The Social impact investing refers to “all those investments which intentionally aim to the reaching of measurable social goals and to the generation of measurable economic returns” (Social Impact Investment Task Force 2014). If, from the point of view of supply, it is clear who the key players are, whether they are profit organizations or non-profit organizations offering these kinds of services in the marketplace, that is all actors whose actions are “impact-oriented”, the overall framework of the instruments, usually divided into equity and debt instruments, has still not been defined.
It appears to be evident that finance scholars are being called upon to spot new methods of provision of financial resources and to identify new modes of interaction with beneficiaries to make the social finance market as effective and efficient as possible while preserving the central role of the community (Nicholls et al. 2015). The search for new and more articulated operational responses to relevant social issues has found its expression in emerging academic approaches that place their attention on a financial innovation ever more functional to the communities’ social needs and which constitute the “alternative voices” (Rappaport 2012; Shiller 2012) when compared to the traditional financial approaches, which showed their limits and inadequacies during the recent financial and economic crisis (Krugman 2014). The research team is called to configure an innovative financial architecture to gather capital to be invested in social activities to create both social and economic value.