Establishment of the Local Corporate Endowment to fight against youth poverty in Nantes

The Break Poverty Foundation launches its unique strategy to mobilize corporations to fight against poverty: the local corporate endowment. After a first successful experience, this strategy has been recognized by the government and mentioned in their national strategy to fight against poverty on a national level, but first on three different territories, including the city of Nantes.

A first reunion occurred on the 3rd of April at the offices of MEDEF with the support of 6 corporate networks in Nantes. Many business leaders were present for this unique initiative with an important mission of fighting against youth poverty in Nantes.

The Local Corporate Endowment: a new strategy to fight against poverty in Nantes

The number of people living under the international poverty line in France has increased by approximately one million people during the past 10 years. This increase has an important impact on young people. In Nantes, the city is thriving economically while the young living in certain neighborhoods suffer, creating important disparities between quality of life and unemployment rates, which are increasing more and more each year. Faced with this poverty rate, the Break Poverty Foundation opens the path towards a more responsible economy by offering a new strategy that would mobilize corporations in terms of prevention against poverty: the local corporate endowment. Essentially, this strategy would take the form of a voluntary allocation, up to 2% of the corporation’s end of year results, dedicated to programs chosen by the corporation that fight against poverty and the exclusion of young people on their own territory.

A very successful strategy which is more ambitious than ever

In order to show the impact that local actors can have on their own territory, Break Poverty has tested this strategy in Romans-sur-Isère. The numbers speak for themselves: 6 programs financed with more than 1 million euros in order to assist 1 000 young people during the course of three years. Its success has incited the government to mention it in their national plan to fight against poverty in France. Nantes is one of the three territories chosen to develop the local corporate endowment.

Given the success obtained at Romans-sur-Isère and the far larger dimensions of Nantes, the Break Poverty Foundation aims to find funds to support and develop 15 projects.

According to Denis Metzger, President of the Break Poverty Foundation, “the objective is for the local corporate endowment to have a concrete and visible impact on the young population of the territory and our ambition is to demonstrate that our objective is feasible in a large city such as Nantes.”

Launching party on the 3rd April 2019

After realizing a local diagnostic of the youth’s social needs who live in deprived neighborhoods in Nantes and selected projects that respond to these needs, the Break Poverty Foundation has presented approximately fifteen projects to corporations on the territory. These projects cover 4 important preventive measures taken to fight against poverty: support during early childhood, prevent school dropouts, bring young people closer to the working world and help them access employment. These projects, selected on the basis of impact and efficiency, are primordially carried out by associations in Nantes.

The establishment of the Local Corporate Endowment in Nantes is already supported by the main corporation networks in Nantes: MEDEF, Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie, Cercle des Jeunes Dirigeants, CPME, Dirigeants Responsables de l’Ouest and the reseau Entreprendre. Their members have responded present to their invitation for the reunion on the 3rd of April and their first comments show great promise and evoke their desire to commit themselves to the strategy.

“I am pleased to associate myself with an initiative that aims to open the corporate world to the young population. The solution to the youth’s social exclusion is to help them find employment or a specialized training” – Patrick Cheppe, President of the MEDEF 44

The next step for Break Poverty will consist in individually meeting the different corporate heads in order to select their preferred project(s) to finance. A next reunion will take place on the 12th of June to discuss the developments regarding their commitment towards certain projects and the strategy as a whole.

Press contact: Valerie Daher, vdaher@breakpoverty.com, 06 70 01 58 34