“To face the crisis and prepare the restart for tomorrow”: that’s the motto set out by France Active to help social entrepreneurs cope with the crisis. In this respect, France active mobilizes with its partners (such as the French Government, banks, public institutions, enterprises…) to offer entrepreneurs concrete solutions.
Only 2 months out of the economic shutdown set up to curb the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, it is hard to draw the first consequences of the crisis and to look at the situation objectively. Although there is not yet enough data available for an exhaustive analysis, France Active has identified general trends by looking closely at the enterprises in its portfolio since April.
In view of the above, France Active has been working hard and in close collaboration with the banking sector, to shape and direct the support according to the diverse needs of the multitude entrepreneurs in its portfolio. For some of them, the issue is to tackle their lack of liquidity while at the same time preserving them from too high level of debt. For others, the priority is to face with unexpected costs and upheaval of their usual activity, which implies reviewing their short-term strategy and resorting to some of the measures implemented by the French government. Some sectors are also suffering more than the others, such as for instance: tourism, catering services, events, sport…
To these ends, France Active has developed a response for all these situations, with a twofold answer. As other financial organisations, France Active tried at first to respond to the urgency of the situation by helping to keep social businesses afloat during the pandemic. Thus, entrepreneurs benefitting of loans from France Active were proposed: suspension of repayment deadlines, on-demand delay of some maturities at the end of the loan, restructuring of the loans. Entrepreneurs benefitting of a loan guarantee from France Active were offered an extension of the maximum guarantee period in the event of rescheduling of the loan (up to 6 months). If the loan hadn’t been deducted yet, France Active also offered entrepreneurs a 3-month extension of their guarantee agreement. Secondly, the association worked on measures to support the restart of activity for the companies most committed in terms of social impact, employment and environment. Furthermore, with the support of the French High Commissioner for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation and some private partners, France Active implemented a program to help small social organizations to cover operating expenses via a 5 000 € grant.
As part of this global response, France Active has also published on its website a toolbox, which it regularly updates, to inform on emergency measures undertaken by social economy actors. France Active is currently developing further its financial and non-financial support offer. By enabling access to a unique network of partners, France Active also helps entrepreneurs to raise other types of funding and to get relevant advice.
In addition to the measures established by the French government and major public actors, and in line with its strategic project and subsequent priorities, France Active has revised and developed its Turnaround Pact. As part of this revision, it has strengthened its focus on entrepreneurs who have difficulty accessing bank financing, as well as entrepreneurs who have based their project on social