Social Impact Banking
Social Impact Banking ("SIB")is UniCredit's commitment to building a fairer and more inclusive society by identifying, financing and promoting initiatives that can have a positive social impact.
The programme, which started in Italy at the end of 2017, has now been extended to 10 other Group countries (Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Hungary).
Social Impact Banking allows UniCredit to help people at risk of financial exclusion and companies committed to addressing social issues.
We want to give them confidence, we value their talent and merit, we support their financial awareness, we provide them with credit, skills and access to key networks, working in partnership with a focus on both, the economic returns of our investments and the generation of wider societal benefits.
This is fully in line with UniCredit's strong commitment to supporting the communities everywhere we operate.
We are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations, making a tangible positive contribution:
Disbursed loans reported as cumulative values from the beginning of the programme to 2020
In addition, there is the contribution to:
SDG 17 with the creation of Partnerships for the Goals thanks to international partners:
European Investment Fund (EIF) with the EaSi program, present in Italy, Romania, + MCC Croatia and Serbia
European Microfinance Network
European Venture Philanthropy Association
SDG 4 on quality education with financial education initiatives:
StartupYourLife program launched in 2017, reaching 71.365 single students (Italy only)
89 education initiatives reaching more than 10.582 beneficiaries
Distinctive elements of Social Impact Banking are the integration of economic evaluation with that of social impact in the choice of initiatives to support, and the culture of monitoring and measurement of the social impacts achieved.
It is fundamental for us to demonstrate that we are achieving the objectives of financial inclusion and providing concrete support to vulnerable social groups. We therefore strongly encourage the companies we finance to measure the impacts they generate (which must be intentional and additional) according to the specific social dimensions related to their sector.
We are committed to supporting the growth of companies, helping to consolidate business models and setting an example for other initiatives because a sustainable economy improves the community and enables healthy growth for all.
Our key principles
WE GIVE TRUST
We develop a relationship of trust with the companies we support and the partners we work with.
WE GENERATE SOCIAL IMPACT
We support initiatives that generate a positive social impact on people and the community. We help them achieve their goals, by providing not only finance but also expertise and support networks. By doing so, we can strengthen our ties with the communities where we work.
WE MEASURES RESULTS
We consider the monitoring and measurement of results and social impacts an essential part of the growth path of any funded project. We highly value and want to work with partners that can serve as a positive example also for others.
How we act
We are at the service of entrepreneurs and projects deserving credit, skills and network access. We put ourselves at stake as your partner.
WE GIVE CREDIT
We give credit to people and businesses that can often be excluded from traditional banking products and services, and to social enterprises that can generate positive impacts for the benefit of communities.
WE SHARE EXPERTISE
We share financial expertise and support the development of companies by helping them to do their jobs in the best possible way and promoting long-term sustainability.
WE BUILD NETWORKS
We create connections between different actors in the territory, share positive experiences and give visibility to the most deserving projects and people to help grow their overall impact
UniCredit has long been active in the social field through various initiatives.
With the birth of Social Impact Banking, we significantly strengthened our commitment through three areas that pursue the aim of generating positive social impacts in the communities where we operate.
SOCIAL IMPACT FINANCING
We support profit and non-profit companies that can generate a clear, concrete and measurable social impact. We provide not only financing at advantageous conditions but also provide support in terms of financial training, sharing successful experiences and building visibility.
Specifically, we recognise economic benefits (donations, interest mitigation, etc.) and complimentary services (accompaniment, training, etc.) through a pay-for-success model to the benefit of our clients who are demonstrating a clear social impact.
As at 31/12/2020 there were in Italy 109 disbursed loans for a total amount of around 117,8 Mln€. The 76% of the projects were matched with Pay for success mechanism for a total allocated amount of 1,2 mln €.
21 social impact financing have been completed in other markets, for a total amount of 23,7 Mln €. with a focus on mental disability and inclusion of vulnerable social groups.
Furthermore, in 2020 we were awarded as Best Social Impact Bank Europe by Capital Finance International and as Social Impact banking for services of financing for entreprise by Milano Finanza.
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Through microcredit we support the birth and growth of small businesses not only with the traditional offer of credit but also by providing skills and relationships that are fundamental for business development. Our new microcredit model goes beyond the mere commercial relationship between a bank and the client company: through the creation of an "ecosystem" of actors (bank, partners, volunteers), we are able to support our clients also with highly tailored offerings.
As at 31/12/2020 in Italy there were 4.170 disbursed loans for a total amount of around 82,1 Mln€. of which more than 32% (1.068 women) to female micro-entrepreneurs. 291 micro-entrepreneurs supported by social partners or by volunteers (Italy only).
76% of the loans were granted to vulnerable social groups (clients with at least one of the following characteristics: high risk, newly established companies i.e. less than 3 years old, entrepreneurs of young age, with a basic education level, foreign background, unemployed).
Furthermore, in 2019 we won the first MF Innovation Award in the Sustainable Business category.
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We promote financial education initiatives with the aim of supporting micro-entrepreneurs and the world of social entrepreneurship. We invest in the development and support of vulnerable sections of the population, in particular young people and individuals at risk of exclusion. Our aim is to help develop a financial culture that enables beneficiaries to pursue virtuous paths of active citizenship.
For example, we invest in national programmes of financial education, entrepreneurship and help to enter the world of work. We do this in Italy with the Startup Your Life programme dedicated to high school students and in Germany through the partnership with Joblinge focused on young students and unemployed people.
Startup Your Life has been recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education for transversal skills and guidance (PCTO), through a Memorandum of Understanding renewed in April 2020.
Since the launch of the initiative in 2017, 71.365 trained single students and over 430 schools throughout Italy have participated, supported by over 940 unique educators engaged, with over 2.610.000 hours of training provided in the first three editions.
During 2019, Startup Your Life received two important awards:
-First prize for "Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Programme" from Brandon Hall.
-First prize for Excellence in Education from AIF- Olivetti Foundation.
In the other UniCredit Group countries to implement SIB, 16 educational initiatives have been launched so far reaching over 3000 beneficiaries with the involvement of more than 200 volunteers.
The relationship as heart of the service model
The external and internal involvement of people and institutions that share our mission is essential to achieve success in the projects we support. Through collaboration with our partners we are able to build ecosystems where small businesses and social enterprises can grow and develop and where vulnerable people can be included in production cycles and society.
UniCredit's people play a key role in identifying the most deserving initiatives and helping them grow. Their talent and experience form the core of training and support activities in all countries where Social Impact Banking is present.
To further support the significant commitment of our employees, we have helped establish the UniGens volunteer association in Italy, which welcomes both, colleagues and former colleagues of the Group.
For more information on Social Impact Banking, visit unicredit.it