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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - BPCE Group case study: Gécos (France), consulting company


Gécos is a consulting company specialised in providing solutions to service stations, fuel depots and car-washing facilities. Cédric Lecina, Gécos’ managing director, explains that “We are not only dealing with the (re)construction or creation of a gas station; we also deal with the refurbishment and modernisation, and we ensure the compliance of all sites with legal requirements.”

In the course of his company’s development, Cedric recalls that their growth hit a wall: “We were too dependent of certain clients of ours, and we wanted to adopt a more societal and environmental approach in the company’s work.” In these efforts to achieve diversification and position the company on the compressed natural gas market, as well as on the liquefied natural gas one – which has the advantage of being better in terms of impact on the environment, climate and health – Cédric found himself both short of staff and lacking the financial capacity to support his company’s re-positioning.

“In early 2016, I was not aware of the possibility of obtaining a loan supported by the EU. We even had to abandon certain projects at the beginning of the year because we did not have the internal capacity to finance ourselves!” In the summer of 2016, Cédric turned to the French bank Groupe BPCE in search of a solution. BPCE offered him a loan backed by EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe.

This EU initiative, which aims at generating new investments in Europe through the support of small and medium-sized enterprises that are not able to obtain financing solutions otherwise – like Gécos – has really helped Cédric in financing its diversification strategy, as well as buying the necessary computer equipment: “This loan was a life-saver for my company. Without this loan, we would have needed to slow down, delay or even completely stop our growth, and we would have not been able to keep up with the rhythm the markets were imposing upon us.”

Headquartered in Toulouse, Gécos has gradually been opening several other branches all over France, notably in Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Paris and Dijon, but has also invested in other European markets by creating a subsidiary in Romania. This impressive growth has led to the creation of 10 new positions in the course of 2015 and 2016. With the new EU-guaranteed loan, Cédric is planning to double that number by 2017, in order to support the many projects the company is tasked with: “In France, we work with all the fuel suppliers except one, and with almost all the large retailers. We have also started to invest a lot in innovation projects.”

Company: Gécos (France)

Type of business: Consulting company

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG, EFSI

Financial intermediary: BPCE Group

For further information about EIF intermediaries in France, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/fr


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