UniCredit launched Social Impact Banking, its new programme to foster positive social impacts by supporting individuals, micro-enterprises and social initiatives.
The programme, which is initially available in Italy and will eventually be rolled out to the other countries of the Group, focuses on raising credit, sharing UniCredit’s financial and business know-how with communities, and building networks among like-minded organisations, such as social and trade associations, foundations and public institutions.
UniCredit takes corporate social responsibility very seriously, and has long been engaged in a number of social impact activities, including funding regional emergency initiatives in Italy, supporting financial education, dedication to social enterprises as well as working with consumer associations.
The Social Impact Banking programme strengthens the Group’s contributions to society with three coordinated streams that will help drive the growth and sustainability in communities in the medium to long-term. Social Impact Banking will focus on:
Microcredit: Beginning today, all UniCredit branches in Italy will offer loans, expertise and support to microenterprises that are often excluded access to traditional banking products and services. Drawing on a network of partners, UniCredit will identify, select and finance projects that help create inclusion and broaden employment. Thanks to a network of volunteers – current and former UniCredit employees – the Group will offer advice to support the selected companies as they grow and develop. UniCredit plans to provide more than 5,000 loans over the next two years to become a market leader for microcredit in Italy.
Impact Financing: UniCredit will provide subsidised loans and competitively priced products and services to both for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises whose objective is to have a social impact in areas, for example those that strengthen and promote inclusion. The programme is designed to support social innovation as a positive driver of change. UniCredit will share success stories and promote new partnerships and networks. Moreover, the social impact of enterprises will be measured and rewarded through a “pay for success” mechanism . UniCredit will contribute to the development of the impact financing market by offering EUR 100 million in new loans over the next two years.
Financial education and inclusion: As part of the Alternanza Scuola Lavoro initiative of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, UniCredit has launched this programme to increase financial awareness and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in schools. The project will involve over 15,000 students in 2018 and aims to reach 50,000 students over the next three years. In addition, UniCredit will launch specific financial education programs targeting to micro and social enterprises in Italy.
“To do well, we also have to do good”, is a comment made often by Jean Pierre Mustier, UniCredit CEO. “At UniCredit, we are proud that all our actions are guided by a strong sense of ethics, based on clear values. One of these is the importance of supporting our community. Through our Social Impact Banking initiative, we do this by looking beyond purely economic returns, to drive investments with a positive impact on society.”
UniCredit employees will play a key role in Social Impact Banking. To facilitate this process, the Group has supported the creation of UniGens, a volunteer association of current and former employees who will provide training, mentoring and expertise to worthy individuals, micro and social enterprises.
Further information on Social Impact Banking is available from all UniCredit branches in Italy and on the website www.unicredit.it