UniCredit is the Main Partner of the Finance 4 Social Change (F4SC) project through its Social Impact Banking (SIB) programme in line with the Bank's strong commitment to building a fairer and more inclusive society by promoting initiatives that can have a positive social impact.
The F4SC project, which is funded through the EU Transnational Danube Program, aims to scout, support and award social entrepreneurs through a well-structured selection process, involving about 250 participants. It provides the perfect platform for UniCredit SIB to directly support social entrepreneurship as a driver of social development and progress across the Bank's different countries, including: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.
The project has been designed to support the economy that inspires positive change in the Danube region thanks to carefully designed activities with the main aim of paving the way for more social innovation and the development of investment-ready social enterprises.
UniCredit colleagues will participate in the workshops of the Social Impact Business Plan Competition, a core part of the F4SC project, to offer their expertise and mentorship to the participants.
In addition, they will also take part in the jury that will select the four winning projects in the pitching sessions in 2021.
Roberta Marracino, Head of Group ESG Strategy & Impact Banking at UniCredit, commented: "At UniCredit, ESG is a core part of our DNA and the business strategy of the Bank. This includes a strong commitment to social issues where we have a growing ambition to help drive change by offering concrete support to entrepreneurs and initiatives with a significant positive social impact. The Finance for Social Change project is one such example, helping us do our part and offer tangible and meaningful support to the different communities where we operate."
UniCredit SIB was first launched in Italy at the end of 2017. In 2019, the programme was rolled out in 10 additional Group markets, including: Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Hungary. Since launch, SIB has supported more than 4,000 beneficiaries through Microcredit and Impact Financing as well as providing various financial education programmes to the benefit of around 50.000 young people and disadvantaged individuals.
In addition, in 2020 UniCredit confirmed its continued strong social commitment by providing more than 6.4 billion euros to European SMEs to help them mitigate the unprecedented Covid-19 emergency whilst also making significant donations in the various markets of the Group through UniCredit Foundation to support hospitals and different non-profit organisations on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic.