According to Social Innovation Monitor (SIM), in Italy, there are 587 certified startups with a significant social impact.
These are startups halfway between nonprofit organisations and for-profit enterprises, and they can be distinguished into Innovative Startups with a Social Vocation, Benefit Companies and B Corp.
The Italian legal system introduced Startups with a Social Vocation (innovative startups operating exclusively in the sectors indicated in Article 2(1) of Legislative Decree 112/2017) and Benefit Companies (Article 1(376) of Legislative Decree 208/2015). Instead, B Corporations are certified by an international private body (B Lab) – for more details, read: The Italian Benefit Corporation legal status.
In 2022, certified startups with a significant social impact increased by 21% compared to 2021. Specifically, at the end of 2022, Innovative Startups with a Social Vocation were 178, Benefit Companies were 427 and B Corporations 14.
These companies employed, on average, 1.5 employees, compared to 1.3 employees of typical startups. The average revenues were around €123.6k, slightly lower than the €135.9k of other forms of startups.
More and more Italian startups are distinguishing themselves for having a positive social and environmental impact and achieving economically significant results.
The Social Innovation Monitor’s research identified 22 Italian startups with a significant social and environmental impact that stand out in terms of revenues, the number of employees and funding received.
The best startups of 2023 are even better-performing companies than those detected in 2022. These startups register average revenues of € 2 million and average annual growth of 217%, an average number of employees of 18 (+146%), and an average amount of non-debt financing of € 3.9 million.
More than half of them put hardware or its combination with software as a fundamental part of their business.
Some examples include NGV Powertrain, an Italian company that designs environmentally friendly engines in order to reduce pollution and promote the transition to cleaner energy sources.
Unobravo is an online psychology platform offering counselling services and combating mental health prejudice.
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For more details, the Social Innovation Monitor’s research (in Italian) can be downloaded at the following link: https://socialinnovationmonitor.com/startup/report-sulle-startup-innovative-a-significativo-impatto-sociale-2/