Module 6

Impact Finance

Welcome to Module 6: Impact Finance - Finance your social adventure!

Here, you’ll learn how to finance social innovation with instruments tailored to the specific needs of social innovation.

This module will allow you to understand the nature, scope, and instruments of impact finance. It covers the entire financial return-impact continuum and includes information on different investment styles and corresponding financing instruments. In particular, it will focus on innovative approaches such as “blended finance” or “hybrid financing models” that cater to the unique needs of social enterprises and other actors in the social innovation field.

You are introduced to the spectrum of impact finance and different investment styles. You receive an overview of traditional as well as innovative financing instruments used by practitioners in impact finance. This enables you to understand where impact investing, (venture) philanthropy, public funding or hybrid solutions come into play and how blended finance solutions can mobilize private investment for social innovation.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, you should have gained a basic understanding of:

  • how various impact finance solutions are able to effectively support social enterprises and other actors in the social innovation field in scaling their impact
  • how different financial return/impact expectations guide each type of funders
  • which financing instruments are typical and suitable for social innovation
  • how financing instruments, investment styles, and types of funders can be combined through blended finance to achieve more impact per euro invested.


It’s time to jump in! This lecture video will present different instruments to unlock the impact potential of social innovations.

We translated the lecture videos\' scripts into German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian. In case you would like to have a look at the translated scripts, please see the files for downloading further down.

Lecture 1

Impact Finance

Lecture playlist

Lecture 1

Impact Finance


Additional materials and transcripts

Infographic on Impact Finance

No need to worry if you feel like there was a lot of material. We’ve got you covered with this handy infographic. It will summarize the key concepts and main principles underlying finance in the social innovation sphere.

Expert Interview with Lena Gansterer from Impact Hub Vienna

Dive deeper into the material with this expert interview with Lena Gansterer. In it, you’ll gain a first-hand perspective on the opportunities and obstacles to implementing a social finance plan.

Tool and Assignment

Try putting your new knowledge to work with this tool and worksheet. You’ll use the decision tree model to figure out which type of financing makes the most sense in a variety of cases.

Additional Readings

That wraps up our unit on social finance.
The learning doesn’t end here though! Voluntary readings may serve to dive deeper into specific topics.
We’ve arranged them by subject for your convenience and encourage you to study them individually or discuss them here.

Webinar: Is Europe financing Social Innovation?

Is Europe financing Social Innovation?

Finding the right instruments to implement your social innovative idea can be challenging. There are many possibilities out there and still more evolving. Our two experts shed light on the spectrum of impact finance and shared their complimentary expertise. If you are curious about the European approach toward impact finance for social innovation, just scroll down to the recording!

  • What financial instruments are there for social entrepreneurs in Europe?
  • In which direction is the European impact investing market going?
  • What is the role of public investors like the European Investment Fund?

In this webinar, Cyril Gouiffès, Investment Manager at the European Investment Fund and Alexandra Heraeus, Transaction Manager at FASE, answered the following questions:

Enjoy the webinar and if you are interested in the slides, you can download them below the video.

About FASE - Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship

The Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) supports selected social enterprises in raising growth capital. They identify investors and financiers across the entire spectrum, ranging from private investors, family offices and foundations to social investors and banks. In order to develop innovative financing approaches that can serve as role models and blueprints, FASE focuses on combining several types of investors and different financing instruments. As an FASE independent organisation FASE cares deeply about the social and environmental impact of their projects and seeks to advance the social finance sector.

About the EIF – European Investment Fund

The EIF supports Europe’s SMEs by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. To this end, they design, promote and implement equity and debt financial instruments which specifically target SMEs. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, and employment.

Table of contents

Academy Modules
Active citizenship
Social Business
Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation
Stakeholder Engagement
Impact Assessment
Impact Finance
Social Innovation Policies
Roots of Impact
pontis foundation

Spread the world