Although it is still a little known phenomenon, impact investing is triggering concrete innovation processes, with the commitment to support – now more than ever – startups and companies able to offer innovative solutions to the most pressing needs and in different sectors: welfare, healthcare, education, wellness, and digital transformation, among others.
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Beyond the emergency, support in the medium to long term
There is no doubt that in order to make a significant impact in the immediate future, facing up to the emergency, the combined action carried out by public bodies and private entities is essential. An example in this regard is the special fund set up by the Cariplo Foundation. Together with the Local Community Foundations has raised over $51 million (€47 million) to help the most fragile people, and to support associations and non-profit organizations in the difficult situation resulting from the health emergency caused by COVID-19.
However, in operating with foresight over a medium to long-term time horizon, investors – traditional or impact investors – also play a crucial role in preventing and mitigating the socio-economic effects generated by the crisis. They can, in fact, support – through the offer of capital and skills – the development of entrepreneurial initiatives that can create innovative ideas, products, and services.
This is the case of the Giordano Dell’Amore Social Venture Foundation, which combines – alongside traditional investment activities – the offer of empowerment paths for start-ups. It is supporting initiatives or areas of impact that are sometimes under-capitalized or placed outside the radar of traditional investors.
Impact investing: an opportunity for different forms of business and start-ups
The Giordano Dell’Amore Social Venture Foundation operates in the impact investing sector with an approach similar to “social venture capital”, typically investing with minority shareholdings and calmed return targets over medium-long term horizons.
For the Foundation, the pursuit of an impact is independent of the legal form of the initiatives, since it adopts a broader definition of “social entrepreneurship”, including non-profit entities (cooperatives, social enterprises), hybrids (SIAVS, Società Benefit, B-Corp) and profit (innovative startups or other corporations). Sometimes, depending on the legal form of the companies that intend to apply for investment in the application form on the website, the Foundation uses participative or hybrid financial instruments.
Get it! – the Call For Impact to support ideas and start-ups with impact
Alongside the main “Gate” for direct access to investments – suitable for more structured companies and start-ups – the Giordano Dell’Amore Social Venture Foundation also provides social entrepreneurs with Get it! – Path of Value, the program carried out in collaboration with Cariplo Factory that addresses entrepreneurial initiatives in the initial phase.
The new multi-sectoral “Call For Impact” launched last February 6th – and still ongoing – allows ideas and impact start-ups free access to incubatic/acceleration and mentorship paths throughout Italy for 3+3 months. It also offers a refund for participation expenses and the opportunity to benefit from the investment by the Foundation or other investors.
Apply your initiative to an investment or to Get it!
“The moment of instability that we are going through is putting a strain on the entrepreneurial fabric of our country, forcing us to rethink many business models and redesign the financial instruments that support them. Now more than ever, as investors, we are called upon to encourage the development of solutions that in the medium-long term are able to express innovation in the sectors most affected by the transformations taking place – I am thinking of welfare, healthcare and education systems, for example. In this sense Get it!, in parallel with the investment activity promoted by our Foundation, allows us to provide a wide range of tools and services to support innovative social entrepreneurship, balancing the supply of skills and capital on the market and intervening along all stages of the business life cycle,” said Marco Gerevini, Board Member of the Social Venture GDA Foundation.
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First published in Impact, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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