–Noé Meyerfeld – Officer-in-charge of Fashion and Luxury Accelerator at BPI
-Aurélien Banon – Co-funding representative for BPI in Paris
-Didier Bisch – International representative for BPI
With the leitmotif of boosting and making the French economy more competitive, BPI France is positioning itself as a partner, a finance and support strategy for French companies within the Fashion industry. Both for their endeavours in France as well as internationally. So, what are their companies support tools, particularly overseas and what capacity do they have to use them?
As a project bank and not a funding bank, BPI never works alone and the funding is always shared 50/50 with a partner bank. They therefore have rules to follow to be able to support these companies, which are centred around three main basic principles which are applied to all products offered by BPI.:
- BPI can only work with companies that have been established for over three years
- BPI can only work with companies which recorded a net profit for the previous closed financial year
- The amount of financing granted will be at most equal to the companies own funds.
Collateral-free loans, BPI leading products
The gateway loan at BPI is the development loan for new businesses, aimed at new businesses and SMBs (small and medium businesses), with between 3 and 50 employees. Funding could be between 10,000€ to 50,000€, to finance upgrades, recruitment, communication, small computer equipment, etc. Anything related to material investment with a low guarantee value, but also to the WCR (Working Capital Requirement). This is a 5-year loan, with one year of deferred payment and with interest rates under 1%.
Once a company has grown, it can also benefit from another collateral-free loan, the development loan, with a minimum of 300,000€ geared towards SMB and MSBs (intermediate-sized businesses).
Unlike the previous loan, this loan lasts 7-years with two years of deferred payment and the eligible expenditures remain the same as the TPE development loan. This loan facilitates the financing of intangible expenses, WCR, recruitment needs etc. It will also be able to be used in the event of external development. In this particular case, the proposed rate depends on the rating from the Bank of France and the company, which is updated every month.
The Fashion and Luxury Accelerator
BPI are launching a support programme for fashion businesses very shortly, in partnership with professional organisations in the sector and professional boards of economic development such as DEFI (an accredited fund-collecting agency for employment and training development in the industry), Francéclat (Professional board of Watchmaking, Jewellery, Goldsmithery and Tableware development) and CTC (National Leather Council). This Fashion and Luxury Accelerator is a support programme for teams managing small businesses with turnovers between 2 and 10 million euros, which have been established for at least 2 years. This one-year program is based on three complementary components: individualised and tailor-made advice, training and networking and synergies. This is thanks to 270 experts from both sectors and professions authorised by BPI France, who are aiming to boost the growth of the supported companies. Beyond this individualised support, a collective course has been set-up centred around seminars which have been organised in partnership with the ESCP (Europe Business School) and the French Institute of Fashion. The course is enhanced by an e-learning programme. This tool makes it possible to set up an entire ecosystem and community that gives rise to synergies between the sector’s players and gives access to multiple resources.
What about support overseas?
Beyond the services provided in France, there are various measures in place to support export development of French fashion businesses.
Firstly, the prospection insurance managed by BPI for the State account to finance and partially ensure companies prospective initiatives, for example the commercial risk of the prospective processes being carried out. This prospection insurance is offered to first-time exporters, covering two different products. Above all, the A3P, first-time prospection insurance, for companies embarking into the international and the prospection period lasts up to one-year maximum. Once the budget is set, the company is compensated up to this amount. It will only have to reimburse the sums received if it generates turnover from exports and from any foreign country. The second product is the “classic” prospection insurance, which applies to business that is already able to present a three-year prospecting plan. With both these product, BPI’s involvement goes up to 65% of the financial support invested with the banking partner. This prospection period, is followed by a two-year franchise period at the end of which BPI France asks the company to review its action in the concerned area, including the resulting financial implications.
Other complementary products strengthen BPI’s role, for example the ICP (international cash pool), the development loan co-financed with a bank, and the international project guarantee. These products are tools that establish BPI as a privileged partner and a real accelerator of business projects in France and overseas.