Solidarity-based savings: 44% of the French declare their willingness to use them

Through a survey conducted with OpinonWay, France Active wanted to sound the French out about savings, in particular solidarity-based saving and its potential to transform the society. The French consider solidarity-based savings as a sustainable solution to address major societal challenges: environmentalism, social link, job creation. Here are the highlights of this study carried out on a representative sample of 1,000 French people.

The goals of the study
How do French people plan to save in 2023? Are they aware of the potential of solidarity-based savings? What are the prior issues that these savings should finance? These are the main questions raised by the OpinionWay survey for France Active. It also underlines that 7 out of 10 French people have an insufficient level of information on solidarity-based savings and on the possibilities to access them.

French people are keen to invest via solidarity-based savings

Despite the current economic context, almost one in two French people would like to save at least as much as in 2022. Among them, a third are young people (18 – 34 years old). What projects should the savings be directed towards? One in four of them answered that their savings should be directed towards solidarity-based projects. Two major issues are particularly important for them: projects promoting employment and social links (40%) and those responding to environmental challenges (32%).

Patient finance

44% of French people are ready to invest in solidarity-based savings projects for which the return is in the medium or long term. This figure rises to 56% among young people (18 – 34 years old).

A total lack of information on solidarity-based savings

Finally, whether it is the actors who use the savings, the profitability of these savings, the solidarity-based savings products, the way in which the savings are invested or the projects to which these savings are committed… 7 out of 10 French people feel that they are not sufficiently informed on the subject.


The study
(available only in french)

“Les Français et l’épargne solidaire”

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Creating the cultural and social heart of a neighborhood


President and Director of the Espace Magnan

Performing arts venue

When the association was at a crossroads, the France Active coaching was a real springboard.

Nice (06)
Performing arts venue

Recreating a sense of community


Everything could have set them at odds with each other, she the southerner from Marseille and he the northerner who grew up in Tours. And yet, they have one thing in common: their fierce desire to animate the cultural and social life of the Magnan district, in the west of Nice, which is so popular and vibrant. Nicole Venturelli discovered it fifty years ago when she met her husband, who was originally from there. Since then, she has constantly created opportunities for sharing and exchange to help re-establish links between the district’s inhabitants. She created her own association, chaired the neighbourhood committee, and five years ago became chairperson of Espace Magnan.

Alexandre Vandekerkhove, for his part, began his career as an animator in this cultural and leisure centre, which hired him ten years ago on a subsidised job. At the time, his task was to coordinate the youth services. Little by little, he immersed himself in the DNA of the association and the specificities of the region he was discovering. After further training in 2016 to master the managerial and budgetary aspects, he took the plunge and became director of the Espace Magnan in 2018.

“This desire to create a sense of community, to open up to each other, is really what unites me with Alexandre,” confirms Nicole Venturelli.

A difficult period in the mid-2010s


Formerly a youth and cultural centre, the Espace Magnan story has been unfurling for more than half a century, always with the same vocation of popular education. Today, with its team of about twenty people, it is able to offer its 2,000 members sixty activities (fitness, music, English classes, etc.), as well as shows (theatre, dance, concerts), cinema, photo exhibitions, socio-cultural mediation, etc


But this story has not always been a smooth one. Indeed, since the middle of the 2010s, it has had to face major upheavals and obstacles: changes in school hours that put an end to the Wednesday morning activities, an area that lost its status as a Priority City District following the redefining of regional boundaries (resulting in a loss of 60,000 euros in subsidies), reduction in support from the CAF and local authorities (100,000 euros less financial support from the city of Nice between 2017 and 2018), etc. “This wave has overwhelmed all the structures in the district. Of the fifteen or so existing local associations, very few have survived. The Espace Magnan has held on thanks to the plurality of its activities,” explains Nicole.

Support for change to build the future

When Alexandre took over the management of the structure in 2018, the deficit reached 60,000 euros. “We had to make some difficult decisions, including three redundancies. We also had to lay new foundations for the future,” he explains.

