December 01, 2011
BNP Paribas Cardif is teaming with the "Entreprendre Pour Apprendre" association to promote basic economic and financial education.
BNP Paribas Cardif staff will volunteer their time and expertise to support this partnership.
Practical workshops on insurance and business management will help young people gain economic empowerment.
Recognized for its CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) performance in the extra-financial rating by Vigéo* in 2010, insurance company BNP Paribas Cardif is expanding its community involvement through a partnership with the organization Entreprendre Pour Apprendre (EPA)** . EPA is active in 18 regions throughout France, providing entrepreneurship and financial literacy education for 12,000 young people each year.
In choosing to partner with EPA, BNP Paribas Cardif underlines a strong commitment to developing financial education. This initiative fosters a better understanding by young people of the economic and financial environment in which they live.
The company has three key objectives as part of this partnership:
- Foster financial literacy among young people (with a focus on insurance and business management).
- Transmit key skills in this area thanks to practical training workshops.
- Encourage active employee participation in the company's community involvement actions.
Practical training workshops for young people led by company employees
Since September 2011, some 20 members of the Distribution and Business Development France department of BNP Paribas Cardif have been taking part in this entrepreneurship and business management educational programme. These volunteers visit French schools to facilitate two workshops.
"The first is for 9-11 year olds, while the second is designed for middle school and high school students, giving them a chance to create their own business," says Hugues Blériot, chief operating officer for Distribution and Business Development France at BNP Paribas Cardif.
The first workshop is called "Ma commune" (My Community), during which students discover how a community functions, with an emphasis on citizenship and the role of local businesses.
The second workshop, called "La mini-entreprise", aims to raise interest among students in how to launch a business and manage its projects, with support from business experts who act as sponsors. The workshop helps young people learn about the value of entrepreneurship, develop entrepreneurial skills and think concretely about their future educational path.Supported by the company, volunteer staff participate in these programs within the framework of their work schedule.
"To make these programmes an integral part of our business activities, the company itself donates half the time employees spend teaching the students," notes Hugues Blériot.
"We're delighted to count staff from BNP Paribas Cardif as part of our programme," says Isabelle Andrieu, national director of EPA France. "New volunteers will be involved as sponsors and help finalize the ‘mini-enterprises' created by the students with links to the insurance business. Others will sit on the juries during the regional and national championships."
Community involvement in France and other countries
BNP Paribas Cardif staff are involved either alone or in pairs, teaching up to 12 times a year at local schools in the Paris region (in Paris, the suburbs of Courbevoie, Meudon and Gennevilliers), as well as at schools in Caen and Nancy.
Marc Tentillier, head of Sustainable Development at BNP Paribas Cardif, says: "We're very proud of this initiative, which makes the expertise of BNP Paribas Cardif staff available to aid young people. This is fully consistent with our insurance and finance activities, giving us a legitimate presence while underscoring the strong commitment of the company to serving the communities where we do business."
Alongside this community involvement in France, BNP Paribas Cardif international subsidiaries are active in comparable initiatives.
In Italy, the company has a partnership with the Italian branch of the association and in Taiwan, BNP Paribas Cardif supports educational reading programmes for disadvantaged children. In the Netherlands the company has developed a financial education website and supports the financial literacy association Leven En Financien (Life and Finance).
*Vigeo: a European extra-financial rating agency (see press release dated 07/02/2011)**Entrepreneurship for Learning, the French branch of Junior Achievement, www.ja.org