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05 may 2014

French banks assisting women setting up companies

Mobilisation is strong in terms of female entrepreneurship and numerous initiatives are in place to encourage the setting up and development of companies by women.


Equivalent access to financing

  • Women setting up companies have access to financing: a report by the "Conseil d'Analyse Stratégique" (strategic analysis council) in April 2013 concluded that there was no discrimination in access to financing.

  • Like any entrepreneur, women primarily resort to bank loans to finance their business and more than 60% of them have a loan. 59% of them have recourse to a bank loan when they start up their business vs. 51% of men (CSA study for the Caisses d'Epargne).

Partnerships on the ground

  • The retail banking networks and the FBF are partners of France Active. This association helped 45% of women among the people setting up companies assisted in 2012, whereas women represent only 38% of project owners in France.

  • Banks are regular partners of events or trade fairs such as "Les journées de l'entrepreneuriat au feminine" (female entrepreneurship days). The third event took place in November 2013.

  • The retail banking networks have also developed internal programmes to assist women setting up companies, through educational presentations, training workshops or by being involved in specific aid networks in favour of women entrepreneurs.

Specific aid

Women can benefit from aid from the FGIF (guarantee fund for the setting up, takeover or development of a company by women). The fund, created in 1989, can guarantee loans up to 70% of their amount without being able to exceed EUR 27,000 per company. It is managed by France Active. Thanks to the FGIF guarantee, 1,551 women have been able to raise nearly EUR 43 million of bank loans to set up their company since 2002 (France Active activity report - 2012).

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