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The market survey cover


You want to get into international business? Long live the market survey cover!


Christophe Genolini, Zébrys’ CEO


Market survey cover is a financial product that enables the business owners to get into international business with limited risks. As it was rather complex it has been reshaped. The new version comes into effect… today! (May 2nd, 2018)


First: the project

Before anything else you have to define the project and its limits. Especially:

  • The market research geographical area
  • The market research period
  • The budget


The market research period must be 2-3 years. The budget takes into account trips, exhibitions, salespersons’ wages…



The market survey cover: loan + cash advance

Once the project is complete you can ask BPI-France a “market survey cover”. You fill in an online form, that is locally managed (potentially by someone you already know if you are part of the economic ecosystem of Occitanie).  The advantages are:

  • BPI-France lends 65% of the total budget.
  • Half of it is paid in upon signing. So this is a cash advance.
  • The other half is paid in at the end of the market search period, provided that the entire budget has been spent.


NB: the cost of the market survey cover is 3% of the budget. The amount is taken off the first cash advance.



What’s next?

At the end of the market search period there is a 2-year period of franchise when the market research will bear fruit, hopefully. Then the turnover is calculated over the periods of franchise + market research, for the geographical area.

The company repays BPI-France 10% of the combined total,

with a lower limit of 30% and an upper limit of 100% of the loan.

In other words:

  • If you fail conquering the foreign market, you only repay 30% of the loan.
  • If you succeed you repay the entire amount. In that case the market survey cover is like a zero rate loan.
  • In between you repay 10% of the combined turnover.
  • You begin repaying at the end of the franchise period.



I want to conquer the US market. The cost should be about 200k€: hire a sales rep, exhibitions, trips… The market won’t be conquered easily: I go for a 3-year market research period.

  • BPI-France lends 65% of the budget, being 130 k€. I bring the remaining 70 k€.
  • The market survey cover costs 3% of the total budget, being 6 k€.
  • Upon signing BPI-France lends 50% of the loan less the cost, being 130/2-6 = 59 k€.
  • Provided that I have actually invested 200 k€, after 3 years of market research BPI-France lends the remaining 65 k€.
  • Two years later the franchise period ends:
    • Total fail: combined turnover is 0€ (0, 0, 0, 0, 0€). The balance sheet is -70 -6 -39 = -115k€. In that case the market survey cover is like a 85k€ grant. (pourquoi 85 ?)
    • Little success: combined turnover is 170 k€ (0, 0, 0, 20 k€, 150 k€). I repay 30% of the loan, being 39k€.
    • Quite a success: combined turnover is 720 k€ (0, 0, 30 k€, 160 k€, 530 k€). I repay 10% of the combined turnover, being 72 k€.
    • Total success: combined turnover is 1940 k€ (0, 40 k€, 200 k€, 650 k€, 1050 k€). I only repay the loan, being 130k€. In that case the market survey cover is like a 5-year credit with an interest rate of 3% over five year, being a yearly rate of 0.6%.


A few links


There you go, you know (almost) everything about market survey cover. If you have any remark or question feel free to post a comment below, that’s what it’s there for.


Many thanks to Sebastien Rul for his time and his very clear explanations.

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