The bank for a changing world

BNP Paribas helps clients measure social impact

  • 02.05.2018

To meet the expectations of its clients and partners in social and solidarity economy (SSE) and successfully design the first contracts with a social impact, BNP Paribas in 2015 implemented a method to assess the social and/or environmental impact of SSE players. The method consists of describing and highlighting the advantages that clients produce for their beneficiaries and society, in relation to their mission.

Maha Keramane, Head of Social Entrepreneurship and Microfinance, Europe in the Group’s CSR delegation, points out that “social enterprises have atypical, innovative business models. That is why we have to be creative in our way of analysing them.” 

This social impact measurement tool fulfils several aims:

  • Enhancing the bank-client relationship and understanding the specificities of the social entrepreneurship business model;
  • Producing a differentiated analysis of financial aspect in the light of social or environmental goals;
  • Communicating on and promoting the actions of social enterprises of which impact is the key argument;
  • Enabling SSE to assess the progress of their impact from year to year and to benchmark their position against peers.

A qualitative and quantitative method

BNP Paribas established a method that is both qualitative and quantitative, at times including monetised indicators. To do this, the Group chose to divide the social entrepreneur sector into 7 Fields of Social Action (or DAS for Domaines d’Action Sociale) depending on the needs or services covered by the Social Enterprise:

7 Fields of Social Action

Access to employment

Microfinance and support for entrepreneurship

Access to housing

Access to health and maintenance of autonomy

Access to education and equal opportunities

Environmental Protection

Actions to fight against precariousness


A total of 400 indicators were formulated around these 7 fields and 3 key questions:


WHO are the beneficiaries?

WHAT IS DONE for them?

WHAT RESULTS ARE obtained?

With this tool, the social enterprise can for instance assess its progress from one year to the next in terms of:

  • number and quality of jobs created;
  • number and profile of beneficiaries;
  • amount and quality of actions, products, services or support measures offered;
  • positive spin-offs for beneficiaries (percentage of people who found homes, improved their health or income situation, etc.).

Birth (?) and deployment of MESIS

Launched in June 2016, the NovESS Fund established BNP Paribas as the main partner of Caisse des Dépôts. Besides its mission as investor, the Group played a leading role in setting up the MESIS tool for measuring and monitoring social impact, designed to assess NoVESS investments. 

Capitalising on existing best practices, MESIS is based mainly on the impact methodology of BNP Paribas and INCO and on collaborative work with Caisse des Dépôts and KiMSO. The tool combines a selection process, the setting of targets that are assessed annually during the investment period, a dynamic approach that measures performance over time, and reporting according to Fields of Social Action (DAS) and BNP Paribas indicators.

Our partner La Fondation La France s’Engage has decided to use MESIS to measure the impact of projects that it supports.

“ Measuring impact, which is central to the NovESS fund, will help to standardise the setting of social targets in the same way as financial targets ”

Maha Keramane

Head of Social Entrepreneurship and Microfinance, Europe in the Group’s CSR delegation

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