For over 20 years, Deutsche Bank has led the way as a provider of socially-motivated finance. The bank lent approximately US $380 million to over 150 microfinance institutions and alternative finance service companies to address poverty in the developing world.
Supporting early-stage entrepreneurs—microenterprises, non-profits, or commercially viable social businesses—is a natural extension of our core franchise and creates shared value. In 2016, we rolled out Made for Good globally to support innovative businesses that tackle urgent social and environmental challenges. These may include access to education, healthcare, clean water and food; creating routes out of poverty; invigorating local economies; or contributing to vibrant and diverse communities. Made for Good leverages our core expertise to enable enterprises—be it via Startups@Germany; our Innovation Labs in Berlin, London, and the Silicon Valley; or through the core competencies of our business—to service our commercial clients and thus build shared value.
Social entrepreneurs contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably goals 8 and 10. But research shows that their success is being restricted by a lack of capital. Over 80% of impact investors disregard seed or start-up stage businesses, and public funding or donations are often not available to enterprises pursuing a double-bottom-line approach. Made for Good provides direct access to Deutsche Bank employee know-how (as judges, mentors, and advisers), as well as the bank’s networks and capital market expertise.
Selected regional highlights
- Germany: since 2006, Deutsche Bank has enabled the annual Landmarks in the Land of Ideas competition, showcasing 100 innovative initiatives. Refugee-related social enterprises are increasingly supported by the Ready for Finance program, the startsocial competition, and are the focus of the Impact fund launched in 2016.
- UK: Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise has helped to launch approximately 200 creative business ventures since their start in 1993.
- US: we backed the expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City to bring new, higher-paying jobs to an area of high unemployment.
- Thailand: together with Peuan Peuan, we support a fully operational training restaurant of international standard, which will provide vocational training to vulnerable street youth to enable them to find gainful employment.
- South Africa: Deutsche Bank’s Alternate Income Generation project enables charities to become more sustainable by diversifying their revenue streams.
In 2016, Deutsche Bank sponsored the first global expert poll to identify The Best Countries to be a Social Entrepreneur. The research, carried out by Thomson Reuters, found that social entrepreneurship is thriving around the world: 85% of participants reported growth in their country. The US was in top position. The fact that Nairobi and Santiago are among the five hottest spots for social enterprise underpins that momentum is not confined to developed economies.
Deutsche Bank has also been part of a consultation group set up to help UnLtd, the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK, to develop an apprenticeship standard for aspiring entrepreneurs that combines on-the-job training with a recognized qualification. In addition, Deutsche Bank sponsored research by the Centre for Social Justice on placing social value at the heart of business and on highlighting best practice business initiatives in the UK.
Going forward we have set ourselves the goals to
- further bundle local enterprise initiatives under the global Made for Good umbrella, enhance the strategic focus along a defined theory of change or impact metrics;
- foster dialog with experts to support marketplace development of social enterprises or businesses generating social value;
- engage even more volunteers to provide their professional expertise to social enterprises; and
- partner with thought leaders and academics to improve the market conditions and opportunities for the sector.