After five years of learnings from its $30 million philanthropic investment in Greater Paris, with a focus on Seine-Saint-Denis, the firm announces an expanded philanthropic commitment and launches a business initiative to support diverse private investment firms and their portfolio companies

New whitepaper details learnings from the firm's recent investment in Greater Paris' economic growth and informs new commitments across France

PARIS, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- As JPMorgan Chase continues to grow its business in France and learn from its recent philanthropic investments supporting underserved communities in Greater Paris, today the firm announced $70 million in new business and philanthropic commitments to connect individuals and entrepreneurs to economic opportunities across the country. This brings the firm's total commitment since 2018 to $100 million.

The firm also released a new whitepaper detailing lessons learned from the past five years, which have informed this new firmwide commitment across France.

Today's $70 million announcement includes:

  • Spark France (Étincelle)- Creation of a Spark France investment initiative in partnership with Bpifrance, aimed at providing capital to gender diverse private investment firms and funds investing in strategies that are positively impacting society and communities. JPMorgan Chase will commit $50 million to this initiative.
  • Commitment to Underserved Communities- An additional $20 million philanthropic commitment to support programs that help connect underserved communities in France to employment and business growth opportunities that will arise from an evolving economy. The commitment will seek to align with France 2030, the country's national investment plan to create new and competitive pathways for economic growth in key sectors such as green and technology.

"The economic impact we've helped to create with local community and government partners in Seine-Saint-Denis, and the learnings we've developed, are critical as we look to this next chapter of business growth in France." said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase. "With over 150 years of doing business in France, we believe these new investments will help serve clients, deepen relationships and help communities benefit from new economic opportunities that were not previously accessible."

Expansion of Spark France Initiative

Access to capital remains acute for women-owned businesses resulting in a lower growth rate for these businesses. Across several European countries including France, 3% of private equity funds go to women start-ups and this disparity is exacerbated at the time of crisis. In the past year alone venture capital allocations have dropped to 2% for women-owned businesses.

The Spark France initiative will seek to invest in funds advised by women-led managers and managers positively impacting society and communities, which will create growth in more areas of the economy. Research shows that diverse venture capital managers are more likely to invest in diverse entrepreneurs.  

Spark France1 will be managed by Bpifrance in close partnership with J.P. Morgan Asset Management – leveraging Bpifrance's experience, infrastructure, and networking with French private equity managers. JPMorgan Chase will commit $50 million to this initiative and Bpifrance will commit €10 million to the initiative. The objective is to raise between €150 - €200 million by the end of 2024.

By leveraging learnings from its U.S. based Project Spark, Jamie Kramer, Head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Alternatives Solutions and the Chair of the Project Spark Investment Committee, will lead JPMorgan Chase's support of the initiative in the French market, along with Kyril Courboin, the firm's Senior Country Officer in France.

"Bpifrance is delighted to partner with JPMorgan Chase, which is line with our actions to promote diversity in private equity as well as impact investing. This initiative complements our support for entrepreneurial dynamics in all territories, which recently took another step forward with the 'Entrepreneuriat Quartiers 2030' program launched by the French government." said Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance.

"I was present at Les Compagnons du Devoir in 2018 when Jamie Dimon announced JPMorgan Chase's $30 million commitment to Greater Paris. A part of that money was invested in a Bpifrance accelerator program supporting the growth of entrepreneurs from Seine-Saint-Denis. It is impressive to see how that collaboration has evolved five years later and that JPMorgan and Bpifrance are now teaming up to create an investment initiative which will offer capital to diverse venture capital managers across France." said Agnes Pannier Runacher, Minister of Energy Transition.

Commitment to Underserved Communities

JPMorgan Chase will build on progress and learnings from its initial five-year philanthropic investment in Greater Paris by making a new $20 million commitment that doubles down on what works and scales programs in the region and beyond. As France seeks to deliver on its national investment plan, France 2030, which aims to create new and competitive pathways for economic growth, JPMorgan Chase will support programs that connect underserved communities to employment and business growth opportunities that will arise from this new economy.

The firm's initial focus will be on:

  • Career Readiness and Skills Development: Supporting socio-economically disadvantaged young people helping them make informed decisions about their career pathways, remain engaged in their education, build skills and attain work experiences to access jobs especially those related to technology, innovation and the green transition.
  • Small Business Growth: Supporting underserved entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, and scaling programs that have worked. The goal will be for underserved entrepreneurs to build income and wealth by connecting them to opportunities arising from the new economy sectors and helping them access capital and adapt to green and technological transformations.

"By applying the lessons we have learned, our new commitment will bring together philanthropic and business investments to drive greater impact throughout France. As a part of this commitment, we will continue to look for ways to build more diversity and inclusivity into our own recruitment practices," said Tim Berry, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility. "We look forward to growing and deepening our partnerships from the past five years to continue to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs, connect residents to economic opportunities and strengthen the local non-profit ecosystem."

Five Years of Impact

Today's announcement marks the five-year anniversary of JPMorgan Chase's $30 million commitment to the Greater Paris region, particularly in Seine-Saint-Denis, which aims to support programs that help residents and entrepreneurs tap into the growing opportunities associated with public and private investment in the region, such as the Olympics and Paralympics Games and the Grand Paris Express. With 1.5 million residents in Greater Paris living in poverty and an unemployment rate of over 19% for individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 in Seine-Saint-Denis2, JPMorgan Chase has seen the value in supporting programs that help underserved communities access economic opportunity in the region while growing its business in France.

