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France Active Airdie, boosting success for meaningful projects in the Montpellier Métropole area

Information updated on 23/02/23

Of the 576 projects funded by the association in the eastern Occitanie region in 2022, no fewer than 102 originated in the greater Montpellier area, a place where company creation and quests for meaning increasingly go hand in hand.

Airdie ©France-active-airdie

France Active Airdie is one of the most active and dedicated sources of funding promoting an economy based on meaning and values. The association’s 2022 annual report once again demonstrates this focus. Notably, it highlights a trend that is taking shape for the long-term: while creating jobs, projects involved with this approach continue to expand in the Montpellier Métropole area.
Last year, 102 of the 573 projects funded in the eastern Occitanie region emerged from around Montpellier. That represents nearly 20% of all the projects that received aid from France Active Airdie.
More importantly, these 102 projects mobilized loans, guarantees, and funding with a budget totaling 2.9 M€, creating or consolidating 854 jobs along the way.

“Our largest projects in 2022 were from the Montpellier Métropole area,” says Laetitia Léonard, the association’s director, who also points out growth of company creations in the social and solidarity economy sector. “It’s proof that people are, more than ever, seeking meaning and independence, particularly in the Montpellier Métropole territory,” she adds. This is all the more evident considering that the 2022 figures are even higher than those of 2019, France Active Airdie’s record year in terms of the number of projects financed.

The health crisis therefore triggered a major change, which is reflected in people’s desire to do business in accordance with their social, societal, and environmental values. Among the projects being funded in Montpellier are Kinosa, a family-run business that is committed to offering healthy, generous, and responsible products for all tastes and budgets, along with Agapè, a friendly support space designed for the well-being of women.
This latter project has benefited from the Women’s Equality Guarantee  created by France Active to replace the existing individual guarantee. Quanta, a restaurant and social space committed to fighting exclusion and racism in Montpellier’s Figuerolles district, was also one of the winners of the  Les Essenti’Elles competition, launched in 2022 by France Active Airdie as a means of contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
For the competition’s first edition, 43 applications from Montpellier’s 12 Urban Policy Districts were submitted and 15 winners were selected. Following this success, France Active Airdie is launching its second edition. Candidates are being accepted through February 7 (register here).
Other innovative actions include terrAES, to promote agro-ecological, social, and solidarity-based transition in the Gard and Hérault departments. Projects are being carried out in Castries and Lavérune as part of this program.                  

Last but not least, a new initiative that is already gaining ground: Les Cafés Engagés, created by Montpellier Métropole to share solutions and best practices related to the transition or current societal issues. Each event brings together an average of 30 entrepreneurs. The next meeting, scheduled for February 16 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Montpellier BIC facility, will address the question: How can I recruit and retain my team with meaning?
This format is also very attractive. “98% of the evaluations are positive. A community is being formed thanks to them,” says Lætitia Léonard, whose association is helping create an economy that reflects meaning and values while creating jobs in the Montpellier metropolitan area. France Active Airdie, in line with the times.