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The European Investment Fund with InvestEU reinforces its support to France Active for the social economy

    Date: 12 March 2024
  • Since 2015, the EIF has been contributing to France Active's business development thanks to a European Union guarantee.
  • In 2023, the European Investment Bank Group enabled France Active to mobilize €485 million for 36,440 businesses, creating and consolidating 67,080 jobs.
  • The European Investment Fund and France Active announce the strengthening of their partnership in 2024 as part of the InvestEU program to continue support for the social economy.

Faced with growing social and ecological challenges, France Active and the European Investment Fund are strengthening their cooperation in the service of a more inclusive economy, with the support of the European guarantee through the InvestEU program.

 The announcement was made during a visit to the Iron Academy (Ecole de production Grand Paris Nord), an association working in Seine-Saint-Denis to help young people with no qualifications find employment. During the visit, two new three-year agreements were signed to support France Active's development objectives.

The first agreement guarantees France Active Investissement's investments in social enterprises. The second counter-guarantees bank loans granted by France Active Garantie, to support entrepreneurs with the least access to financing.

The resources deployed by the European Investment Fund thanks to InvestEU will enable France Active to double the number of beneficiary companies by 2027, i.e. 1,000 companies supported for an ambition of €90 million invested per year, and to increase the activity of France Active Garantie by 50% over the same period. This will lead to more than 10,000 companies benefiting from bank loan guarantees, for an ambition of more than €300 million mobilized per year. This support is in line with the objectives of the Commission's action plan to stimulate the social economy and create jobs.

Pierre-René Lemas, Chairman of France Active, comments: "The involvement of Europe, and of the European Investment Fund (EIF) in particular, is essential to the work of France Active. It enables us to carry out our associative project by mobilizing public and private funds, banks and management companies, for the benefit of fragile entrepreneurs and projects that place social utility at the heart of their model. Supporting our role as guarantor and investor, the EIF provides us with long-term support, which in turn contributes to the development of a more socially responsible economy in all regions.”

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Group, adds: "Supporting the lending capacity of microenterprises and social enterprises is very important for maintaining job creation and activity in structures essential to social cohesion in France and throughout Europe. Through these two agreements, the EIB Group is happy to be able to strengthen its long-term relationship with France Active Garantie and France Active Investissement, which play an essential role in supporting and developing social entrepreneurship in France".

Marjut Falkstedt, Managing Director of the European Investment Fund, comments: "European instruments for microfinance and social enterprises are effective in improving access to financial resources for economic players who need them most. This is why the EIF is renewing its collaboration with France Active Garantie and France Active Investissement to strengthen our ability to serve the social finance sector in France".

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, comments: " :InvestEU provides essential support for social enterprises across Europe. This new financial agreement will be a catalyst for some 10,000 enterprises operating in France, improving their access to financing. This will help create new jobs and contribute to strengthening the social and solidarity economy, which is a priority for the European Union, while reinforcing social and territorial cohesion."

Three players supported by France Active in the spotlight

To illustrate the strength of the partnership between the European Investment Fund and France Active, three association and business leaders were able to testify at the signing of the partnership:

Françoise Candier, Director of Iron Academy

Iron Academy is a production school located in Stains, Seine-Saint-Denis. It trains young people who have left school without a diploma in the metal trades (CAP Métallier). The two-year course is based on a "doing to learn" approach. Supported by a public-interest association, the production school gives young people a new chance by training them in jobs that are in short supply.

France Active has invested €150,000 alongside Banque des Territoires.

Vanessa Krycève, founder of the Le Recho association

Le Recho is an association founded in 2016 to support exiled people in France and Europe with dignity. In order to change the way these people are looked at, the association chooses the medium of cuisine based on the principle that it is a unifying language, a driving force for inclusion and solidarity. Le Recho offers a catering service and provides meals for the Ball in Paris's 18th arrondissement, in addition to all its food-related activities.

France Active invested €30,000 and guaranteed a €60,000 loan from the Nef banking cooperative, up to 65%.

Ananth Purushothaman, founder of Shape-Eat

Ananth Purushothaman created Shape-Eat. He benefited from the Accès + program: a €3,000 bonus and enhanced support set up as part of the government's scheme for inclusion through self-employment (Ministry of Labor). He set up his business in the heart of a priority district in Saint-Ouen, and offers food products for athletes.

France Active guaranteed 80% of a €60,000 loan from the Caisse d'Epargne Ile de France and granted a €24,000 loan.

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund, part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, designs and implements financial instruments that enable banks and funds (financial intermediaries) to better serve SMEs. It supports European SMEs by improving their access to financing through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. Its work with France Active is part of the InvestEU program, which aims to give a further boost to sustainable investment, innovation, social inclusion and job creation in Europe.

About InvestEU

The InvestEU program provides the European Union with crucial long-term financing, mobilizing substantial private and public funds for a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilize private investment for the European Union's political priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU program brings together under one roof the various EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making the financing of investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The program consists of three elements: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Centre and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU fund is implemented by financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will support the investment projects of the implementing partners, increasing their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilizing at least €372 billion in additional investment.

France Active, the movement of committed entrepreneurs

France Active enables every entrepreneur to get involved in a project with a positive impact. Setting up a business and getting involved in the local community, giving meaning to your project and transforming society: that's the challenge facing committed entrepreneurs. France Active and its 35 regional associations are there to advise them on their financing projects and give them access to a unique network of economic and social players. With its 2 finance companies, France Active supports more than 36,000 entrepreneurs. The movement mobilized 485 million euros in 2023. Every day, France Active works to develop a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Last year, businesses supported by France Active created or consolidated more than 67,000 jobs.

Press contacts

European investment fund
Christophe Alix, c.alix @eib.org, tel.: +352 4379 84303, mobile: +33 6 11 81 30 99
Website: www.eib.org/press — Press Office: press@eib.org

European commission
Flora Matthaes, tel: +32 229 83951, flora.matthaes@ec.europa.eu
https://investeu.europa.eu, #InvestEU

France Active
Luc Thabourey - Tel. 06 85 72 20 91 luct@franceactive.org
The Desk : Dora Nanaa - Tel: 06 20 71 46 35 dora@agencethedesk.com

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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