Paris launches its responsible economy investment fund



“To relocate production, we must relocate finance” : this is the goal of the first investment fund that the town hall of Paris devotes to financing the social and solidarity economy (ESS). The operation launched on Tuesday May 24 by Florentin Letissier, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the social, solidarity and circular economy, is being carried out with Crédit coopératif, a historic player in the SSE, and Paris Initiative Entreprise (PIE) , association of help and support for entrepreneurs in their project with social, territorial or environmental impact.

→ ANALYSIS. Social and solidarity economy: increasing funding

Objective of this fund: to increase the financing, on the Parisian territory, of such so-called “impact” projects. The emphasis will be “on small players in the start-up phase, i.e. up to 3 years old, or who have plans to move their activity to a larger scale, because this is one of the challenges of sector currently, explains Fanny Massy, ​​General Manager of PIE. The investment per project leader may amount to €30,000 to €100,000.

10% of jobs

Another priority area for selecting beneficiaries: projects focusing on the circular economy, through recycling, repair and reuse of materials, products, reconditioning of electronic and digital products, etc. “Take the example of fashion, of which Paris is considered the capital, adds Florentin Letissier. Through this investment fund, we wish to support companies based in Paris that manufacture sustainable clothing there from recycled and recyclable materials, at a decent price allowing the manufacturer and its employees to be remunerated, for fashion that is more sustainable than to multiply the number of collections in the year”, he continues.

While specifying that positions related to the SSE already account for 10% of all Parisian jobs, he adds: “This is the new relocated economy that we want to support. The important thing is to create sustainable jobs on the Parisian territory or to help companies that would like to settle in Paris, he adds. It is no longer a niche economy today, but it still has room for improvement. »

In fact, the fund plans to invest in around forty companies, to contribute to the creation of more than 400 sustainable jobs and thus to generate a turnover of approximately 200 million euros.

Solidarity labeling

Developing SSE and impact businesses is also the mindset of Crédit coopératif, which is involved in the launch of the fund. “There are several ways to save money, the SSE is one of them and we have been supporting it for many years”, explains Benoît Catel, Managing Director of Crédit Coopératif. The fund intends to apply for the Fair-Finansol label, which distinguishes solidarity savings products among the mass of investments offered by financial institutions.

For the first fundraiser, the City of Paris is providing €890,000 through Paris Initiative Entreprise. Crédit coopératif puts €500,000 on the table, “and discussions are underway with private operators who are also keen to develop this economy”, assures Florentin Letissier.

10 million eventually

The fund ultimately aims to raise 10 million euros, of which a maximum of 10% will come from Crédit Coopératif and a maximum of 20% from the Paris City Hall, still via PIE. The public investment bank (BPI) provides its guarantee, as does the town hall. This double guarantee means that each investor sees his subscription “insured” up to 33%, underlines Fanny Massy. The return promised to investors is between 2.5 and 5.5%.

An ethics committee, of which Paris City Hall will be a member, will oversee the rigorous selection of projects. The first will be funded in early 2023.

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