UniCredit’s commitment to build a fairer and more inclusive society

4:00 min

At UniCredit, we have a strong commitment to driving positive change through our Social Impact Banking (SIB) initiative, which aims to build a fairer and more inclusive society.

Specifically, we are committed in three ways:


We offer inclusive and accessible finance to small and fragile businesses that often do not have easy access to credit but are the engine for job growth at the local level.

This means supporting microenterprises, which account for 93% of all businesses in the EU, and often offer a means of access to the world of work for more fragile social groups.



We contribute to the development of businesses that provide access to essential goods and services at reduced prices and corporate programs focused on improving the well-being of employees, colleagues and our communities. The goal is to support the growth and reach of entrepreneurial initiatives that have a social mission in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with particular reference to health and wellness, education, Gender balance, reducing inequalities and fighting and the prevention of poverty.




We complement our actions with the offer of basic financial training and entrepreneurship training that are crucial for companies to build their approach in a sustainable way and for individuals to develop their active citizenship.


Through social impact finance, we encourage a culture of social impact measurement and monitoring that guides the actions of organizations in a concrete and focused way.

We believe that impact finance is important because it drives a necessary shift in the assessment of how value is generated in the economy and society.

We are currently actively working on this in 11 markets of the Group.


Social Impact Banking: Together We Matter

Using the ‘Theory of Change’

In order to drive the change and set the right approach to generate a tangible social impact, we have adopted the ‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) framework.

This widely used methodology for planning, managing and evaluating the social impact of a programme or initiative allows us to identify how well our social impact programmes are working.

To apply the ToC framework to Social Impact Banking, we first identified the outcomes we wanted to achieve.
These were:

  • the generation of social and economic wellbeing for individuals and territories;
  • renforcing the culture of social impact both internally and externally through employee commitment, client’s engagement and relevant partnerships.

We then needed to define the steps required to work towards these goals.

These have been defined as:

Inputs – The resources invested in carrying out the activities, which include, for example, financial, human, social, and material resources.
Outputs – Direct, tangible and measurable products of activities that contribute to achieving the outcomes.
Outcomes The tangible effects of our support that represent the positive changes experienced by funded clients and the target beneficiaries of their initiatives.


We strongly believe that to be more effective, we must constantly monitor our efforts and measure the effect we are having on society.


We do this by evaluating our actions within the ToC framework on a regular basis.


Our methodology to measure and evaluate social impact is well aligned to the main international norms in this area (i.e. Impact Management Project practice).

The crucial role of monitoring and evaluation

UniCredit has designed a rigorous model of impact measurement with the aim to ensure impact integrity in the financial products offered to Social Impact Banking.

The methodology, which is dynamic in nature, lays the foundations for an open discussion with stakeholders on what it means to identify social value and sustainability in business projects.


Our position paper on the topic shows our innovative thinking around impact measurement given the market context in both Italy and Europe at large.

The aim is to provide a case study relevant to the concrete needs and interest of impact investors, funders, and practitioners with view to offering a highly pragmatic approach.

Tangible results: the social impacts generated up to 2020

Since the launch of Social Impact Banking in Italy at the end of 2017, many goals have been achieved.

Numerous partners have adhered to our vision by accompanying us in the development of projects with a broad social impact, our colleagues have also supported us with their skills and expertise to increase the reach of our programme, but above all, clients have given us and continue to give us their confidence.


In order to share some of the results achieved, especially the concrete and measurable impacts generated in our communities, we have created a report of numbers and success stories showing our continued commitment to building a better future through the various initiatives of our Social Impact Banking.

Social Impact Banking in action

In Coburg, Germany, a group of parents wanted to create a suitable living environment where their children with disabilities can live independently in a family-like community when they finish school.

HypoVereinsbank supported this project by providing financing for the construction of "Neues Wohnen Coburg", a new residential community that offers educational support to young people with mental or physical disabilities.


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Social Impact Banking is active in 10 other UniCredit countries.
To drive social entrepreneurship and positive change in the Danube region where many of our Social Impact Banking markets are based, UniCredit has been the main partner of the EU Interreg project Finance 4 Social Change (F4SC).
This has enabled our colleagues in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia to offer their expertise and mentorship to budding entrepreneurs in their markets through the Social Impact Business Plan Competition, a core part of the F4SC initiative.
UniCredit colleagues are also part of the jury to select the four winning projects in the final pitching sessions in 2021.


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Social Impact Banking is about more than "just" giving a loan.

To ensure an effective outcome, we get directly involved as tutors.

Our microcredit, impact loans, and financial education are enhanced through the participation of UniGens, UniCredit's employee and former employee volunteering programme.

The volunteers share their professional and personal knowledge, giving their time to support social enterprises, micro-entrepreneurs and to support the growth of financial and entrepreneurial culture of students and fragile individuals.

They get directly involved with Social Impact Banking clients to help them strengthen and improve their business capabilities in the first 18 to 24 months.

In Italy nearly 300 entrepreneurs have been advised by UniGens volunteers.


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Anna Maria Pirozzi, who works at an UniCredit branch in Naples is an example of a Unigens volunteer.

She volunteers to teach teenagers in the Start Up Your Life programme offering young people a chance to learn financial and business skills over three years of classroom and remote lessons.


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Social Impact Banking is just one day that UniCredit creates sustainable value by Doing the Right Thing.


Find out more in our new 2020 Integrated Report




"We are proud to be able to share our achievements, wonderful stories of social innovation and improvement of the living conditions of the most vulnerable people.

We have provided more than 225 million Euros of social finance for almost 4,300 projects Group-wide so far.

We have also supported young people and vulnerable groups with more than 2.6 million hours of training and expect to reach more than 1.6 million beneficiaries in the first 5 years of the projects supported.

Our journey is only at the beginning, but we are happy with the feedback from our Clients who are growing with us in their awareness of the value of measuring the social impact of their and our initiatives.

And we are grateful to all our clients, colleagues and partners who are working with us on this journey."



Laura Penna, Head of Group Social Impact Banking