When the social and solidarity-based economy tackles the economic integration of migrants frontally

Initiatives in favor of migrants are increasing in SSE. In addition to reception, first aid and accommodation, they are particularly interested in their financial integration. Symbolically, Benoît Hamon, former Minister of Social Affairs and Solidarity Economy, a few months ago became director of the NGO Singa, which aims to involve residents and refugees in the realization of professional projects. For a long time, historical actors in the SSE, such as the cooperative movement and Adie, have implemented such collective initiatives.

Correct injustices

It is not surprising for researcher Cristèle Bernard, from Sciences Po Grenoble, to see such concerns on the part of the sector, as “SSE associations and companies promote values ​​such as solidarity, reciprocity and social cohesion to remedy injustices. We see a revitalization of the movement, with the migration crisis in 2015. Of course, we should worry about emergency reception and access to rights and then very rapid integration. This is where SSE’s structures come in. ” a farmer who was arrested for helping migrants.Firstly, it was a matter of securing the protection of refugees who arrived from the Italian border, and then the question of economic activity arose, with the creation of agricultural activities.

With the support of local authorities

In these objectives, SSE actors are also supported by local authorities. Cristèle Bernard thus sets another example with the Grenoble Métropole, which, by implementing a policy of assistance to migrants, has required local associations to develop their economic integration. Many other communities have followed suit. They have been gathered since last year in Anvita, the national association of inviting cities and territories.

Among them, Paris City also supports the SSE in economic integration missions. This is the case for the Langues plurielles cooperative, which offers many tools for learning French. “We help refugees and migrants at different stages of their journey,” explains Blanche Pichot de Champfleury, director of Scop. The city of Paris funds us for actions aimed at working people who have a residence permit. Through the Refuge call, we also support asylum seekers. Finally, we have created a free application for people who are far from writing. I’m the learning app designed with the refugees themselves, and it already has several versions. “Learning French is essential for migrants,” adds Blanche Pichot de Champfleury Multilingual offers both professional French for those who have a job and everyday French for the validation of the residence permit, which requires a minimum level of French. “

Support migrants in setting up a business

Another Parisian association that finds the same audience as Multilingualism in the northeast of Paris, Meltingcoop set up the Migracoop project three years ago to help migrants create their activity. It is up to them to test it for a few months in volatile cooperatives. “We reach a predominantly female audience,” says Anna Mourlaque, founder of the Meltingcoop Association. They participated in two cooperatives, one focusing on cooking and the other on sewing. During the time of the cooperative, they can develop an economic activity while pursuing education. The interesting thing is the business they find after their passage, continuing at a restaurant or a sewing workshop. Collective entrepreneurship makes it possible to create solidarity and financial mutual assistance. Supported by the City of Paris, the Crédit Coopératif Foundation and the Coopaname Business and Employment Cooperative, the Migracoop project continues this year in the form of “flashcoops”, which last ten days to discover people who are migrant women who want to do business together.

Microcredit for financing

Integration through small businesses has been Adie’s challenge for thirty years. Every year, 300 refugees get their project funded by a microcredit from Adie, couriers, cooking-related businesses and small crafts. Eliott Inguenaud, Development Manager, confirms that the Solidarity Funding Operator has stepped up its efforts towards migrants since 2015: “In our country of origin, wage labor is not the norm; creating a business is therefore a real solution. As our microcredits are provided with guarantees, our advisers are looking for people who can act as guarantors or the agency provides a loan without guarantee”. Measures aimed at refugees thus appear to be growing rapidly, and since 2015, public actors have begun to offer funding to these target groups and have asked for integration and SSE actors to coordinate to help them.

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