Crowdsourcing as an Opportunity for a Responsible Investment Fund? A French Case Study


  • Thibault Cuénoud University of Poitiers



Sustainable financing (ethical, solidarity and crowdfunding), civil society, crowdsourcing region, New Aquitaine (France)


In modern society, entrepreneurial practices have evolved through the emergence of sustainable development (SD), corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the consolidation of traditional sectors in the social economy (SE) and the rise of social innovation through technological innovation. In addition, advances in information and communication technology (ICT) enable the general public to become more easily involved in organisational transformations. The term ‘crowdsourcing’ applies to projects that are jointly created by project initiators and citizens. This article addresses the question of whether these citizens, that is, ‘crowds’, should become more involved in sustainable financing organisations that seek legitimacy and socioeconomic efficiency. Ultimately, the question concerns the ability of those responsible for sustainable financing to incorporate these new forms of public involvement and provide appropriate financing for societal challenges. Is it possible for these actors to do this? If so, under what conditions, and how will they have to evolve? A longitudinal case study is carried out to develop a regional ethical, solidarity and crowdfunding investment fund in which the role of the public is clearly defined. We identify the range of possibilities in organisational transformations that are taking place amongst sustainable financing actors.


Agrawal, A.K., Catalini, C., and Goldfarb, A. (2014), “Some simple economics of crowdfunding”, Innovation Policy and the Economy, 14 (1): 63–97.

Agrawal, A.K., Catalini, C., and Goldfarb, A. (2015), “Crowdfunding: Geography, social networks, and the timing of investment decisions”, Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 24 (2): 253–274.

Ahlers, G.K., Cumming, D., Günther, C., and Schweizer, D. (2015), “Signaling in equity crowdfunding”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 39 (4): 955–980.

Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T., and Schwienbacher, A. (2014), “Crowdfunding: Tapping the right crowd”, Journal of Business Venturing, 29 (5): 585–609.

Boccara, F. (2017), “Les PME/TPE et le financement de leur développement pour l’emploi et l’efficacité. Avis du Conseil Economique, Social et environnemental”, Journal Officiel de la République Française.

Brabham, D.C. (2013), Crowdsourcing, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Burger-Helmchen, T. (2011), “Crowdsourcing: définition, enjeux, typologie”, Management & Avenir, 1: 254–269.

Cassar, G. (2004), “The financing of business start-ups”, Journal of Business Venturing, 19 (2): 261–283.

Chesbrough, H.W (2007), “Why Companies Should Have Open Business Models”, MIT Sloan Management Review, 48 (2): 22–28.

Chesbrough, H.W. (2003), “The era of open innovation”, MIT Sloan Management Review, 44 (3): 35–41.

Cosh, A., Cumming, D., and Hughes, A. (2009), “Outside entrepreneurial Capital”, Economic Journal, 119 (540): 1494–1533.

Cuénoud, T. (2015), “Jadopteunprojet. com, une plateforme de crowdfunding appuyée sur son territoire”, Entreprendre & Innover, 2: 62–70.

Cuénoud, T. (2017), “Hybrider finance solidaire et finance participative: l’exemple de la Nouvelle‑Aquitaine”, Entreprendre & Innover, 4 (35): 40–50.

Cuénoud, T., and Glémain, P. (2014), “Finance solidaire et finance participative, un effet réseau induit par des “convictions coopératives” différenciées?”, Colloque RIUESS, 22 et 23 mai, Lille.

Dahlander, L., and Wallin, M.W. (2006), “A man on the inside: Unlocking communities as complementary assets”, Research Policy, 35 (8): 1243–1259.

De La Ville, V.I. (2000), “La recherche idiographique en management stratégique: une pratique en quête de méthode?”, Finance Contrôle Stratégie, 3 (3): 73–99.

Denis, D. (2004), “Entrepreneurial Finance: An Overview of the Issues and Evidence”, Journal of Corporate Finance, 10 (2): 301–326.

Eisenhardt, K.M., and Graebner, M.E. (2007), “Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges”, Academy of Management Journal, 50: 25–32.

Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989), “Agency theory: an assessment and review”, Academy of Management Journal, 14: 57–74.

Finansol (2019), Zoom sur la finance solidaire 2019, Finansol.

FPF (2019), Baromètre du crowdfunding en France 2019, Financement Participatif France.

