We open this letter on the news of the (French) government which, as we mentioned in the editorial of the month of January, leads four projects in connection with the Social and Solidarity Economy.
On 18 January, we were able to attend the inauguration of #FrenchIMPACT, the national accelerator for social innovation, and the launch of the first “Pionniers French Impact” call for projects whose objective is to build the showcase of socially innovative entrepreneurs. A call for applications will be launched in March to build the French ecosystem of social innovation and experiment with local accelerators on pilot territories, before the extension of the device on the whole national territory in 2019. It is clear that the stated objective is to support, far beyond the associations, mutuals and foundations, any company which, by its activity innovates socially by making it possible to reach quantifiable social objectives generating savings for the public expenses. It is a vision of social innovation reduced to the sole measure of social impact, but a vision that seems to bring together several members of the government, since three ministers surrounded Christophe Itier for this launch.
A vision that is consistent with the Action Plan for Growth and Transformation of Enterprises (PACTE) and the announcement of the mission entrusted to Nicole Notat and Jean-Dominique Senard on “business and general interest”. As we announced, this topic raises questions from the actors of the ESS who are mobilizing to value the contribution and the experience of SSE on this subject. Michel Prugue, president of Coop de France, said in an article published in Up Magazine this February 8: “Inspired by the Anglo-Saxon model of “B.CORP “, these companies” mission “would be more citizen-based, more modern, more committed … more human! Indeed, a business can be governed by something other than the rapid return on capital and the short-term profit of its shareholders; the people who compose it can be respected, their participation can be valued; the long term can be protected in the name of the collective interests of today’s women and men and their children, and the children of their children. All this may seem extremely innovative, but for us, it’s our daily life though being sometimes … very old companies! See also on this point the forums published in the monthly letter n ° 117 of CIRIEC and in particular that of Jean Gatel who was Secretary of State, in charge of the Social Economy.
If the Movement for the Solidarity Economy (MESà conceives / understands this desire to moralize the lucrative enterprises to tend towards a more ethical capitalism, we remain vigilant so that the notion of general interest is not distorted. We remain above all mobilized to defend the diversity of citizen dynamics working for a transition towards a more solidarity-based, more just and more sustainable society. If, as stated by Les Echos, a majority of bosses would be favorable to companies with a mission to see a new opportunity for companies to go further in the CSR and to go beyond the green or the social washing, why not propose to these companies to meet the obligations imposed today by the ESUS approval, it would already be a great step forward.
(Extract from the editorial of the MES – Movement for the Solidarity Economy – of the February 2018 newsletter)
See the full text (in French) here.