Since 2018, through its support for non-profit organizations, the firm's commitment in Greater Paris has helped support the following:

Career Readiness and Workforce Development:

  • More than 31,000 underserved individuals access career advancement, including 11,800 young people who were supported through career readiness programs.
  • These programs have resulted in 3,000 individuals accessing certified technical skills and more than 4,000 people attaining work experience, apprenticeships, and employment.

Small Business Growth:

  • Empowered over 8,700 micro-entrepreneurs and 600 local retail businesses from underserved neighbourhoods to build financial resilience during the COVID crisis.
  • Over 380 small businesses, with a focus on women-owned businesses, were supported to accelerate their growth through access to technical assistance, training, mentoring, and the connection to procurement and supply chain contracts.
  • More than 2,400 jobs have been retained or created.

Key Learnings to Guide the Firm's Continued Work with Business, Government and Community Leaders

The firm released a new whitepaper detailing the learnings from its investment in Greater Paris's economic growth. Over the past five years, JPMorgan Chase has worked with the French government and non-profit leaders in Greater Paris to support programs and initiatives that create a more inclusive economy. The firm's new business and philanthropic commitments will apply learnings from its five years of impact:

  • Lesson One: Facilitating and scaling innovation helps to create a multiplier effect
  • Lesson Two: Aligning support to public sector priorities, and collaborating with public and private stakeholders, contributes to impact at scale
  • Lesson Three: Helping to build a stronger non-profit sector contributes to long-lasting impact
  • Lesson Four: Integrating more women into the economy helps drive greater community development

Read the full whitepaper here 

Comments on the Importance of Creating Economic Opportunities in France

"JPMorgan Chase has shown significant support to the entire ecosystem of actors, public stakeholders, and non-profits in Seine-Saint-Denis. This commitment helped young people and underserved individuals facing challenges in their professional path and supported entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. All of these actions contribute to creating a more resilient and inclusive economy." said, Thibaut Guilluy, High Commissioner for Employment and Business Engagement - Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Economic Inclusion

"Seine-Saint-Denis is at a pivotal moment in its development. Significant events, such as the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the construction of the Grand Paris Express, are accelerating the transformation of the region and its economic growth. For this transformation to be a success, and importantly, for this economic growth to benefit the residents of Seine-Saint-Denis, we need the commitment of all stakeholders – public sector and businesses, such as JPMorgan Chase, who chose to invest in and support the local community, the non-profit ecosystem and young people in Seine-Saint-Denis." said, Stéphane Troussel, President of Seine-Saint-Denis Department

"JPMorgan Chase's support in Seine-Saint Denis over the past five years has been extremely impactful for Simplon and the communities we serve," stated Frédéric Bardeau, Co-Founder and President of Simplon.co. "Their support has helped us scale inclusive technology trainings and allowed for enhanced synergy with other non-profit players. Through JPMorgan Chase's help we've strengthened Simplon's technology systems and supported our international development. We look forward to continuing this partnership, and seeing JPMorgan Chase apply their learnings to continue supporting communities in France." 

"Our partnership with JPMorgan Chase is very strong due to the long-term commitment. Without lasting support to detect new entrepreneurs and enable talented people to access employment our actions would not be nearly as impactful, " stated Saïd Hammouche, Founding President of Mozaïk. "With JPMorgan Chase, we are reinventing a new model of collaboration, reducing employment discrimination in France!"

History of JPMorgan Chase in France

As the oldest U.S. bank in France, JPMorgan Chase's roots in the country run deep. Since 1868 the firm has served its clients and local communities in France in good and tough times – from helping citizens take part in the country's economic growth to supporting the Allies during WWI. Today, the firm has the largest presence of any U.S. bank in France and employs approximately 900 people – and that number continues to grow. The firm has its continental European trading hub in Paris and in 2019, JPMC expanded its commercial banking business in France.

About Project Spark

In 2021, J.P. Morgan announced the launch of Project Spark in the United States to provide capital to venture capital funds managed by diverse, emerging alternative managers. Project Spark seeks to help underrepresented managers in three ways: First, by investing the firm's proprietary capital, as a limited partner, directly in their funds. Second, by allowing the managers to use the J.P. Morgan brand when capital raising as a reference and testimonial.  Last, by providing access to our extensive J.P. Morgan network.  To date, Project Spark has selected 31 venture capital funds for $129 million in investments out of J.P. Morgan's total commitment of $140 million. Twenty seven fund commitments are closed and four are pending operational due diligence.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America ("U.S."), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $3.9 trillion in assets and $317 billion in stockholders' equity as of September 30, 2023. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

About Bpifrance

Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).

For more information, please visit: https://www.bpifrance.com/ - Follow us on X (ex-Twitter): @Bpifrance - @BpifrancePresse 

1 This is a marketing communication document. Please refer to the legal documentation of the "Spark France" Fund (hereinafter "the Fund") before making any final investment decision. The Fund has at this stage not been declared to the Financial Markets Authority and marketing has not been authorized in France or in other member states of the European Union. With respect to the Fund, the information contained in this document should not be considered exhaustive as it is incomplete and subject to change. In the event of any contradiction between the stipulations of the legal documentation and the elements contained in this document, the stipulations of the legal documentation will prevail. This press release does not contain sufficient information to enable you to make an investment decision and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for or acquire units of the Fund.

2 https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/2011101?geo=DEP-93#chiffre-cle-5

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