Fondazione Social Venture Giordano Dell’Amore (“FSVGDA”) is a new vehicle created in 2017 after a remodelling process aiming at valorising the economic and cultural heritage of two historic non-profit institutions founded by Fondazione Cariplo: Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore and Fondazione Opere Sociali.
FSVGDA operates in continuity with the two foundations’ history of social innovation, acting in the framework designed by Cariplo Social Innovation. This new intersectoral program was structured on the belief that the existing Third Sector and the new subjects turning to social entrepreneurship have the potential to foster a modernization and innovation process in key sectors for the Italian social economy: but they need adequate support in order to start this process. Within this context, impact investing could be a mean to support the growth of a social entrepreneurship ecosystem strongly oriented towards innovation.
Given this context, FSVGDA’s goal is to promote and support:
- The non-profit sector and other entrepreneurs that run businesses with a social or environmental impact
- Innovative, economically sustainable business models
- The diffusion of an impact investing culture in Italy
- The growth of skills and competences in this ecosystem
In particular, FSVGDA uses its endowment, currently €8,5 millions, to spread an impact investing culture in Italy via:
- Supply of patient capital to organizations pursuing a social or environmental impact, realizing both direct and indirect investments following impact investing principles, with a “social venture capital” approach in the “impact first” segment
- Contributing to the national and international debate about major impact investing themes
- Supporting third sector organizations and the Italian impact investing ecosystem through advisory services and other initiatives such as Get it!
FSVGDA’s main activity consists in realizing impact investments with an institutional approach: in fact, FSVGDA typically invest in equity targeting below-market-rate returns (e.g.: capital preservation) on long-term time horizons compared to traditional investments. FSVGDA’s institutional activity consists in identifying entrepreneurial initiatives pursuing social or environmental impact in an economically sustainable way and supplying them with patient capital with an additionality criteria: capital is deployed in sectors that traditional investors would not typically target, in terms of geography, business sector or company’s stage of development (i.e too premature), with the final goal to have these initiatives grow, firtherly attract capital from other impact investors and amplify their impact. Furthermore, this impact needs to be:
- Measurable, in order to give entrepreneurs and investors a reporting and strategic guidance tool;
- Intentional, meaning that targets’ business models must be created in order to address specific social, environmental or cultural challenges (i.e. impact must not be “incidental”)
Finally, if these are the criteria that guide FSVGDA’s direct investment activity, its institutional action also involves other vehicles that invest with a similar strategy (“indirect invetments”), in order to have FSVGDA’s capital creating a multiplying effect on the ecosystem.
In other words, FSVGDA’s impact investing activity involves two main types of targets:
- Social Impact Funds “SIF”: by the acquisition of Social Impact Funds’ shares, meaning “ethical” funds that target social/environmental impact organizations and companies
- “Social enterprises”: direct investments and co-investments with other SIFs in innovative economically sustainable businesses, addressing relevant social and environmental challenges, regardless of their legal form. In fact, they could either be non-profit businesses such as social enterprises by law and cooperatives, hybrid companies such as benefit corporations and innovative social start-ups, or limited companies for profit with aa social or environmental impact