Bpifrance celebrates 10 years of supporting French SMEs

As part of Bpifrance's 10th anniversary celebrations, Bpifrance organised an event on 31 May to mark 10 years of support for French SMEs, including a major conference on "NPBIs: what role in a changing world?".

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Taking stock of ten years of support for SMEs to meet the challenges of the future

Ms Merete Clausen, Director of Investment at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, paid tribute to ten years of progress by banks and public finance institutions, with a special mention for Bpifrance. She also underlined the value that these structures bring to the European financing ecosystem. The potential for development is still immense, and so is the work that needs to be done to meet current and future challenges. Finally, she stressed the importance of support and guidance for green technologies from banks and public finance institutions.

The first panel, chaired by Isabelle Bébéar, Director of International and European Affairs, addressed a number of major themes with a number of guests. Subjects such as digitalisation, Covid, lessons learned from the crises, forms of non-financial support, the impact of the climate transition and ESG criteria were discussed.

After a presentation of Bpifrance’s impact report (measuring the impact of its actions), Pascal Lagarde, Executive Director, International, Strategy, Research and Development, launched the second panel of the day.  Themes regarding future, such as reindustrialisation and governance, sustainable development, deeptech, internationalisation of SMEs, etc.) were all discussed in order to consider, in the company of invited guests, the following question: « What are the future challenges and ways to better support SMEs in order to face new economic and societal priorities and technological challenges?”.

Finally, Edmund S. Phelps, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, took the floor to retrace his intellectual itinerary and introduce his book « Mass Prosperity », in which he attempts to « crack » the mystery of the differences between dynamic societies and societies that are not. In his view, governments and public banks have a duty to encourage the fertility and creativity of individuals, and this starts at a very early age. In its own way, Bpifrance is trying to stimulate society so that there are twice as many entrepreneurs, twice as many projects, twice as many breakthrough ideas!