Speed meetings on innovation to support local and regional SMEs
The vitality of SMEs is essential to local and regional development. To ensure that vitality, small firms are supported by banks (according to the INSEE statistics and economic studies institute, the activity of over one million French SMEs was supported by €374 million in loans in 2015. Of the total, 94% obtained the requested financing for their investments). Crédit Agricole is seeking to take things further in terms of fostering the development of SMEs while having its own clients benefit from their technological advances.
Innovative SMEs in sensitive areas or in Crédit Agricole operating territories now have the possibility of showcasing their expertise. In 2015, for the first time, the Purchasing Department organised a speed meeting on innovation. Some 258 companies responded to the invitation, enabling them to promote their technology and creativity with Group businesses and entities.
Thirty of them were selected by a broad range of buyers and business experts and the Group's subsidiaries received a catalogue of their products and services. The initiative gave the firms a real opportunity to boost their visibility, opening the door to a key account. In return, the bank's businesses benefit from their technological advance to move forward and respond even better to the needs of their clients.