SocGen opens internal startup programme

Societe Generale is the latest French bank bidding to tap into latent employee talent through a major intrapreneurship programme.

The lender is inviting staffers from around the world to pitch projects in areas such as data, banking platforms, payments, digital workplaces and "positive impact finance" that could lead to new products and services.

Employees who suggest ideas will have a team help them fine-tune before the projects are submitted in February to the Group Management Committee, which will whittle the entries down before the best make a final pitch.

The final group of intrapreneurs will be joined by internal innovation teams or partners to concentrate full-time on the startup projects, which will be evaluated every three months.

"Our clients’ behaviour is changing and we are duty-bound to question the way we provide services to them. Internal Startup Call is a unique intrapreneurship enterprise through which we can invent the future banking services," says Frédéric Oudéa, CEO, Societe Generale.

"This international programme will also help to disseminate a culture of innovation inspired by our clients’ expectations and entrepreneurship, vital attributes for tomorrow’s world and attributes that have always been part of the Group's DNA."

Last month BNP Paribas outlined details of a similar programme, dubbed Alpha, which has already seen the bank pick six projects developed by employees for development in a startup environment.

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