Finansol - standing for 'FINANces SOLidaires' - was founded in 1995 by a dozen or so outfits (cooperative banks, associations, NGOs, limited liability companies etc) deeply concerned by social issues. Since the 1980’s and the big stock market boom, these outfits had launched financial vehicles to suit their social or environmental needs. Time had come to give a collective impulse to their activities on a nation-wide basis.

Today, Finansol has over 90 members and covers a wide range of social initiatives. The association has three major concerns: it promotes, defends and analyses solidarity-based finance.


Promoting solidarity-based finance

Before the association was created in 1995, solidarity-based finance concerned very few people in France, those who were directly involved in the initiatives of the founders. The man on the street had no idea he could put up money to support solidarity-oriented ventures, like housing for the very poor, helping the unemployed create their own jobs or supporting fair trade. It was felt necessary to give solidarity-based finance exposure to the media as well as to university research and to political circles. Over the years, the Finansol team has taken several important initiatives.

The Finansol label was introduced in 1997 to give private investors a guarantee that the given financial vehicle is sound, transparent and social.

Baromètre de la finance solidaire - published each year in may since 2000, this 8 page supplement to the daily paper La Croix gives an overview of various solidarity initiatives, yearly statistics, fiscal benefits, plus a detailed list of the various solidarity-based finance vehicles and how to get information about them.

Semaine de la finance solidaire Since 2008, the 'Semaine de la finance solidaire' takes place each year, early in November. It offers the members of Finansol the opportunity to organize events all over France, such as presentations, seminars, road shows, street marketing, film projections etc… aimed at showing the general public the way to solidarity-based finance.

If you feel like getting involved in promoting an 'other way' of financing the economy, look us up at www.finansol.org/semaine-de-la-finance-solidaire-2019

Grands Prix de la finance solidaire - Sponsored by the daily newspaper Le Monde as well as by Finansol since 2009, the 'Grands Prix de la finance solidaire' are granted to various social businesses that have been supported by solidarity-based finance. The prizes are awarded during the solidarity-based finance week (Semaine de la finance solidaire). Ìf you want to know who won in 2018, click here.

 

Defending solidarity-based finance

Finansol has introduced an active lobbying policy. It has proved to be efficient. Members of Parliament as well as government officials have shown a great interest in the scope as well as in the rapid progress of solidarity-based investment. They seem confident in its pursuit.

The aim of the Finansol members is that 1% of the global financial assets of the French public be invested by 2025 in solidarity-based vehicles. The current figure is 0,25%. It shows that the challenge will be difficult to meet. But we, at Finansol, are confident that it is possible.

All three of these drawbacks can be overcome. There is ample room for solidarity-based savings accounts as well as for social life insurance policies for example. But in both cases, government support is necessary.

There are also numerous social issues that need to be addressed. Interestingly, the younger generations are very keen to work in (and eventually to set up) social businesses. The '1%' aim is therefore not out of reach.

 

Analyzing solidarity-based finance

Finansol set up some time ago what is known as the Observatory on solidarity-based finance (Observatoire de la finance solidaire). Its purpose is to collect all the available statistics in our field. The observatory is hence in constant contact with the Finansol members. It releases annual figures on the progress of solidarity-based savings and solidarity-based financing on a year-end to year-end basis, as well as on the performances of solidarity-based finance vehicles.

 

The Finansol team

Finansol has a team of very dedicated people who strongly believe in the considerable potential of solidarity-based finance.

  • Administration: Anyzette Sacramento
  • Communication: Lenaig Naudais, Anne-Sophie Poupin, Dounia Ait-maamar and Rozenn Mahé
  • Observatory: Jon Sallé and Sarah Perrier
  • Supporters and Institutional Relations: Marie Mognard, Laurine Daougabel and Lise Coinault