It was in this context that he met Mounir Amraoui from France Active PACA. “The Espace Magnan was at a crossroads: change of governance, financial problems. It was in this context that France Active offered us support for change. A real springboard for me. I was supported in my new role and in my decision making. ”

At the beginning of 2020, France Active’s support also became manifest through a €60,000 “relève solidaire” loan, part of the ESS’OR scheme supported by the PACA region, to consolidate the cash flow impacted by the projects already undertaken before the health crisis and to prepare for new activities. “A helping hand arrived just before the health crisis, to renovate the building, create a climbing wall, and also to invest in our programming and our artistic education projects”, specifies Alexandre. This momentum was of course slowed down by Covid, which forced Espace Magnan to drastically reduce its activities. But with these new foundations laid in advance, “we are ready for the next step!” says Nicole Venturelli.

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Europe commits for sustainable and inclusive entrepreneurship in France


The European

Investment FUND

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is a member of the EIB group (European Bank of Investment), whose objective is to strengthen Europe’s potential in terms of growth and employment.

To do so, it relies on national intermediaries which develop financial instruments in Member States. As such, France Active is a key partner of the EIF in France. Their partnership is based on 2 contracts: one for the guarantee of the solidarity loans granted by France Active Investissement under the EaSI (Employment and Social Innovation) program, the other for the counter-guarantee of the guarantees provided by France Active Garantie to facilitate access to financing for entrepreneurs in fragile situations under the COSME program (Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises).

France Active is now applying to renew these contracts under the new program : InvestEU.


Employment at the service of disability in Brittany

Julia BARONE and Erwan PITOIS

Executive Director of Up’Intérim and President of Breizh EATT

Adapted temporary work company

We are increasing the range of possible solutions for people with disabilities in finding employment.

In Brittany and Pays de la Loire
Adapted temporary work company

5 September 2018: the goal posts moved for companies promoting the integration of disabled persons in the workplace, referred to as “adapted companies”. Indeed, the French law known as the “ freedom to choose one’s professional future ” law opened the way for temporary work experience for people with disabilities.

Julia Barone and Erwan Pitois, two adapted business leaders in Brittany and members of the UNEA (National Union of Adapted Companies), are taking the subject to a regional level. Bringing together twelve other stakeholders – representing 50% of the adapted companies in their region – they set up the adapted temporary work company Breizh EATT in early 2020. Today, it comprises four branches in Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Lorient and Quimper, known as “Up’interim”.
Breizh EATT is a CICS (Cooperative Society of Collective Interest) and has not come about by chance: “This status marks the desire for territorial cooperation,” explains Pitois. “This is the whole logic behind the project: To be stronger together than we are separately; to be with others, in complete openness.

Open up new paths


The EATT has the same mission as any adapted undertaking: To create posts and courses for people with disabilities. “But with this new temporary work arrangement, our goal is to reach different profiles: Possibly younger and with more immediate availability for missions. Here we offer more invigorating and challenging career options. Above all, we are increasing the range of possible responses for disabled people seeking employment ,” says Erwan Pitois.
Not to mention that our goal is to be sustainable,” says Barone. “A real plus for temporary workers but also for companies that call on us. They are mostly in the usual environment and in all sectors of activity (car, cleaning, wiring, green space maintenance, etc.) and can use these missions to then integrate employees sustainably into their workforce“. Thus, in one year, 800 qualified and ready-to-use people registered, 120 were found positions and 20 were taken on permanently.

Ready for recovery


These results are very encouraging in view of the health crisis that exploded the day after the opening of Up’Intérim… despite having to close during the first confinement and re-opening in the middle of summer, traditionally the least dynamic period for temporary employment contracts. Reducing Breizh EATT’s ambitions was not the order of the day, however!
Therefore to resize the project in view of the health situation and continue to develop the project that was already in progress, they contracted, in addition to a loan guaranteed by the State, a joint loan of 60,000 euros, via France Active, which supported them from the beginning.
France Active Bretagne accompanied them upstream in 2020 under the Fonds de confiance programme: “Appearing before this committee allowed us to benefit from expertise and cross-examination of our project, giving us the opportunity to shift up a gear. This support has been key. Especially since France Active is a key player across the region and therefore has extensive knowledge of our local networks, this is essential,” says Erwan Pitois.

