Microfinance focus - BNP Paribas and ADIE, a historic and multifaceted partnership
05.06.2008 | CSR
The commitment that the group and the BNP Paribas Foundation have shown to the Association for the Right to Economic Initiative (ADIE) for over 15 years translates the company's fundamental social responsibility into common and lasting actions that promote the creation of economic activities and jobs.
Thanks to microcredit, ADIE finances and supports the entrepreneurs of very small businesses throughout France who do not have access to bank loans. Inspired by the microcredit principle developed in Bangladesh by the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, Maria Nowak established ADIE in 1988, an organisation which has since financed 44,000 micro-businesses generating more than 58,000 jobs.
For small start-up or activity development projects, the association offers adapted financing of up to €10,000 and provides micro-entrepreneurs with business support and advice.
In concrete terms, this means access to a solidarity loan, additional assistance (interest- rate free loan, incentive schemes for the development of new businesses - EDEN - Encouragement au Development d'Entreprises Nouvelles, regional grant, start-up loan - Prêt à la Création d'Entreprise - PCE, etc), and if necessary, an equipment loan (for a car, computer, promotional material, and so on). The selection criteria for projects supported by ADIE are, in particular, the viability of the project and the motivation of the project initiator.
The contribution of human expertise is essential to the success of ADIE, which relies on a network of volunteers, either retired or in active employment, to support and advise entrepreneurs in their business approach.
Take a look at the video testimonial of Sabrina Riahi (Mammary prosthetist), an entrepreneur that is also an ADIE client:
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This partnership between the BNP Paribas group and ADIE translates into multifaceted initiatives.
As a sponsor of ADIE since 1996, the BNP Paribas Foundation boosted its support for the association in 2006 with the launch of the "Projet Banlieues" (Underprivileged Neighbourhoods Project). This funding, totaling more than €2 million over 3 years will finance seven new microcredit branches in sensitive urban areas. This support has already resulted in the opening of six new branches (in Marseilles, Toulouse, Lyons, Evry, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Asnières-sur-Seine) and the creation of almost 400 start-ups representing 480 jobs. In addition to the financial assistance and the expert support provided by Cetelem bank, members of BNP Paribas staff, including a growing number of future pensioners, are voluntarily investing their time and effort into supporting the entrepreneurial clients of ADIE (JACadie project).
BNP Paribas is the first commercial bank to have entered into a national partnership with ADIE across its entire network (2,200 branches in France). At the end of 2004, the group signed a partnership agreement with the association to give business start-ups special support at the Group's branches.
The credit line set up in 1993 has progressively increased over the years and in 2008 was raised to €6.6 million a year. BNP Paribas contributes 10% of the cost of supporting each ADIE-assisted start-up, and up to 30% of the risk coverage.
Almost 900 projects have already been financed this year and more than 5,000 businesses have been assisted since the beginning.
Furthermore, since 2002, BNP Paribas Épargne Entreprise has included ADIE in its socially responsible investment offer, thereby allowing it to strengthen its capital base.
The solidarity aspect of Cetelem's "Happy Card"' programme
In 2006, Cetelem adapted its "Happy card" loyalty programme, open to all clients with a credit card, in order to put forward a new option: “Show solidarity”. Since then, all Cetelem clients participating in the “Happy card” loyalty programme have the option of offering the points accumulated from using their Cetelem card to ADIE. In one year, the total amount of donations by Cetelem increased by 50%.