Time to restart
The business opportunities offered by sustainable finance
We will never tire of saying it: the future of companies depends on the business and credit strategy they establish today. In the upcoming months, companies will have to cope with the new social distancing rules and with a likely drop in consumption, The situation will not be easy, but defining an appropriate strategy today can really make a difference.
ESG, an acronym for opportunity
The lockdown has highlighted the unsustainability of our production system. It only took a few days to realize the social utility that many undervalued and ill-paid jobs have, to observe the environmental benefits of lowering pollution, to notice the weaknesses of a poorly managed and non-transparent system. Problems that were familiar to everyone long before the lockdown, but all too often ignored. On these issues, instead, companies can now shape their growth strategy, open up to new markets, and find new financing opportunities.
Since the Paris Agreement of 2015, environmental and social sustainability issues have been the core of the European Union's policies, which has promoted several measures aimed at increasing ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investments, i.e. the investments in business activities that meet environmental, social and goveranace sustainability criteria. Compliance with these criteria plays an increasingly important role in banks’ and credit institutions’ investment strategy. In 2019, the value of ESG investments exceeded more than a third of the global GDP.
Phase 2: restart or renew?
The awareness raised on these issues offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to renew their business with a view to greater sustainability, enabling them to preserve expertise and employment. The business reorganization may be a cause for concern, but companies can find concrete support in R-imprendo, the project launched by Microfinanza together with ImpactAge, Ecomill, modefinance, and MFR; five companies specialized in economic-financial and social evaluation, access to finance, innovative and sustainable business planning. Thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, R-imprendo provides a comprehensive support, helping companies in:
- adapting the business model: after a first assessment, aimed at defining a path and the targets to be pursued, the company is evaluated by the Fintech rating agency modefinance from an economic-financial point of view and stress tests are carried out to simulate the company's performance over time according to different scenarios. Besides, the rating agency MFR provides an ESG rating of the business reorganization project.
strategic planning and implementation of innovative technologies: thanks to the expertise gained by Microfinanza's over the years, the entrepreneur is guided in the definition of the business plan and commercial strategy. Project development and managerial support is also provided;
- identifying financing instruments: the company is supported in the search for financing sources, with particular attention to low-interest financing instruments and European funds (Green New Deal). Equity crowdfunding through the Ecomill platform or social impact investing through the ImpactAge investment vehicle can also be considered;
- repositioning on the market: through follow-up and market studies, the company is constantly monitored in the repositioning on the market.
The so-called phase 2 can be an opportunity not only for business recovery, but for a complete renewal. The global emergency has highlighted the need for a new way of entrepreneurship and it is on social and environmental issues that the most important game will be played. Our future depends on the companies that will be able to meet this challenge.
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