Sciences Po Master of Public Affairs 2009-2010 Description, Capstone Project, Second Year, (10 credits) The Development of Professional Micro Credit in Developed Countries: Best Models and Best Practices Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations Chris Brooks Capstone Description: The client for this Capstone is the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations which is the oldest and the largest public financial institution in France. Founded by Napoleon, the Caisse has become one of the most important financiers of local authorities in France. The Caisse is also very heavily involved in the financing of public housing as the principle financer of the authorities responsible for building and managing public housing stock. The Caisse remains one of the main collectors of savings from the general public (the livret A). The Caisse is a major shareholder in a large number of CAC40 French companies. For many years, in addition to its traditional banking activities, the Caisse has been involved in social development in France. Today, at the instigation of the President of France, they are actively involved in the development of micro finance. Originally conceived as a system to help poor workers in developing countries finance their own economic activity as a route to financial independence, micro credit has also grown in some developed countries mainly as a way of helping poorer people on the road to financial and social independence. As a policy tool that combines social and economic/employment objectives it may be seen as an alternative to conventional welfare policy. The Caisse des Dépôts wish to introduce new impetus to micro credit in France. Starting with a major national conference on 19 October 2009 which will be opened by the French Finance Minister, Madame Christine Lagarde, the client wishes to engage in an applied research project to learn the best practices and models for professional micro credit schemes in developing countries- United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Scandanavia, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Austria in particular. The research will require the group to build a typology which explains the different approaches to micro credit and then case study examples of good practice. The research will examine legal status, territorial organization, the nature of services and support provided, an appreciation of the economic model/s being used, the role of the public sector and the contribution of these measures to the overall supply of business financing. This will need to be supplemented by information which details the number of loans made, the nature of the projects that are financed, the characteristics of the people financed - age, gender, family situation and social and professional group. In addition, the research will examine - for each program - which economic sectors are supported by professional micro credit, life expectancy and development of the business created and the impact on particular priority groups for public support, such as the unemployed. The studies will need to provide a balance sheet of the strong and weak points of each scheme examined, the medium term challenges they face and make propositions for how they might be improved. This Capstone will be supervised by Chris Brooks and report to Monsieur Adelphe Taxi de Poet at the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.