Today, Breizh EATT’s next challenge is to anticipate recovery by building resources, targeting gaps in training, and preparing for a recovery alongside other companies in the region. “We can count on a pool of 800 people in all types of occupations and jobs – even highly skilled jobs – that’s massive! We are far from the image of the disabled employee, who can do only a few tasks. So we’ll be there for companies who will be looking for skills as soon as they open back up. We’re ready! “, concludes Julian Barone.

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Europe day: social economy in the headlines

On May 9th, the European Union is celebrating Europe Day. Every year, France Active takes this opportunity to highlight its cooperation with the EU towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy. This year, France Active took part in the European event in Strasbourg.

Entrepreneurs, networks, institutions, investors: all the European social economy stakeholders have met on May 5th and 6th, 2022 in Strasbourg during the event: “Social economy, the future of Europe”. Co-organized by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the French State Secretariat for the social, solidarity-based and responsible economy, the city and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions, this event rose awareness of the social economy.France Active has organized there a conference entitled “Public, private and citizen investors: how to accelerate in cooperation the impact of the social economy on the territories?”. The discussions led by Florence Rémy, director of France Active Alsace, illustrated the mobilization of public and private investors from European to local level to finance social enterprises. Pierre René Lemas, President of France Active; Pia Imbs, President of the Strasbourg Eurometropolis; Roger Havenith, Deputy Managing Director of the European Investment Fund; Denis Dementhon, CEO of France Active, Bruno Dunkel, General Manager of Inpulse; Jean Ruch, Co-director of Familles Solidaires and Judith Fischer, CEO of Discovia shared their vision on multi-partner cooperation in favour of the social economy and territories. Together, they emphasized the relevance of social economy to address territorial challenges: creation of new jobs which are not at risk of relocation and gateways to employment for those who are furthest away from it, social services, mobility issues or new regional planning, circular economy, or ecological transition.According to Pia Imbs, the development of the social economy within the Strasbourg Eurometropolis is a priority: “we’ve become aware that the social economy is the most perennial. That’s why we created a network with the local enterprises: the Pact for a local and sustainable economy”. The word of the representatives of the European Union was also expected. According to Roger Havenith, Deputy Managing Director of the European Investment Fund, “the social economy is fully part of the mandate of the EIF. Thanks to the new InvestEU programme, we will take a real leap forward. Indeed, the social dimension of our action is now a pillar, which has its own objectives and indicators to monitor this collective action”. As for Pierre-René Lemas, he underlined the usefulness of the cooperation in which France Active places its action: “The territories are in our DNA. For more than 30 years, we have been convinced that the economy is built by and for the territories, where all possible forms of solidarity are exercised”.Thanks to the momentum created by this event and within the implementation of the European action plan for the social economy of the European Commission, France Active continues more than ever its commitment to make the social economy the future of Europe.

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France Active at the « Social economy, the future of Europe » event

All the European social economy stakeholders will meet on May 5 and 6, 2022 in Strasbourg during an event co-organized by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the French State Secretariat for the Social, Solidarity and responsible, the city and Euro metropolis of Strasbourg, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions. This event is a unique opportunity to meet and work together for the development and recognition of the social economy within the European Union.
France Active will organize there a conference entitled “Public, private and citizen investors: how to accelerate in cooperation the impact of the social economy on the territories?”. The goal is to promote multi-partner cooperation, from European to local level, in favor of consulting and investment solutions for better social and ecological impact.
The following speakers will take part in this conference hosted by Florence Rémy, Director of France Active Alsace on May 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.:

