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 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.
- 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.
- 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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