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FRANCE

TWO FUNDS INVESTED IN SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

The bank’s individual customers can invest in social enterprises via the BNP Paribas Social Business France Fund. The aim is to provide funding to French social enterprises that create jobs, combat exclusion and poor housing, and perform recycling and waste recovery. These social enterprises include the Varappe group, the Cocagne Network, Habitat and Humanisme or Entreprendre pour Humaniser la Dépendance, etc.

BNP Paribas Social Business France is supported by an investment fund created by BNP Paribas Investment Partners. It is aimed at professional investors wanting to contribute to the development of social entrepreneurship. This fund, BNP Paribas Social Business Impact France, aims to support around 30 businesses through equity and long-term debt until 2016.

Photo : France - BNP Paribas supports Réseau Cocagne, a social enterprise that each year helps 4,000 people find a job.

BELGIUM

€2 MILLION GENERATED BY MICROSTART

With the support of BNP Paribas Fortis, students from the University of Vlerick conducted an impact study on the Microstart microfinance institution which was created in 2010 by BNP Paribas Fortis with the help of Adie (Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique, Association for the right to economic initiative) and the European Investment Fund. This study valued the benefits from the Microstart activity for the Belgian authorities at more than €2 million, by adding the savings from welfare benefits and additional tax revenue.

Photo : OLIVIER JEANNEL.

INTERVIEW : OLIVIER JEANNEL, CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER OF ROGERVOICE, FRANCE

Can you describe RogerVoice?

RogerVoice is a mobile app that transcribes telephone conversations almost instantaneously. It therefore helps combat the social exclusion of people with hearing difficulties by allowing them to make telephone calls without hearing the person to whom they are speaking. Today, my aim is to increase the accessibility of this app by developing more languages and a version that is Android compatible.

How have you collaborated with BNP Paribas?

I received co-funding from France Active and BNP Paribas to develop the application. My investors are reassured by the fact that my project is validated by the bank and this has facilitated access to other funding, such as from Bpifrance or crowdfunding. It was important for me to work with a bank that understands the specific features of my model, which may not be immediately profitable, and with a bank that is demanding, so that I didn’t get carried away. The success of RogerVoice is based on being profitable and attracting customers. We talk about social impact but let’s not forget about business.

MORE ABOUT… SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

BNP Paribas supports 500 social enterprises in Europe, including the French company RogerVoice.