Microcredit in France: What impact does it have on employment?

This Working Paper is published in the framework of the technical cooperation project on "Financial Inclusion - Promoting financial innovations with impact social," implemented by the International Labour Organization’s Social Finance Programme (ILO SFP), with the support from the Mission for Innovation, social experiment and social economy, in the French ministry for health and social affairs. It has been published together with the Centre d’Analyse stratégique (CAS), bringing as well insights from the partnership with the Caisse des Dépots et Consignations and the consultations with microcredit operators in France.

For the ILO, this project builds on the results of the action research on "Microfinance for Decent Work" (MF4DW), implemented globally with 15 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 2008 to 2012. The MF4DW brings evidence that financial institutions can be conduits for decent work improvement amongst their clients, through the provision of innovative financial and non-financial services. The tools and approaches developed by this MF4DW initiative, in particular related to the promotion of social performance in developing countries, are a valuable contribution to this project implemented in France.

This Working Paper gives an overview of the microcredit sector in France and formulates recommendations on how to better track its impact on employment. We hope that it will contribute to nurturing the discussions on social performance measurement in microfinance and provide further arguments on the linkages between microfinance and employment.