Developing microcredit in France and enabling people who are unemployed or have limited financial resources to become entrepreneurs is the raison d’être of the partnership that has united the Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique (Adie) and BNP Paribas since 1993. Here we take a closer look at a selection of historical archives showing the links that have grown stronger over the last thirty years.
ADIE: THE ASSOCIATION THAT WANTS TO ENABLE EVERYONE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR
Inspired by the experience of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which lends to landless peasants, the Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique (Association for the right to economic initiative) has been working since 1989 to provide practical and different solutions to the problems of unemployment, business financing and social inclusion. It was founded by Maria Nowak, an economist committed to the right to economic initiative and a pioneer of microcredit in France and Europe. She worked as an economist in the field of development in developing countries at the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), BDPA and SATEC.
In the 1990s, Adie received financial and technical support from a number of French banks, including Caisse des Dépôts, Crédit mutuel, Crédit agricole, as well as BNP and Paribas, which joined forces in 2000 to create the BNP Paribas Group. In addition to pure financing, Adie benefits from the advice and expertise of bankers from the two forerunners of BNP Paribas, either still working or retired, who work for the association on a voluntary basis.
Between 1993 and the present day, the links between the two partners have grown steadily, and Adie has also become a key association for the Banlieue project. Launched in 2005 at the instigation of Michel Pébereau, Chairman of the bank at the time, this global solidarity programme supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation and run by its networks aims to reduce social exclusion and the obstacles faced by people in disadvantaged areas.
DISCOVER THE DOCUMENTARY SELECTION ILLUSTRATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BNP PARIBAS AND ADIE
On 21 February 2001, Adie and BNP Paribas signed an agreement under which the bank became one of the Association’s financial partners for the creation of a solidarity loan fund. The agreement, which sets out the terms and conditions of BNP Paribas’ involvement was signed by Michel Pébereau, Chairman of BNP Paribas at this time, and Maria Nowak, Chairman of ADIE. Reference : BNP Paribas historical archives, 10Fi914-3.
On 24 October 2004, “La Tribune” (a French economic newspaper) reported on the new agreement between Adie and BNP Paribas, under which the bank undertook to provide the association with a credit line of two million euros, intended to finance at least one thousand business start-up projects undertaken by unemployed people and people receiving minimum social benefits. Reference : BNP Paribas historical archives, 117AH80.
In 2012, BNP Paribas produced the photographic exhibition “Les Audacieux” (The Audacious) by Alex Majoli and Jonas Bendiksen, aimed at highlighting the entrepreneurs supported by Adie. 36 portraits of men and women supported by Adie are exhibited in Paris. Reference : BNP Paribas historical archives, 4AF671.
On 26 February 2021, Frédéric Lavenir, Chairman of Adie, and Michel Pébereau, Chairman of the BNP Paribas Foundation, renewed the partnership agreement between the two parties. The aim is to finance and support 20 active Adie branches in priority urban policy areas and to finance 13,000 entrepreneurs over the period 2021-2023.
Did you know?
In Seine-Saint-Denis (France), between 2006 and 2008, the partnership with ADIE enabled 136 micro-loans to be financed over 3 years, 108 businesses to be created and 130 jobs to be created. Three microcredit branches have been set up in the department thanks to the support of the BNP Foundation.