FRANCE

The girl who rescued the family business by raising money on Facebook

Fanny Gamelin has saved her father's family business by raising 200,000 euros on the net, mainly thanks to Facebook. She tells us about her fight and the initiative that helped win it, despite the financial crisis. Read more...

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Posted on Fanny's Facebook group.

 

Fanny Gamelin has saved her father's family business by raising 200,000 euros on the net, mainly thanks to Facebook. She tells us about her fight and the initiative that helped win it, despite the financial crisis. 

Fanny's father, Joël Gamelin, who founded the business 27 years ago, committed suicide in his office on Christmas Eve. His daughter launched the Facebook appeal in the hope of, at least provisionally, bailing out the shipyard company, which with two million euros of debt, had just been declared bankrupt. 

"In total 6795 people have sent me money "

Fanny Gamelin, 23, organised the Facebook fundraiser.

I launched the group on 27 December and called Radio Bleue [a local station] straight away to tell them about the idea. In just a few days, there were already 600 members in the group, and today there are more than 17,000. In total, 6795 people have sent me money; either by cheque, in cash, or by PayPal.

I've raised 201,000 euros through the association that I set up for the project. So on Monday I was able to write a cheque for €157,183.00 to the administrative receiver [the local authority that deals with bankruptcy]. We can now pay our 89 employees their February salaries and maybe even some of the March ones. Now we're waiting for a decision from the court of appeal on 17 March, who should be able to find someone to buy out the company.

I'm currently unemployed and I don't have much money. Using the Web and the media to raise money seemed like the best way. I didn't do it to make money for me personally. I don't work for the company and I don't even know if I've got a share in the will. I launched the operation in homage to my father, a respected businessman, and to help the workers who lost their jobs. Gamelin is an experienced company, it's not a start-up. Our aluminium boats are known the world over. The company didn't have any problems until in the last three years, (partly because of mistakes made by management), and I'm sure it can get back on its feet."