Les Nouvelles Publications

Jean Ticory, vice-president of Cress Paca: “A unique fund in the region for Ess companies”



Les Nouvelles Publications: Why did you decide to launch a fund dedicated to companies in the social and solidarity economy?

Jean Ticory: The investment vehicle invESS’t Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur dedicated to the social and solidarity economy (ESS) was created on the initiative of the Regional Chamber of the social and solidarity economy of the Paca region ( CRESS Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) headquartered in Marseille. We decided to create a single fund in the regions for SSE companies, because some of their needs were not covered by existing mechanisms, the historical players in financing. This is a high balance sheet tool which can complement other sources of funding.

Who are the different actors of this fund?

CRESS Paca is at the origin of this fund and we have defined its contours. In terms of operational functioning, the Regional Chamber directs the animation of the file selection committee. On the management side of this “local” fund, we chose the management company A Plus Finance for its regional location (Marseille) and its in-depth knowledge of the field and this type of subject.

We then launched a fundraiser, from the end of 2019, to provide this tool with a substantial sum. It is currently €10 million. The investors who took part in this operation made the choice to finance companies with a limited expected return, in return for their commitment to the SSE. These are AESIO Mutuelle, Abeille Assurances (formerly Aviva), Banque des Territoires, BNP Paribas, Canal de Provence, Cepac Caisse d’Épargne, Crédit Mutuel Méditerranéen, Fastt, but also from Groupe Macif and Solimut Mutuelle de France.

What are your operating rules?

The ” deal flow » or potential business flow comes mainly from CRESS Paca, investors and the financial management company. The selection rules are strict. We havea selection committee that validates that the project belongs to the SSE universe. The criteria are the purpose of the project, its modalities (for example, the governance of the company) and its externalities (verifying that the impacts of the project are not in contradiction with the values ​​of the SSE).

To be selected, the project must tick enough boxes and it must also absolutely have validated its economic model and be in development. Once the committee validates a project, it is the turn of A Plus Finance to intervene for the negotiation (legal, economic, financial).

What is your assessment after one year of fund activity?

We analyzed about a hundred files. 24 were presented to the selection committee. Three have been finalized, four or five will be by the end of 2022. 50% of the files presented are being followed up, hoping for changes.

The InvESS’t Paca fund invests in The Platform

The refusals that we pronounce often concernthe maturity of the company. We finance the development of the company, she must have passed certain milestones. The second subject concerns the financing itself. The fund invests in SSE companies that present a development potential. Its purpose is to provide equity, quasi-equity and debt tools for companies in the social and solidarity economy, regardless of their legal structures (commercial companies, cooperatives, associations, etc.). As a reminder, we invest via shares, associative securities, convertible bonds in companies with a minimum of 10 employees. Our ticket is between 150 k€ and 700 k€.

We are very satisfied with the start of invESS’t Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. And we are confident for the future. Moreover, we would like other regions to develop a similar tool. We are at their disposal to share our experience in this area, at the service of companies.

Funder’s advice:The company must imperatively present growth prospects and promote the values ​​of the social and solidarity economy in order to be retained. »

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