  • Pierre René Lemas, President of France Active
  • Pia Imbs, President of the Strasbourg Eurometropolis
  • Roger Havenith, Deputy Managing Director of the European Investment Fund
  • Philippe Zaouati, Managing Director of Mirova
  • Bruno Dunkel, General Manager of Inpulse,
  • Bernadette Paul-Cornu, Co-director of Familles Solidaires
  • Judith Fischer, CEO of Discovia

Consult the program and register

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An open-air bookshop

Frédéric LANDES

New owner of Des Livres et vous


Des Livres et vous is a bookshop in the rural area of Gourdon, Lot, taken over by Frédéric LANDES to maintain the cultural offer available within the region.

46300 Gourdon

Double objective: a professional change and the reopening of the bookshop in his town

A former technical agent in a commune close to Gourdon, Frédéric had been thinking about changing his line of work for a few years, having originally trained in cultural tourism. Passionate about literature and art, he found out at the beginning of the lockdown in 2020 that the bookshop in his small town might close. “When I was made aware of the potential sale of the bookshop, I decided to make the professional change I had been considering.” The driving force behind the idea? To ensure that the cultural offer available in the Lot department did not disappear and to turn his passion into his work. “There are 6 bookshops in total in the department. After Gourdon, the nearest similar offer is in Sarlat: There would have been nothing much available close to the town if the bookshop had disappeared.” Things are moving forward quickly and Frédéric enrolled in the Ecole de Librairie in Montreuil to train before buying the business and making the take-over official on 1 October 2020.

Books, but that’s not all

Frédéric’s first development plan is to expand the bookshop’s offer and structure it. “ We wanted to transform the business into a real bookshop, not just a shop with books and stationery.” The structure also seeks consistency. ” The goal of the first year is to take stock and work on all the various departments: literature, youth, local, stationery, science fiction, cartoons… I employed someone part-time to secure the activity, someone who was also trying to make some changes to their life. People are happy with the new editorial proposal .” Then there is the desire to bring about at change in terms of how books are perceived in the Lot department. ” There is no cultural offer in the immediate area, we are the only ones. We want to connect with other players in the department to create a new dynamic.” This desire is manifested through a Lot-wide association that aims to promote books across the department, to run events together, to encourage visits to other outlets and organise literary tours.

Secure recovery

France Active Occitanie accompanies them in their purchase and operations, securing the loan with a guarantee and day-to-day technical support to restart the business as well as to frame objectives in the short and long term. “They even found me a complementary support contribution with FAPE EDF without asking for anything!” states Frédéric. The health crisis has brought a lot of tumult in its wake but has not undermined the adventures of Des Livres et vous. “We had a normal October month when we reopened the business. Lockdown in November complicated thing, but the regular customers were loyal and ordered via We even increased our customer portfolio – proof that culture is still valued in rural areas – and we had a very good month in December, surprisingly. The strong national mobilisation around bookshops helped us withstand the shock as well.” And in terms of organising events: ” for the rest, we’re pretty serene. Small businesses, whether cultural or not, definitely have a future. We will continue to extend the offer on our shelves and as soon as possible we’ll be holding activities and events to bring culture to life in our region.”

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39,000 socially committed entrepreneurs supported by France Active in 2021

Focused more than ever on social utility

Montreuil, 3rd February 2022

With more than 39,000 enterprises supported, France Active sets a record in 2021. To ensure this support and foster a sustainable and inclusive economy, the non-profit organization has raised €508 million (+23% compared to 2020), including 25% in favour of companies in difficulty. France Active’s action enabled to create and safeguard 66,000 jobs (+13% compared to 2020).

Such results have been achieved thanks to France Active’s adaptability during the crisis and then the recovery. The non-profit organisation tailors its financial as well as non-financial support to each entrepreneur’s needs and leaves no one behind. It follows thus a two-fold objective: to foster the development of the most ambitious socially committed entrepreneurs and to better protect the most fragile ones.

