Our way

Our vision is that companies are a transformative force in the world throughout their power of action and innovation.


Our mission is to channel private capital towards impactful organizations that tackle humanity’s major challenges. We believe these companies will become benchmarks for the 21st century.


We back women and men who build these companies, based on disruptive solutions to solve major social or environmental problems.


We believe our role as a shareholder is to take part in shaping the future we want to live in.

Our (hi)story

Citizen Capital was founded in 2008 by Laurence Mehaignerie and Pierre-Olivier Barennes, driven by a shared belief that capital is both a powerful and a vital tool to tackle humanity’s major challenges. The company is among the first pure players of impact in Europe.

Citizen Capital is founded by Laurence Mehaignerie and Pierre-Olivier Barennes.

2008

Final closing of Fund I providing equity and operational support to promote social mobility through entrepreneurship and encourage the emergence of purpose-driven companies with ambitious social drive at the core of business while targeting market-rate returns.

Signing of French Diversity Chart

2010

Signing of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Top decile rank.

2012

Citizen Capital becomes the first French B Corp Investment Fund.

2015

Launch of Fund II supporting ambitious mission-driven companies looking to scale.

2016

Laurence co-founds the Communauté des Entreprises à Mission, in line with original purpose of the management to back companies with a strong drive to meet the societal challenges of the 21st century. Citizen Capital was recognized as a “Best For The World” B Corp honoree.

2018

Launch of seed & series A Fund providing equity to high-potential startups with innovative solutions to solve major social or environmental issues.

2019

Launch of Agri Impact to finance agricultural projects generating additional revenues for farmers while supporting sustainable agricultural methods.

2020

Citizen Capital becomes Société a Mission.

2021

Citizen Capital launches Fund III (with €80M for 1rst closing)

2022

Our mission

As a company, you can write your mission on your “About” page within a few minutes. But if you want this mission to be a powerful driving force among your team and your stakeholders, there is no shortcut.


At Citizen Capital, it took us several months and many workshops to define what we are here for and what our main goals are. This resulted in 4 goals we systematically refer to when time comes to make an important decision or to draw new projects.


Our goals

  • Direct more capital towards organizations that answer fundamental human needs and tackle critical environmental challenges, while providing consistent financial return for this capital.
  • Support these innovative companies in rolling out their mission at the heart of their economic model.
  • Keep on exploring new investment paths to answer needs that are poorly served by the market.
  • Promote and embody the values of openness, diversity and sharing of the value created both within our company and among the companies we support ; recognize ourselves as not merely shareholders but stakeholders of our investees.

The way we look at impact

FORGING A CONVICTION

First, we need to make up our mind about the the management team's vision and their ambition to place their impact strategy at the heart of the company's project.


DEFINING A 360° BUSINESS PLAN

We rely on our impact due diligence to define a societal ambition for the company. With the entrepreneurs, we translate this ambition into goals and impact indicators. We call it an "impact business plan" and combine it with the financial business plan.



BUILDING A MISSION-DRIVEN CULTURE

We support the company in rolling out its purpose through various operational dimensions such as product thinking and designing, HR or brand construction.


BRINGING IMPACT TO SCALE

We regularly produce impact reports while constantly questioning and deepening the societal project of the company throughout the investment.


Our commitments

FIELD BUILDING


In 2019, we published the guide « Entreprise à mission : de la théorie à la pratique » in partnership with Deloitte Développement Durable.


Still today, this handbook is often regarded as one of the most useful resources on the topic, and as a major contribution to the booming number of purpose-driven companies in France.


1rst French B Corp Fund

Citizen Capital was first certified in 2015, alongside with two of its portfolio companies, Camif and Ulule.
Standing with a score of 109 (+11 points since the first certification), Citizen Capital was recognized in 2018 as “Best For the World” B-corp Honoree in 2 categories : ChangeMakers and customers.

What It means to be a B Corp for Citizen Capital

Building a mission-driven economy

Citizen Capital is one of the founding members of the Communauté des Entreprises à Mission, an association that brings together mission-driven companies moving towards “société à mission” status and aims to promote companies with business models that strive to meet the major challenges of the 21st century.

Acting as a responsible investor

Citizen Capital has been a signatory of the UN-PRI since 2010 and is ranked in the top decile of the private equity sector. It demonstrates its commitment to responsible investment and to build a more sustainable financial system.
Citizen Capital is also a member of the Impact Commission of France Invest and one of the 25 French funds granted with “French impact” label.

Foster diversity

Citizen Capital is committed to tackling issues of diversity and gender balance within the team. Since 2010, the management company has been signatory of the Charte de la Diversité, which aims to foster pluralism and seek diversity. In 2019, the company also signed the Charte Sista which is designed to promote the place of women in the private equity industry and to increase the funds raised by companies founded or co-founded by women.

Creating impact

what is impact for us

Working with us

MOVING PURPOSE TO the core of YOUR strategy

Impact is problem-solving.

Humanity is facing unprecedented social and environmental challenges. In the meantime, many businesses keep on creating new, artificial needs. We are not interested in those. We instead back innovators who are on a mission to contribute to humanity’s fundamental needs – think about things like being in a good health, accessing to quality education or living in a sustainable environment for instance.


Impact is innovation-based.

Why “innovators”? Because solutions from the past cannot solve today’s problems. New paths need to be taken to bring systemic change.


Impact is mission-driven.

We have experienced over time that there is no long term impact without a clear vision of the change a company wants to bring to society. A clear vision is key. But it is not enough. We reckon that a mission needs to be embedded at every level of the company – from its strategy to its culture and products. Indeed, a positive impact on people or on their environment is always fragile. It can for instance disappear when a business model shifts. But if the mission is rooted deeply enough within the company, business model can change, impact will be preserved.


Impact is measurable.

Last but not least, we believe that what gets measured gets done. When it comes to impact, numbers are often not easy to define and measure, and mostly unsatisfying. But they are still the best way to make a company’s contribution tangible. One step after another, innovators can then walk a very, very long way.

Some of our impact to date


Working with us

MOVING PURPOSE TO the core of YOUR strategy

Working with us

MOVING PURPOSE TO the core of YOUR strategy

Our team is made up of experienced specialists eager to support entrepreneurs in navigating challenges, building teams, searching for needle-moving connections, finding the good people to grow as a leader and so on.


Above all, we have developed a specific know-how around impact strategy. We work on custom programs focused on moving purpose to the core of strategy and translating it into action.


Interested in knowing more?

Get in touch with the team