has grown from 95 to over 300 employees.
Many people with disabilities in Chile are unable to complete secondary education and consequently cannot find employment.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Seco Chile provides manual car-washing services in the private car parks of businesses, hospitals, universities, etc. There is no education barrier to working at Seco Chile. Before starting, all employees are trained in the washing process, protocols, and use of materials. There are flexible working conditions depending on the needs of employees. Individual clients must book in advance, so schedules for the day can be planned. The workday is limited to a maximum of six hours. The service is paid for by bank transfer or, in company locations, can be deducted from the client’s pay check. A supervisor oversees each location and is responsible for contact with clients, scheduling, and quality control. Twelve supervisors working for Seco Chile are people with disabilities. Seco Chile has developed its own cleaning product that is ISO 9001 certified and biodegradable. No water or electrical equipment is needed, just the cleaning product and a cloth.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Seco Chile has developed a social franchise model. A Seco Chile location with a four-person team washing six cars a day has an annual income of appx. €68,000, allowing for a decent profit margin. Franchisees pay a franchising fee to use the branding and approach, commit to Seco Chile’s mission and values, and buy the cleaning product directly from Seco Chile. Seco Chile is looking for a global corporate partner that might be interested in offering the service at a number of international locations. The organization has been awarded several national and international recognitions, and has been presented at the ILO Business and Disability Network, Geneva.