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Act for Impact

Building a more inclusive economy

It is urgent to act, and it is necessary to mobilize all stakeholders (public, private, civil society, and academics) for a real systemic change.

Genesis of the adventure - Sustainability is our Business

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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.

Testimony of Emmanuel Faber

In July 2018, during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Inclusive and Social Business Certificate, Emmanuel Faber, Chairman & CEO of Danone, looks back on his common history with Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank; Martin Hirsch, Director of the Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris; Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Executive Director of the S&O Institute and Frédéric Dalsace, Professor at IMD and HEC, all embarked on the collective adventure of creating educational programs at HEC and an Action Tank to respond to the urgency for a more inclusive economy where everyone can be an actor of change.

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Our Partners

Logo inclusive economy


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

White Paper: Understanding the forms of poverty to better target beneficiaries of inclusive programs (available here in French)

Movement for Social*Business Impact

In November 2016, HEC Paris launched an ambitious initiative: the Movement for Social*Business Impact (MS*BI) 

This movement aims at contributing to a more inclusive economy, where businesses seek to maximize their social impact together with their economic performance.

MS*BI is a continuation of the HEC Paris Social Business/Enterprise and Poverty Chair, launched and funded by Danone, Schneider Electric, and Renault in 2008, co-chaired by 2006 Peace Nobel Prize Professor Muhammad Yunus and Martin Hirsch, former High Commissioner for Active Solidarity against Poverty in France, and currently Head of the Greater Paris University Hospitals.


MS*BI is managed by S&O and Action Tank Social & Business


MS*BI focuses on four key actions 

  • This movement aims at contributing to a more inclusive economy, where businesses seek to maximize their social impact together with their economic performance.
  • Catalyzing world-class research on social business by building on partnerships with the best international academic teams.
  • Strengthening and broadening teaching opportunities focused on training a new generation of managers.
  • Accelerating the deployment and scaling up of social business projects incubated in France.
  • Providing institutional resources to develop international social business incubation models, which offer essential goods and services to the poorest populations.  
les 4 logos MSBI partners


B4IG picture

S&O Institute - Academic Partner of B4IG

The Coalition Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG)

A business pledge against inequalities

Voices of our partners

Society & Organizations Institute

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...

Adrien Baudet - S&O

Adrien Baudet

Alumnus 2013

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Society & Organizations Institute

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...

S&O - Alice Magand

Alice Magand

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Society & Organizations Institute

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...

S&O - Inclusive Economy - Laurence Moret

Laurence Moret

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Society & Organizations Institute

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...

Patricia Thornton

Patricia Thornton

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