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In 1993, the French government’s Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations carried out a study which revealed that, despite the number of agencies offering assistance in creating a business in France, (Chambers of Commerce and Industry, help organizations, foundations, etc.) many companies went out of business within the first three years.

There are many explications for this situation, but probably the most important is related to the financial support available during the first year: this is reduced in the second year and it is only in the third year that the business has to survive on its turnover. New entrepreneurs are unable to generate sufficient turnover during this period to sustain their company over the long-term future. Others, though keen to start their own business, are worried that they do not have the managerial skills necessary for running a company.

And yet, new SMEs are a key factor in the creation of new jobs, economic growth and social insertion today. This needs to be recognized as they offer solutions not only for the development of new commercial activities, but also for meeting social objectives through the involvement of all in today’s society. Social cooperative companies offer an opportunity for individuals and groups to work together in the fight against instability in the job market.

As a result, social cooperative companies help people to create a business and a job for themselves, as an individual or with others, and thus to satisfy their personal ambitions while contributing to alternative solutions for the economy.