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. The 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) developing a concept for research, teaching, and training.

The Centre 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 in the face of growing global problems and scarce public funds. The Danube Region lags behind in terms of social entrepreneurship and impact investing worldwide (EVPA Annual Survey, 2016). Finance for SocialChange was a project supported by 14 practice and academic partners from 12 European countries. Finance for SocialChange worked on a "Social Impact Investment Strategy for the Danube Region". The project developed a 130-hour curriculum to increase the competencies of social enterprises and to conduct a "Business Plan Competition" in the region (initial funding for this was € 200,000).

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: Social entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus, supported by the DFB Foundation Egidius Braun and the DFL Foundation the foundations of German football on the occasion of the World Cup in Russia: this highly unusual combination served as the basis and starting point for a dynamic and impressive summer school that took place from 2nd to 6th July 2018 in the high mountain resort of Dombay in the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia. The content of the Summer School was designed and implemented under the auspices of the CSI in cooperation with the North-Caucasus Federal University (NCFU) and the Russian NGO "Center for Network Initiatives Support" (CNIS), both from Stavropol (Russia). The Summer School took place again in 2019.

About the project: The German report was produced by the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and the Centre for Social Investment and Innovation (CSI). The aim was to update the report published in 2014 by the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion. The EU Commission continues to attach great importance to the future of social enterprises in the Union. The "mapping" of the landscape that emerged from this research project was awaited with great interest by European stakeholders and should serve in particular to guide policy support mechanisms for social enterprises.

About the project: The INTRA Lab was 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 offered: Thinking spaces and methodical tools, new perspectives on social solutions, accompaniment, and support, network, expert input on entrepreneurial topics, passion, and the drive to enable social impact.

Contact: Dr. Georg Mildenberger