A record support to socially committed entrepreneurs

As the first non-profit organisation network dedicated to socially committed entrepreneurship, France Active advised and financed more than 39,000 enterprises in 2021 (compared to 30,000 in 2020). All of them were committed for job creation, territorial development, social link, the environment, or also a democratic governance.

France Active invested €508 million (+23 % compared to 2020). This network encompassing 35 regional associations could act in a challenging economic context thanks to its financial company, France Active Garantie, and its social investment company, France Active Investissement.

France Active mobilizes the solidarity-based savings of the French collected by its shareholders (through employee savings, retirement savings, or life insurance). It enables savers to give meaning to their savings. In 2021, €43 million were collected by France Active Investissement (compared to €18 million in 2020).

This is a virtuous investment as those enterprises created or consolidated 66,000 jobs (including 38,0000 direct job creation), i.e., +13% compared to 2020. This is a particularly relevant data as the latest impact study shows that those enterprises double their workforce 4 years after their creation.

“We are proud to have passed the milestone of half a billion invested for our socially committed entrepreneurs. Each year, this economy which places social utility at the heart of its project continues to grow because it responds to a real awareness. Everyone is now convinced that it provides solutions, where the traditional economy has shown its limits, particularly during the crisis,” explains Pierre-René LEMAS, the president of France Active.

Protecting the most fragile entrepreneurs in their career

France Active supports the financial inclusion of people far from banking system. This means concrete actions for people in situation of high precariousness who represent 35% of the entrepreneurs creating their business supported by France Active in 2021.

For instance, France Active strengthened the support it offers within its creation pact by joining the “Integration Through Self-employment” programme of the French Ministry of Labour. From September 2021 until 2023, the ambition is to enable 4 000 entrepreneurs in fragile situations to create their business.


There’s been a strong focus in 2021 on areas that are far from economic dynamics: almost 30% of the entrepreneurs supported by France Active are carrying out their activities in priority urban neighbourhoods and rural areas.


To secure the relationship between those entrepreneurs and their banks, France Active has raised more than €300 million in bank loan guarantees, with virtually no personal guarantee from them.


The last way of protecting the entrepreneurs used by France Active are equity or quasi-equity investments, which represent more than €50 million in 2021. They are made with other solidarity-based investors in favour of the most socially committed entrepreneurs. This collective framework enables the entrepreneurs to serenely develop their project and to preserve their social purpose over time.

Taking part in the recovery of all organisations affected by the crisis

France Active also supports social economy organisations. Those represent 52% of the directly funded projects in 2021, at all stages of the business lifecycle: pre-seed, creation, development, scaling-up.


There’s been a strong focus on the enterprises that had to cope with difficulties during the covid-19 crisis. In 2021, France Active focused 45% of its work on the recovery of enterprises (compared to 14% in 2020).


France Active also strengthened its support of non-profit organisations by supporting 5,000 small social economy organisations (less than 10 employees) and by implementing:

  • the French State Secretariat of social, solidarity-based, and responsible economy €30 million-fund, called UrgencESS,
  • the solidarity-based recovery loan alongside with Banque des Territoires and private partners (Fondation de France, solidarity-based investors; banks; mutuals).


« The uniqueness of our work is to address the real needs of the territories and to finance all stakeholders who take part in the social economy and who place the human-being at the heart of their action. Their role is fundamental in strengthening social cohesion and moving towards a fairer society.” Concludes Pierre-René LEMAS.

Three stories of socially committed entrepreneurs

Envie Autonomie

Envie Autonomie endeavours to make the society more united, more inclusive, and more environmentally friendly. It supports women and men excluded from the labour market by providing them with a job and qualifications. This network offers collection and renovation of medical equipment.

>Web Site

  • Investment : €160 ,000 in 2021


WeDressFair offers an alternative to the “Fast Fashion” by bringing together different brands and ethical collections. It meets consumers’ expectations for more ethics, responsibility, and respect for the environment thanks to its physical shop in Lyon and a web shop.

