Increase Valorisation Sociale (VS) Project

Image: A woman enjoying a day at work
Image: Interreg logo
We were chosen to be the lead partner in a multi-million pound programme to help residents set up their own small businesses.

The 'Interreg France (Channel) England' programme aims to fund a number of high quality cooperation projects between France and the UK. The aim was to help residents kick-start 1,200 new businesses. Find out more on their website.

Training started in July 2018 and will support 1,500 residents in Kent and Sussex.

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The programme

Image: Increase Valorarion Sociale logo

The £10.8 million cross-Channel programme is called Increase Valorisation Sociale. It trains residents how to launch their own businesses, including how to trial and market test business ideas and how to manage their finances.

The programme operates along the South and East Coasts of England from Cornwall to Norfolk, and the North Coast of France from Brittany to Pas-de-Calais.

Programme aims

5,300 unemployed people will pass through the training over a five and a half year period, creating up to 1,200 new businesses and helping a further 2000 into work.

image: Attendees enjoying an Increase VS eventAll of the 38 UK and French neighbourhoods targeted in the project are characterised by above average unemployment.

The project aims to tackle this issue by supporting a sustainable pipeline of small businesses in each area that will benefit local economies and households.

The project creates a number of community ambassador roles and a strong stakeholders network in each neighbourhood.

These ambassadors provide on-going support to micro-entrepreneurs and continue to engage future participants, ensuring the long lasting legacy of the project.


Our impact:

The training available through the Programme has had a positive impact on social housing residents.  

We've produced a report and video that highlights the self-employment support developed by Increase VS partners and demonstrates the approaches used to engage and reach residents to ensure outcomes are sustainable.

Watch our video below to gain an understanding on the impact the Programme has had or read our report here.




The project is co-funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England programme with a European Regional Development Fund contribution of £7.5 million.

Programme partners

The programme, led by Optivo, is a partnership between nine French and English housing associations and training providers.

The Increase Project is a brilliant opportunity to take micro-enterprise training to the next level in a super partnership with French and UK housing and training specialist agencies.” - William Miller, Community Development Director

image: Increase VS partners

Training partners:

image: training partners


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Want to find out more?

For more information contact, Clementine Flack, Optivo Project Officer Communication and Networks:

Image: Increase VS Twitter