With nearly 7,500 companies supported in 2018, France Active confirms its position as the leading solidarity finance-provider. For companies just starting out, 90% of entrepreneurs were unemployed, one-third of whom where in long-term unemployment or eligible only for minimum benefits. Holding fewer diplomas than the average French entrepreneur, 57% had only a school-leaving certificate (baccalauréat, equivalent to the UK’s A-levels) or a low-level diploma. Almost 30% of them are under 30 years old, and 20% are developing their project in disadvantaged areas (government-identified priority zones and rural areas). Half of all projects supported by France Active are managed by women. The overall result is a positive social and societal footprint for the economy since these socially-committed entrepreneurs created or maintained 40,000 jobs.
Keen to facilitate access to bank financing, France Active has launched and implemented a new guarantee offer to help clear obstacles from the path of those who have the most difficulty securing loans, such as the long-term unemployed, young people, women, and people living or setting up business in disadvantaged areas.
Entrepreneurs can now benefit from a bank loan guarantee of up to 80% of the borrowed amount. In return, banks do not demand entrepreneurs be personally liable. This deal was struck with banks and public finance-providers (the EU, countries with Fonds de cohésion sociale – state fund which aims at guaranteeing loans for social purposes, local authorities), convinced of the socially transformative role of entrepreneurship.
This kind of hybrid financing gives everyone the same chance of succeeding and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop the economy of their area and contribute to social cohesion. With €255 million raised in 2018 through bank loan guarantees, last year France Active secured financing for nearly 5,500 entrepreneur projects.
Entrusted to France Active Garantie, the Fonds de cohésion sociale (State fund which aims at guaranteeing loans for social purposes) also guarantees micro-loans granted to entrepreneurs who are excluded from the banking system, particularly those issued by Adie (French microcredit organisation)
This action to promote the creation of new businesses is consistent with the new direction Bpifrance has been given by the French government. A long side the European Investment Fund, Bpifrance has long been a partner of France Active, guaranteeing part of its activity. Bpifrance is to increase its support for the network’s activities throughout 2019.
France Active is one of France’s leading finance-providers for socially-committed companies. Of the 1,355 Social and Solidarity Economy organisations funded in 2018, 36% were starting up or in the early phase of creation – the riskiest phases in the life of a SSE business. Known for its ability to advise and support these companies, France Active promotes social innovation and offers opportunities to the major social actors of the future.
2014-2018 impact study of the 5,771 companies or associations supported in 2014 shows the results of socially conscious companies in terms of sustainability and economic performance. Four out of five entrepreneurs are still active three years after receiving funding ; that is 10 points higher than the national average ! Their job creation rate is also twice as high as the national average.
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Investment (equity financing or taking a capital stake) is crucial for the development of socially-committed companies. In 2018, France Active Investissement raised €28.6 million for 442 companies. Working with large investment companies (asset managers and mutual funds), France Active manages to raise awareness of the impact of citizen savings (solidarity-based savings and life insurance, including employee savings funds). All companies financed providea real benefit to society and make a lasting commitment to changing our society for the better.
As a long-standing partner of France Active, France’s Deposit and Consignment Office (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations) has reaffirmedits support for the network in terms of investment in SSE companies by offering direct investment capacities and regional management within the framework of the Banque des Territoires.
Social enterprises – Social Mission
Employment and training – Support for people in insecure situations
Culture and general education, recreation, socio-cultural events
Sustainable economy (sustainable food, organic sector, eco-activities and circular economy,
Health and social action / Access to healthcare
Access to housing
Fighting exclusion / Social work