According to Social Innovation Monitor (SIM), in Italy, there are 486 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 and Benefit Companies. Instead, B Corporations are certified by an international private body (B Lab) – for more details, read: The Italian Benefit Corporation legal status.
In 2021, certified startups with a significant social impact increased by 28% compared to 2020, a growth much higher than that of all innovative Italian startups (12%).
Specifically, at the end of 2021, Innovative Startups with a Social Vocation were 196, Benefit Companies were 309 and B Corporations 9.
The Benefit Companies have grown the most since 2020 (+143%), mainly thanks to the government incentives allocated.
These companies employed, on average, 1.4 employees, compared to 1.3 employees of typical startups. The average revenues were around €112,000, in line with 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 23 Italian startups with a significant social and environmental impact that stand out in terms of revenues, the number of employees and funding received.
These startups include Energy Dome, an Italian company that has developed a technology using CO2 to store large amounts of electricity. This company ranked among the best startups for funds raised by the end of 2021 (€ 13.5 million), with an additional € 10 million raised in recent months.
xFarm, an agritech startup that raised more than € 3 million in 2019 (here is the interview with Matteo Vanotti, co-founder of the company) and more than € 16 million this year.
Bit Mobility, an electric sharing mobility startup, was another outstanding company in terms of level and growth of revenues and number of employees (87). In 2021 the company reached more than € 5 million in revenues.
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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/