The ELLE foundation was created to promote women’s and girls education all around the world.

The meaning of our historical mission

The history of ELLE is a story of women.

Fighting for their place, defending their rights and asserting their role in society. These values have been the most fundamental goals pursued by the magazine’s founder, Hélène Lazareff.

The ELLE Foundation, created in 2004 by the Lagardère Active Group, reflects those exalted objectives, which are as relevant today as they were in the past, by pursuing them beyond the pages of our magazine and editorial columns. It is the opportunity to prove that a highly successful international women’s magazine can also embrace the concerns of women.

There is a relationship between us and our readers that does not stop at words or ideas, but which continues to be made, whenever and wherever we are able to encourage the emancipation of women.

For women’s and girls emancipation through education

Educating girls is the basis for progress in our modern societies. Education has taught us to respect ourselves as well as others, to take charge of our lives and defend our values. Through the ELLE Foundation, we wish to further these values and make them real for all the women around the world. With the ELLE Foundation, more than ever, we are at the heart of the ELLE history.

Corporate governance and organization

The ELLE Foundation is headed by an Executive Board, which defines the strategy and the development of the foundation.

Constance Benqué, CEO of ELLE, is the President of the foundation.

Karine Guldemann, Chief representative, and Chloé Fréoa, Project manager, daily run the ELLE Foundation.

Like all other corporate foundations, the ELLE Foundation was set up for a minimum of five years. It was endowed with a seed capital of 1 250 000 euros. The executives in charge of the Foundation aim to work with partners : they call upon all companies and organizations able to expand their range of activities, not only with global brand names that work with Lagardère Active on a regular basis. For each approved project, the ELLE Foundation seeks financial partners, in order to increase its initial investment. Funds are directly paid to the beneficiary organization and are not funneled through the Foundation.

The ELLE Foundation provides funding for projects submitted by NGOs. They must be presented by a French or a European organization. The action can be lead on the ground by a foreign organization, but it is the French or the European one which partners with the ELLE Foundation. It is accountable for the managment of the project, as well as for the proper use of the allocated funds.

The projects have to be approved by an Executive Committee that will convene twice a year to select suitable projects.

The ELLE Foundation is dedicated to the Lagardère Active Group’s employees. They may participate at different levels in the foundation’s activities and growth.


Geographical criteria are not the main issue and we try, as far as possible, to work with one partner in each country. The geographical areas are chosen according to the political, social and economic contexts. The projects are selected with regards to their specificity and innovative quality.

The ELLE Foundation supports programs that emphasize a global approach to primary, secondary and higher education, as well as teacher’s training. It supports all programs aiming at increasing the independance of mothers through informal education, vocational training and social rehabilitation. The ELLE Foundation supports all initiatives that enable them to send their daughters to school.

It also promotes the creation of information and tools for women. It primarily focuses its action in countries where educating girls is the key to a long-term economic growth.

Since its creation, the ELLE Foundation has supported more than 80 projects implemented by International NGOs in 30 countries.