Bénédicte Jézéquel, laureate of the Les Têtes 2024 Awards!

March 2024

Bénédicte Jézéquel, President and Co-founder of Silvadec, has just been selected for the "International of the Year" award in the 2024 Têtes rankings. 
The jury consists of journalists from API and Ouest-France.

Here is the portrait, based on Florence Le Nevé's interview, to be found in the publication on the 2024 Têtes Bretagne Pays de la Loire.


"Bénédicte Jézéquel (Silvadec). International as a Playground"

Leader in composite wood in Europe, the company plans to establish a second production site in Bavaria. It is expected to be operational by 2026. Silvadec's president, Bénédicte Jézéquel, is the winner in the "International of the Year" category.

If Bénédicte Jézéquel became an entrepreneur, it was certainly not by chance. "My father was a business leader. He had a passion for entrepreneurship," explains the president of Silvadec, the European leader in composite wood for decks, fences, and facades.
The leader acknowledges that he greatly assisted her at the beginning.

A graduate of the Rennes School of Chemistry, she began her career at Lexmark in the United States. She describes it as "a fabulous experience," but quickly felt "constricted." "I need freedom, shorter decision-making paths," she says.
She returned to France and joined a plastics company in the Rhône. During a professional trip to the United States, she discovered a technology not yet deployed in Europe.
She then decided to take the plunge with Philippe Crez, who became her partner. This was in the early 2000s, and at just 32 years old, she was determined. Trained as a chemical engineer, she had a taste for innovation and quickly saw the potential of composite wood.
She admits to enjoying challenges. However, transferring this technology required negotiation of a licensing agreement.
And when it came to choosing a site, this native of Brest did not hesitate: she set her sights on the West and Arzal. "We received a very warm welcome from the local community, which helped us build a facility tailored to our needs." This marked the beginning of the adventure, supported by some initial subsidies and the assistance of BPGO.
Today, Silvadec employs 110 staff with an annual turnover of €40 million.

To expand further, Bénédicte Jézéquel now plans to establish a second production site in Bavaria by 2026. However, as with any innovation, convincing stakeholders was a major challenge. "We had to do a lot of evangelizing," she explains. This effort paid off in 2003 when she won the Innovation Gold Medal at Batimat. "That really opened doors for us."
In just one year, turnover increased from €200k to €2 million. To advance, this mother of three relied heavily on professional networks. "These are important moments for sharing and exchanging ideas." While preserving her family life and making time for travel—another passion inherited from her father.
Her next challenge? A plastics recycling plant in cooperation with Acteco, a Nantes-based company specializing in waste trading.

Her Biography

Born on October 23, 1967, in Brest, married, three children; education: National School of Chemistry of Rennes (1991);
Professional networks: member of APM and advisor to the French Chamber of Commerce;
Awards: "Female Entrepreneur" Award 2018 (Women in Industry Awards, L'Usine Nouvelle);
Passion: travel

Why Her?

She introduced a new technology in France; she is launching a new factory in Germany and plans another in France for plastic waste recycling.
Her motto: "Life is composite!"
Key dates:
2001 - founding of Silvadec
2003 - opening of the factory in Arzal and winning the Innovation Gold Medal at Batimat
2021 - 20 years of Silvadec
2023 - project to establish a plastic waste recycling plant
2026 - a new factory in Germany.

Florence Le Nevé - API


The criteria considered for inclusion in the Les Têtes 2024 Awards:

  • Successfully undertaken a significant action in their category in the past year
  • Headquartered in one of the two regions, Brittany or Pays de la Loire
  • Featured in an article in Ouest-France and/or API, focusing on the award categories
  • Fully or partially realized their project



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