>Web Site

  • Bank loan guarantee: €48,750 in 2019
  • Investment: €250,000 in 2019 and 2020

The multiservice shop of Pauline Girbal
Pauline Girbal decided in 2020 to take over the grocer’s shop of her town, Saint-Urcize in the Cantal. Using shorter supply circuits and working with local producers, her shop boosts her town with 500 inhabitants. Thanks to the support of France Active, she provides a neighbourhood service, social links and offers local products.
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  • Bank loan guarantee: €30,000 in 2020

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A cooperative production company


President of Tripapyrus

Waste collection and recycling

Tripapyrus was founded in 1994 as an association, then transformed into a cooperative production company in 2014. Paul Clément has been the president since 2014, and he has been supporting the transformation of the company’s activities, particularly in terms of handling and processing plastic waste.

85220 Aiguillon-sur-Vie
Waste collection and recycling

Waste management is evolving, and so is the project

Initially there was the Papyrus association, whose purpose was to collect paper before it ended up in the bin and then to sort it. This activity, carried out by local communities, had a social objective, as it supported unemployed people to get back into the work environment, and an environmental objective with the preservation of forests and the fight against waste. By the end of the 90s, the sector was shifting. Selective sorting of waste had become institutionalized, as had the programmes for getting people back into work. Renamed TRIPAPYRUS, the structure adapted to this new dynamic, became more professional and became a company to operate a packaging sorting centre in Givrand for 15 years.

History moves fast, because just a few years later, the optimisation of these sorting centres led to the creation of mega-sorting centres. The one managed by Papyrus had become obsolete and required a reorganization. “Our activity related to the sorting centre stopped completely in 2016, the flows were sent elsewhere. That represented 70% of our turnover, and just as high a percentage of our employees. We were able to find new roles for everyone, but we had to bounce back. Of course, we were out of “petrol”, but we had plenty of ideas for what to do next. The cooperative production company, created in 2014, allowed us to develop with motivated staff, collectively involved in the project. This model was consistent with our approach and is reflected in our resilience,” says Clément.

Transformation and support

The structure created a recycling centre in 2017, called “RECYCLER LA VIE” (recycle life) which also incorporated a social project. At the same time, an industrial subsidiary was created whose activity consists in refining plastic waste, previously collected by TRIPAPYRUS, and preparing it for recycling. The idea is to turn plastic from waste into a product.

A successful transformation with the support of France Active. “ In 2016, we found ourselves in a really tight spot after the loss of jobs and our business. We started working with France Active whose support really helped us to bounce back. The two ancillary units, the recycling plant and the plastic refining centre, were created. We’ve worked on our new model to get back on the ground. A refinancing plan has been drawn up to support our development. I am very pleased: Beyond funding, there is support that really helps us on a daily basis. By understanding who we are, how we act and where we want to go, the way forward is much clearer. This support is carried out in partnership with the collective production company network. It is very important to have solidarity-based funding from partners who go where others don’t.

Local business first and foremost
After transforming its business, maintaining and diversifying its social commitment, TRIPAPYRUS wants to go further. “Our goal is that the recycled plastic is used as something that will last a long time, i.e. that it is transformed into a sustainable object .” In addition to this, there is the desire to be firmly rooted in the local region: ” The project is also about wanting to live in the west of the Vendée region. This desire defines our development strategy on the basis of the region’s characteristics“.

Industrialize commitment

The health crisis has massively boosted awareness, and the TRIPAPYRUS model attracts increasing interest, until finally the company was contacted by Airbus for their expertise on plastic recycling. “We have several examples of this kind. Awareness is increasing across the economy as a whole, and I don’t think it is just for 5 minutes. People are changing their attitudes and discovering what a small structure can do, understanding the potential of our models for new ways of producing”. And for Paul Clément, the energy generated by collective companies of this kind has a future. “There is a real know-how in the circular economy that polarizes attention. We are active in the waste sector, but all areas of solidarity economy are affected . People come to seek our solutions, we must be up to the task.

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from a solidarity investment of


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