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Juncker Plan: Socoden-FEC and EIF join forces to provide EUR 25 million of guarantees for loans to cooperative enterprises

    Date: 08 November 2019
  • The EIF counter-guarantees Socoden-FEC for up to EUR 25 million, helping to guarantee loans of less than EUR 500 000 to cooperative enterprises
  • The initiative is financed by the European Commission's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) and backed by the Juncker Plan

The European Investment Fund announced today the signing of a EUR 25 million guarantee to Socoden-FEC, a cooperative public limited company created in 1965 by the French General Confederation of  Cooperative Companies (CG SCOP). The aim of Socoden-FEC is to provide participating loans to worker-owned and multi-stakeholder cooperatives.

The support of the European Investment Fund will enable Socoden to provide loans worth EUR 4.8 million in 2019 and up to an expected EUR 6.5 million a year by 2023. Socoden will focus its financing on underserved sectors currently seen as too risky, such as worker-owned cooperatives and multi-stakeholder cooperatives in the start-up phase.

The funds have been allocated from the budget of the European Commission's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), a funding programme designed to promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment, in order to guarantee adequate and decent social protection, combat social exclusion and poverty and improve working conditions across Europe.

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, stated: “We are proud to sign this first financial operation with Socoden-FEC. For the EIB Group – which is the bank of the European Union – the development of the cooperative sector is a very important issue, which can have a tangible positive impact on citizens by helping them in all fields of entrepreneurship, especially in the social area.”

Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, added:Thanks to EUR 25 million of EU support, Socoden-FEC will be able to offer loans with reduced interest rates and lower collateral requirements to social enterprises operating in France. This agreement reflects the EU’s commitment to delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights, building a more inclusive and fairer Europe.”

Pier-Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, said: “The EaSI Guarantee Instrument is a very powerful tool that enables us to guarantee riskier loans to social entrepreneurs, and in particular cooperative enterprises, proving how positive and effective Europe can be in the social field.”

Georges Mandica, Chairman of the board of Socoden-FEC commented: “The EaSI Guarantee instrument will enable us to better manage our business growth. Indeed it secures our economic model, allows us to provide better loan conditions to the cooperative companies, and thus promote their prosperity.”

Background information

About Socoden

For more than 50 years, CG SCOP has developed financial tools that actively contribute to the development of SCOPs (cooperative and participatory companies) and SCICs (collective interest cooperative companies) by laying the first brick for financial rounds. Being part of an ambitious development plan, financing the development of cooperatives and the conversion of businesses into SCOPs and SCICs is a major challenge. Since its creation, Socoden has financed more than 3 500 cooperatives.

About the General Confederation of Cooperative Societies (Confédération Générale des SCOP - CG SCOP)

As the representative of 60 400 SCOP and SCIC employees vis-à-vis public authorities and political, economic and social operators, the remit of the General Confederation of Cooperative Societies is to coordinate and moderate the SCOP and SCIC network throughout France, across the 12 regional unions and three trade federations (construction, industry and communication). The network offers a complete range of services to SCOP and SCIC members and project leaders: home and personal monitoring, legal support, financing solutions tailored to the creation of companies and their development, training, professional exchanges, etc.


About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

About EaSI

The European Commission's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") aims to support the EU's objectives of promoting high-level employment and adequate social protection, fighting social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis of the EaSI programme provides support to financial intermediaries that offer microloans to entrepreneurs or finance to social enterprises. The objective is to increase access to microfinance, including microcredit, i.e. loans of up to EUR 25 000, in particular for vulnerable persons and micro-enterprises. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is supporting social enterprises through investments of up to EUR 500 000.

Press contacts: 

EIB Group/EIF:
Cyrille Lachevre
+352 4379-73984
mobile: +33 6 20 42 12 08

Confédération Générale des SCOP/Socoden:
Agence Auvray & Associés
Marion Lambert - 01 58 22 25 97


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