Glémain, P. (2010), “L’économie des finances solidaires: de l’épargne solidaire au microcrédit social”, Economies et Finances. HDR, Université Rennes 2, 2010.

Glémain, P., and Cuénoud, T. (2016), “Finance solidaire et finance participative, Economie coopérative versus Economie collaborative?”, Ouvrage collectif, Edition PUR ss.dir. Jany-Catrice, F., Fraisse Gardin, L.

Howe, J. (2006), “The rise of crowdsourcing”. Revue Wired.

Jensen, M. (1986), “Agency Costs of Free Cash-Flows, Corporate Finance and Takeovers”, The American Economic Review, 76 (2): 323–329.

Lamoureux, D. (2008), “Démocratiser radicalement la démocratie”, Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales, 21 (1): 121–136.

Lee, S., and Persson, P. (2016), “Financing from family and friends”, The Review of Financial Studies, 29 (9): 2341–2386.

Lebraty, J.F. (2007), “Vers un nouveau mode d’externalisation: le crowdsourcing”, in 12ème Conférence de l’AIM, juin.

Marshall, C., and Rossman, G.B. (1995), “Data collection methods”, Designing Qualitative Research, 2 (8).

Modigliani F., and Miller M.H. (1963), “Corporate Income Taxes and the Cost of Capital: A Correction”, American Economic Review, 53 (4): 433–443.

Modigliani F., and Miller M.H. (1958), “The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance and the Theory of Investment”, American Economic Review.

Musca, G. (2006), “Une stratégie de recherche processuelle: l’étude longitudinale de cas enchâssés”, M@n@gement, 3 (9): 153–176.

Myers, S., and Majluf, N. (1984), “Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions when Firms have Information that Investors do not have”, Journal of Financial Economics, 13: 187–221.

OCDE (2018), Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs, OECD Scoreboard.

Novethic (2018), L’indicateur Novethic de l’ISR de conviction, Publication Novethic, juillet.

Novethic (2019), Spin-off climat – Etude Novethic.

Paré, J-L., and Rédis, J. (2011), “Réorienter la recherche en finance entrepreneuriale”, Gestion 2000, 28 (4): 17–31.

Philippe, H. (2014), “Finance d’entreprise-du bon usage de la théorie financière”, Banque et Stratégie.

Koenig, G. (1993), “Production de la connaissance et constitution des pratiques organisationnelles”, Revue de Gestion des Ressources Humaines, 9: 4–17.

Raymond, E.S. (1999), “The cathedral & the bazaar”, Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly & Associates.

Roux, M. (2018), La Finance responsable, MA Editions, Collection ESK.ECO/POLITIQUE.

Schenk, E., and Guittard, C. (2011), “Towards a characterization of crowdsourcing practices”, Journal of Innovation Economics & Economics, 7 (1): 93–107.

Schenk, E., and Guittard, C. (2009), “Crowdsourcing: What can be Outsourced to the Crowd, and Why”, Workshop on Open Source Innovation, Strasbourg, 72.

Soulé, B. (2007), “Observation participante ou participation observante? Usages et justifications de la notion de participation observante en sciences sociales”, Recherches Qualitatives, 27 (1): 127–140.

Surowiecki, J., and Riot, E. (2008), La sagesse des foules, JC Lattès.

Tiemann, M. (2006), “An objective definition of open standards”, Computer Standards & Interfaces, 28 (5): 495–507.

Von Hippel, E. (1986), “Lead users: a source of novel product concepts”, Manag. Sci., 32 (7): 791–805.

Von Hippel, E. (2005), Democratizing Innovation, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Von Hippel, E., and Von Krogh, G. (2003), “Open source software and the ‘private-collective’ innovation model: issues for organization science”, Organ. Sci., 14 (2): 209–223.

Von Krogh, G., Spaeth, S., and Lakhani, K.R. (2003), “Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study”, Research Policy, 32 (7): 1217–1241.

Yin, R.K. (1994), Case study research: Design and Methods (2nd edn.), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Yin, R.K. (2003), Case Study Research: Design and Methods (3rd edn.), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.




How to Cite

Cuénoud, T. (2021). Crowdsourcing as an Opportunity for a Responsible Investment Fund? A French Case Study. PuntOorg International Journal, 6(1), 57-80.