Obtaining financial assistance and counselling at the first and critical stage of commercial introduction, is often difficult, especially for those embarking on social innovation. To give social entrepreneurs the means to face this high-risk stage, France Active launches the first seed fund of 10 Million Euros.
Under the French Impact banner (an initiative led by the French government), the brand new Seed fund, has been selected by the European Commission to strengthen France Active’s ability to advise and invest in committed social entrepreneurial projects. This project is also supported by the High-Commission for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation (HCESS).
This Seed Fund was officially launched on February 4th, 2020, in presence of Ann Branch, Head of the « Job Creation » Unit, in the « Employment, social affairs and inclusion » Directorate. Christophe Itier, High-Commissionner for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation, and Chistophe Genter, director of the Social Innovation and Territorial Cohesion Department at the Bank of the Territories.
The crucial first fundraising that will allow a project to be launched concretely or to scale up is the most stressful phase for the entrepreneur. A recent OpinionWay survey for France Active showed that while 42% of 18-30 year olds say they want to start their own business, nearly 80% of them acknowledge that they would not be able to do so without help. 31% of them mention a need for financing, 21% want support to access a professional network, 20% want to be supported by a coach, etc.
Therefore, France Active decided to hasten its action in favor of social entrepreneurs, especially those in seed stage, with:
Over the next two years, France Active aims at financing and supporting 100 social business in metropolitan France as well as in its overseas territories, for a total investment of €10 million.
As part of the official launch of this new fund, France Active organized an event on February 4th, 2020 with 6 social entrepreneurs who benefited from a fundraising. Thus, Simplon, Label Emmaüs, Moulinot, Eco-Mégot, Le Drive Tout Nu, Ecov, were invited to talk about their experience with other future entrepreneurs.