Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing

Current research projects

About the project: The erasmus+ project "IFI - Innovative Finance Inclusion in Academia and Field" develops concepts for a successful eco-system for sustainable finance. IFI Project aims to systematically align the Israeli higher education system with global changes and develop new capacities in the field of "Finance and Economics" for more sustainable business. This will be done on three levels: a) Building a living ecosystem and infrastructure for sustainable investments b) Strengthening the cooperation between science, teaching, and business and c) Concept development for research, teaching, and training.

The Center for Social Investment and Innovation (CSI) leads the development of a "Community of Practice" and a "Body of Knowledge" and thus contributes to the development of a common understanding of innovative and sustainable investments.

Completed research projects

About the project: Social Entrepreneurship (SE) is becoming increasingly important as the world’s challenges are increasing while public funds in many countries are under pressure. The Danube region currently lags behind global trends in the field of SE and social impact investment (EVPA Annual Survey, 2016). In the Danube region, there is a particular lack of "blended" financial instruments to complement non-repayable grants with new forms of finance (for example venture capital, equity, microcredits). In addition there is a lack of impact investors and policies to support the evolvement of social impact investment markets.

F4SC brings together a multi-disciplinary “quadruple-helix” partnership of 14 partners from 12 countries from across Europe to deliver policy learning, to develop practical solutions for impact investing, and to improve the regulatory framework for social finance in the Danube region. F4SC works towards creating the first "Social Impact Investment Strategy for the Danube region" by paving the way for promoting more social innovations and making social enterprises “investment ready”. The project will deliver 130 hours of "blended" learning experiences through the ”Social Impact Investment Transnational Design Academy”, and will launch the first "Business Plan Competition" in the region with the aim of providing EUR 200,000 investment capital.

About the project: The present Market Study 2020 of the Bundesinitiative Impact Investing e. V. (German National Initiative for Impact Investing) was carried out by the CSI of Heidelberg University and supported by BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Bertelsmann Stiftung and Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (Association of German Foundations). The study is based on data collected through an online survey as well as nation-wide stakeholder dialogues with investors, intermediaries and investees of the impact investing eco-system in Germany. In addition, findings from a comparative research of existing studies from other European countries were incorporated.

The German National Initiative for Impact Investing wants to mobilize additional capital to meet societal challenges by building the impact investing eco-system in Germany. It sees itself as part of an international community that works to disseminate the impact investing approach and acts as a National Advisory Board to the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group.

About the project: The Center for Social Innovation and Investment (CSI) has successfully conducted a Summer School for Social Entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus region of Russia. The Summer School was held in the city of Dombay from the 2nd to the 6th of July 2018 and received full funding by the Foundations of The German Football Union and The German Football League to mark the ostentatious occasion of Russia hosting the world cup.

This initiative was a result of a long standing partnership between the North Caucasus Federal University (NCFU), the Russian NGO “Center for Network Initiatives Support” (CNIS) and the CSI, all three of which formed the core implementing partners.

About the project: The project “Update of the mapping of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe”, funded by the European Commission, is executed in Germany and more than 20 other European countries.

It is coordinated by EURICSE and EMES Network. Responsible for the German report the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt and the Centre for Social Investment (CSI). The goal is to update the 2014 report on social enterprises commissioned by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (see REPORT), since the European Commission continues to prioritise the future of social enterprise. Various stakeholders await the mapping of the diverse European social enterprise landscape with interest and it shall in particular give direction to political support for social entrepreneurial activities.

About the project: The INTRA-Lab is the first innovation laboratory in Germany to support and encourage employees from organizations to develop new social services for people in need. We are convinced that society can be changed and that good solutions for social problems and challenges can be found. To make this work, we offer: Thinking spaces and methodical tools, new perspectives on social solutions, accompaniment and support, network, expert input on entrepreneurial topics, passion & the drive to enable social impact.

Contact: Dr. Georg Mildenberger