Impact Investing in Germany – Market Study 2020

Tasks and goals

The purpose of this project was to conduct a market study that analyzes the development of the German impact investing market since the last market study in 2015. The last study on the impact investing market in Germany identified an investible asset volume of € 69 million (held by social venture capital funds and foundations) for 2015, which was not yet fully invested, and a potential growth of € 7-8 million was projected for the following year (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2015).

Since then, billions have been attributed to the market segment. The study was conceptually prepared by CSI in October 2019 by conducting nationwide stakeholder dialogues first with market actors from the German National Initiative for Impact Investing network followed by an extended circle of participants from the eco-system. In the process, perceptions of the market segment among the actors in Germany were documented, problems in the field were recognized and the need for clarification was identified. The overall aim of the Market Study 2020 is to create transparency, improve market understanding and provide orientation for the further development of the market.

This study built on previous work that was carried out as part of the National Advisory Board of the G7 Impact Investing Task Force and subsequently as part of its successor structures, the German National Initiative for Impact Investing and its international network organization, the "Global Steering Group (GSG)". The market study aims to provide a detailed overview of the quantitative and qualitative developments in regard to market actors in the German eco-system (investors, intermediaries, and investees).

To achieve the abovementioned goals, the study is based on three components:

  • An online survey,
  • the comparative research of existing studies and
    information, also from other European countries, and
  • the development of a collection of case studies in
    vignette format, to showcase individual approaches
    of exemplary organizations as well as companies.

A total of 400 organizations were invited to participate in the survey. 122 of them registered for the survey and 81 replied fully. The response rate was 20 percent despite the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

15.12.2019 - 30.09.2020

Project team
Dr. Volker Then (project manager)
Tobias Schmidt

> BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
> Bertelsmann Stiftung
> Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen

Executive Summary