Ipse was pleased to welcome Patrice Garnier to the Synergy Commission on Tuesday, June 5. Mr. Garnier is President of the Société d’investissement de France Active (France Active Investment Company or Sifa).
Jean-Marie Prouteau, Vice-President of Chorum, emphasized the need to fight poverty, which currently affects 4 million Europeans, and to promote social inclusion. Job creation remains a crucial part of this struggle, and France must contribute to the search for solutions.
France Active works to support people in difficulty. The association promotes social and professional insertion by financing and accompanying the projects of unemployed entrepreneurs and solidarity-based businesses. France Active offers loans with advantageous terms (low 2% interest rates) and guarantees bank loans with rates under 4%. Furthermore, repayments are at par value, with the result that 80% of businesses financed by France Active survive beyond their fifth year.
Patrick Garnier strongly encouraged the emergence of the solidarity-based social economy, a new and rapidly developing economic sector, at a time when the traditional sector is plagued by deplorable economic and financial performance. The social economy is a driving force that helps workers with savings find a way to participate and have an impact on society, while generating security, usefulness and economic yield.
Nonetheless, performance today is measured on solely in terms of financial productivity. The European Commission recently proposed creating a new nomenclature to take account of social performance and solidarity. The Commission’s desire to reconsider these criteria can be seen as a real step forward.
With record unemployment nearing 11% in the Eurozone as of April, public authorities and economic players clearly have a role to play to remedy this distressing situation. However, the role of social protection groups and mutual organizations is also fundamental to support job creation and help surmount this crisis.