Spreading the good news about social enterprise

Banca Prossima, Intesa Sanpaolo’s global non-profit bank, has signed an agreement in Chile to help develop social enterprise in the country

Hazel Davis


The social economy has always been important to Intesa Sanpaolo. The bank prides itself on initiatives such as supporting and promoting Italian heritage, encouraging sustainable finance and corporate social responsibility.

Back in October, Banca Prossima, the group’s global arm for non-profit economy, signed an agreement in Santiago, Chile to share the Banca Prossima model and expertise. A joint venture with key national and international partners to develop the country’s social economy, it formed part of an Italian Government mission to Latin America led by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.


The three partners in the agreement are Banco Estado del Chile, which has 8,5 million customers and 370 branches, Corporazione di Sostegno alla Produzione (The Guild of Support for Production), the Chilean state organisation in charge of promoting the economy, and CEPAL, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN organisation dedicated to the economic development of the macro-region.

Agreements like this could even become a remarkable opportunity for Italian non-profit organisations to grow the Italian model for social enterprise, known as ‘Social Made In Italy’.

The agreement is still in the planning phase but an advisory board has been created and will be chaired by Carlo Messina, Intesa Sanpaolo’s managing director and chief executive.

Banca Prossima’s founding ethos is one of the creation of social value, and it works hard to support the best non-profit initiatives. It has a presence in all branches of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and also has dedicated branches and more than 450 specialists across Italy.

“Banca Prossima is the only bank dedicated to the development of the social economy”, says Messina. He adds: “In Chile, as in Italy, where Banca Prossima has had extraordinary results, there is real need for social economy, with a development model that generates work, services and cohesion in communities”.

The agreement forges a path between different countries, each of which will need their own version of Banca Prossima: “In Chile there is a lively social economy, ready to grow and open to our contribution”, says Marco Morganti, Banca Prossima’s chief executive. “Social Made In Italy comprises more than 250,000 non-profit organisations and six million workers and volunteers, the fruit of which Banca Prossima can really help to grow”.

“Banca Prossima is the only bank dedicated to the development of the social economy”, says Messina.

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