Social entrepreneurship

For many years BNP Paribas has supported “impact” entrepreneurs, those players in the social and societal economy who promote the public good by developing positive-impact activities that help us meet environmental and social challenges.

BNP Paribas’ Positive Impact Business Accelerator is dedicated to these initiatives. The Accelerator supports business lines that act locally, alongside these entrepreneurs. It invests on its own behalf, develops financial innovations such as impact contracts to support them, and deploys methodologies to measure and monitor social impact, in order to better track their positive social or environmental impact.

Supporting impact entrepreneurs

We support social entrepreneurial actors through a tailored, diversified offering, particularly through the  Act for Impact programme. Impact entrepreneurs have access to dedicated advisors, to financial or extra-banking products and services suited to their specific needs, and to a network of key partners to accompany them in their development. Since its inception,   Act For Impact has assisted 2,200 social-impact companies in France and has arranged a total of 1.2 billion euros in financing.   


Amount of total financing in France for social entrepreneurs since the launch of Act for Impact.


For the past five years, the People’sLab4Good, the BNP Paribas Company Engagement intrapreneurship programme, has enabled employees to transform a business idea with a positive impact into a ready-to-test project in the Group’s businesses. The programme receives more than 100 applications a year and since its launch 87 intrapreneurs have been accompanied.

- Discover the infography about the programme(Opens in a new tab)

Investing in impact companies

BNP Paribas has pledged to earmark 250 million euros in proprietary investments by 2025, to help innovative companies developing local, environmental and social solutions to the great challenges we now face. Like Printemps des Terres, a French company that helps farmers becomes actors of the energy transition. The Group partners with such companies, whether in supporting their strategic plans and their governance, or with direct investments.

Accelerating the development of social impact bonds

In order to mobilise finance in favour of positive actions for society, BNP Paribas supports the development of innovative products such as the Impact Contract, a financial tool that helps finance social and environmental innovations through a new type of public-private partnership. How does it work? Investors prefinance social and solidarity economy projects and may be reimbursed and remunerated by the government, based on whether impact results have been achieved, as assessed by an independent expert. In 2016, BNP Paribas arranged the first French Social Impact contract for Adie, based on the model of Social Impact Bonds that already existed in other countries. 

Social impact bonds: 4 key dates 


The first “social impact bond” is launched in Great Britain, aiming to keep ex-convicts from becoming repeat offenders


BNP Paribas arranges the very first social impact contract in France with Adie, to use microcredit to promote economic and social integration of rural residents


The Group arranges its 10th Impact Contract in Belgium for social and professional integration of young homeless adults


Launch of an experimental project with Médecins du Monde in France, to support persons suffering from severe psychological disorders.

 Impact contracts continue to develop, and BNP Paribas has positioned itself as a leader in arranging, supporting, and financing them. As of the end of 2021, 12 projects had been launched in France, the US, Belgium and Ethiopia, for a total arranged amount of 39 million euros and an invested amount of 13.5 million euros. This original mechanism allows impact investors to support an innovative, government-certified, prevention-based programme, implemented by a social and solidarity economy player   in various societal thematics, including assistance to homeless persons, professional reintegration, support for young persons and to families in distress, creation of circular economy circuits, fighting food wastage, etc. 

 “In lending our concrete support to an initiative, we wish to bring other financers to impact investment and generate leverage. An Impact Contract is deemed successful if it achieves specific pre-set quantified objectives, as assessed by an independent appraiser. Each time, the objective is to prove that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” 

Maha Kermane

Responsable du Positive Impact Business Accelerator de BNP Paribas

Better tracking the positive impacts on society and the environment

Impact investment experts recognise that measuring these companies’ success is essential for continuing to innovate and finding new resources for financing player in the social and solidarity-based economy. That’s why BNP Paribas has taken part in creating a methodology to measure and monitor social impact. Using six indicators, the methodology allows the empirical measurement of social impact and thus to better support social enterprises. BNP Paribas uses the methodology for its own initiatives, as noted in its report on the social performance of microfinance.