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Impact Investing

Italy represents an interesting case of impact investing due to the bottom-up development of the phenomenon, enabled from the demand of capital of social enterprises and profit with purpose organizations; the presence of specific market actors both from the demand side (benefit company) and from the supply side (banking foundations); the features of the financial markets that are bank-based and conservative with respect to innovative investors such as venture capitalist and private debtor. Despite, theoretically, the Italian ecosystem has almost all the required ingredients, socio-political as well as institutional peculiarities make it difficult to face the fully mature social impact investment market will have and to match the demand and the supply side needs.

The “impact investing report” provides an updated overview of the impact investing ecosystem in Italy in 2020, whose objectives are to analyze the specific features of this phenomenon, the barriers between demand and supply sides, and identify future lines of research.

This market’s landscape is characterized by great variety in terms of:

  • motivations (blended strategies, market rate with impact, sector-focused, impact alpha);
  • returns (below or in line with market returns);
  • investment types (asset owner, asset manager, institutional, retail);
  • markets (domestic, international, stock);
  • investment actors (policy-driven, Pay by Result, passive, active, philanthropist, social enterprises);
  • intermediaries and market actors (foundations, business federation, trade union, capacity development providers, universities, international organizations, standard-setting bodies, broker, proxy advisor, rating agency);
  • investee type (for profit, no profit);
  • impact type (product, operational);
  • financial instruments (social impact bonds (SIBs), venture philanthropist, impact equity investment funds, social bonds, green bonds, sustainable bonds and any other instruments that can be used by social business angels, accelerators, incubators, private debt or venture capital funds with an aim of generating social and/or environmental impact, investing into social enterprises at seed, early stage as well as expansion and growth stage). 


The report of the project will be delivered by the end of December 2020.