Today, it is clear that the financial sector - through its economic strength and influence - must take responsibility for creating a more inclusive society and a more just world.
What does the word “philanthropy” mean to you? Even today, we think too often that it is the business of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett of this world. It is believed that being a philanthropist requires having raised huge sums of money.
It is an outdated conception that it would do well to dust off and expand. Whether it is called philanthropy, sharing or mutual aid, this solidarity can and must be within everyone's reach. It is the only way to respond to the immense challenges that we collectively face.
Our system is running out of steam: it is necessary to offer virtuous and sustainable alternatives. To do this, individuality will not be required. We need a collective awakening, especially from the most powerful. Today, it is clear that the financial sector - through its economic strength and influence - must take responsibility for creating a more inclusive society and a more just world. It is no longer just a question of defining ever larger margins and striving for ever more frenetic growth, the stake is also elsewhere. It is time to take into account the creation of social value beyond the economic imperative.
Fortunately, we are seeing trends that are going in the right direction in recent years. I am thinking in particular of the words of Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, director general manager of BNP Paribas which underlined, a few months ago, that: “the capacity to generate a profit is no longer the only indicator of the company's success ”. Or to Larry Fink, President and CEO of BlackRock who decided to include sustainability as their “standard forinvestment“. Such remarks would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
This realization makes me optimistic. It suffices to connect this goodwill with adapted solutions to better distribute our collective resources and respond to the challenges facing us. Such was the conviction instilled at Epic, foundation created six years ago and which fights to change the trajectory of disadvantaged young people. In order to remove the obstacles to solidarity and sharing, we provide both individuals and businesses with tools to optimize their generosity.
Whether they are business leaders, entrepreneurs, startups or investment funds, they have the particular possibility of committing to donate a percentage of their profits, capital gains or management fees. It is also in this logic that the Epic Pledge was created. To transform donation intentions into concrete promises. Another example : Société Générale corporate & investment banking recently developed the Hedge to Pledge initiative, in partnership with Epic, a tailor-made solution allowing companies, clients of the bank, to make donations on rounding of foreign exchange transactions for the benefit of social organizations. The bank, for its part, undertakes to supplement these donations to create a virtuous circle.
These solutions integrate naturally, systemically and harmoniously into any sector or business model. And businesses are taking note. More and more, they have understood that CSR before, where you could just write a check at the end of the year, is no longer enough. We need to integrate social good as soon as possible and be consistent across the chain. Businesses have every good reason to do this. In addition to the moral imperative imposed on us, the expectations of consumers and employees have changed. Everyone at their own level can be a micro-activist by voting with their credit card or by choosing an employer who shares their values. Companies that have not understood this development will find it increasingly difficult to attract customers or hire talent. If they don't fit, like Nokia ou Kodak, one day they will disappear.
The entire France FinTech team, its members and partners wish you a happy new year 2021!
By Geraldine Russell, for Maddyness