Act for Impact
Building a more inclusive economy
Our mission: We engage in regular dialogue with business leaders, investors, board members, public institutions, and civil society organizations – to implement strategies for a more inclusive economy.
We foster exchange and collaboration between students and faculty at HEC Paris, top academics in the field internationally, and our practitioner partners
For more than a decade, at HEC, we have firmly believed that only the co-creation of new economic models by stakeholders from civil society, the public sector and companies can help to provide real answers to the major problems we currently face, such as growing inequality and extreme poverty.
The academic world also has its role to play in this co-creation process. In our work, we strive to spark exploration into these new models.
As a result, in 2009, we set up the Social & Business Action Tank, along with a dozen other companies brought together by HEC Paris Inclusive & Social Business Chair, as well as Martin Hirsch (then French High Commissioner for Active Solidarity and Youth) and Emmanuel Faber (then the Danone Group’s deputy CEO).
This type of incubator for inclusive economic models aims to provide access to nutrition, healthcare, transport and more in France. Other similar Action Tanks have been set up more recently in India, Brazil and Africa.
Just over a decade later, the Gilets Jaunes movement helped to spread this movement, with the creation of the first French coalition and its three areas of commitment: access to essential goods and services for all, access to work or education for all and socially inclusive procurement. This coalition was closely followed by the G7 coalition: B4IG (Business for Inclusive Growth). This coalition includes S&O as an academic partner and now features 40 companies from G7 countries, which have committed to respecting human rights, ensuring that minorities and other more vulnerable sections of society are integrated into companies, and exploring models for providing access to essential goods and services.
Yes, people are becoming aware of this movement. An increasing number of stakeholders, particularly in France, are setting out to create more inclusive models. These models are sources of hope. They open up new possibilities.
However, we now need to speed up the scaling-up process.
At HEC, we want to play our role in this through research and training, and by assisting with exploring and rolling out these new models. In order to do this, we link our researchers and our students with stakeholders involved in this transformation, all while providing stakeholders with conceptual and methodical guides and supporting them during the creative processes.
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FOCUS ON Action Tank Social & Business
Action Tank Social & Business is designed to incubate inclusive business models fighting poverty in France. Since 2010, it has helped develop and implement innovative poverty alleviation projects, bringing together numerous companies, NGOs, public and academic authorities.
Latest Production: Study of the double poverty penalty in France - 2022
The "double poverty penalty" refers to the fact that poor households must, in addition to suffering lower purchasing power, pay more per unit of consumption for the same good or service than the "median" consumer.
In 2022, the annual gross double penalty is estimated at €1,536, or 8.7% of expenditure. Some aids allow to reduce its effects to 96€ of annual net double penalty, that is to say 0,6% of the expenses. Nevertheless, depending on their profile and ability to benefit from these aids, many households are confronted with a net double penalty that can reach several thousand euros per year.
After a first study conducted in 2011, the Action Tank Entreprise et Pauvreté and La Banque Postale, in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), wanted to put this double penalty phenomenon "under the microscope" again. This study sheds light on how this phenomenon affects poor households in France today - in terms of the magnitude, in euros, of the double penalties experienced, the categories of expenditure concerned, and the factors and mechanisms behind this "double penalty.
Academic Partner of B4IG
Launched in May 2020, Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) is a partnership between the OECD and major corporations from across the globe. The B4IG coalition aims to make economic growth more inclusive by promoting policies, actions, and initiatives to reduce the extreme social inequalities that increasingy threaten our society.
As an academic partner of B4IG, HEC's S&O Institute works closely with the coalition to exchange on scholarly work and scientific evidence about inclusive growth, social Impact measurement, human rights, diversity, and reduction of inequalities.
Leandro Nardi, postdoctoral research felow at the S&O Institute, and Marieke Huysentruyt, associate professor of Strategy and Business Policy, are the HEC researchers dedicating time and resources to this partnership. Earlier this year, they collaborated with B4IG by proposing a framework to help the coalition assess the advantages and disadvantages of the various impact measurement tools available today. In more recent interactions with B4IG, the researchers have begun to map the academic literature and systematize the existing scientific evidence on issues related to youth employment and skilling.
Voices of our partners
We allow organization to manage impact as a core dimension of their performance.
HEC Alumnus and holding a Ph.D on the subject of social impact assessment (SIA), Adrien has been supporting social enterprises, foundations and impact investors...
The responsibility towards the most vulnerable is collective.
Alice started her career in the civil engineering sector, managing teams on site on water and infrastructure projects. As an engineer, she worked in multiple countries from Jamaica...
Finance can be a useful tool for human development
After completing a Master in Finance at Paris IX Dauphine and an MBA at Nicholls State University (Louisiana, USA), Laurence Moret became a financial journalist at the press agency ACP...
Doing good for others can be the basis to aggregate customers, donors, investors--to produce profits. Covid-19 is a segue to accelerate this trend.
Patricia H. Thornton is Grand Challenge Faculty and Professor of Sociology and...