FAIR, what for ?
In June 2021, the association Finansol, a major player in social finance, and Impact Invest Lab, an associative platform dedicated to the experimentation and development of social impact investments, joined forces to create "FAIR".
FAIR, which stands for 'Finance – Accompany – Impact - Reunite', unifies different stakeholders of social impact finance in France and is the French center of expertise in this field at an international level.
Vision and mission
FAIR aspires to an economy that puts people at the center of its development. In France and internationally, FAIR works towards an inclusive finance, for a better social and environmental impact. To this end, FAIR brings together individual and institutional investors, by relying on civic engagement and financial innovation.
Its missions are :
- To unite the community of committed stakeholders and citizens around a more transparent, social and impact generating finance ;
- Support and educate its members ;
- Encourage the innovation and development of financial tools that promote social and environmental impact ;
- Collectively promote social saving products and impact investments so that they both develop at the same pace and fit together seamlessly ;
- To speak on behalf of its members when addressing public authorities ;
- Spread and share good practice guidelines around the world.
The Finansol label.
Introduced in 1997, the label certifies the social dimension of a financial product. It is mainly based on solidarity and transparency criterions. Investors therefore have an official certification that their money is really going towards activities that generate social and/or environmental benefits. This label is assigned and controlled annually by a committee of independent experts.
French Social Finance Barometer.
Published every year since 2003 in collaboration with La Croix, the French social finance barometer puts forward the key figures of social finance in France. It gives an overview of the various social initiatives, yearly statistics, fiscal benefits, plus a detailed list of the various solidarity-based finance vehicles.
Semaine de la finance solidaire (Social finance week).
Since 2008, the 'Semaine de la finance solidaire' takes place each year, in early November. It gives the members of FAIR 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 social finance.
If you feel like getting involved in promoting an 'alternative way' of financing the economy, look us up at www.finance-fair.org/fr/semaine-de-la-finance-solidaire (in French).
Defending social impact finance
FAIR has introduced an active lobbying policy, which has proved to be efficient. Members of Parliament as well as government officials have shown a great interest. They believe that social finance will thrive.
The members of FAIR are working towards an objective: that by 2025, 1% of the global financial assets of the French public be invested in social investment products. The current figure is 0,42%. It shows that it will be difficult to achieve this challenge But we, FAIR, are confident that it is possible.
All three of these drawbacks can be overcome. There is place for social savings accounts as well as for social life insurance policies, but in both cases, government support is necessary.
There are also many social issues that need to be addressed. As a matter of fact, the younger generations are very keen on working in (and eventually setting up) social businesses. The '1%' objective is therefore not out of reach.
Analyzing social impact finance
FAIR set up some time ago what is known as the Observatory on social impact finance (Observatoire de la finance à impact social). Its purpose is to collect all the available statistics in the field of social finance. The observatory is therefore in constant contact with the members of FAIR. The observatory releases annual figures on the evolution of social savings and social financing on a year-end to year-end basis, as well as on the performances of social investment products.