Special Issue "Sustainable Venture Capital and Social Impact Investment Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elisa Ughetto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
Interests: venture capital; social impact finance; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial finance
Prof. Dr. Laura Toschi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bologna Business School, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Interests: venture capital; social impact finance; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial finance; knowledge transfer; climate change; clean-technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With this Special Issue, we aim to stimulate and collect state-of-the-art research on emerging practices in social impact investing (SII) and venture capital (VC) financing in order to develop sustainable businesses (Bocken, 2015; Bürer and Wüstenhagen, 2008). New ventures are often regarded as an answer to the many social and environmental problems affecting the current world (Bocken, 2015; Hall et al., 2010; Pacheco et al., 2010). SII is nowadays regarded as a new way to allocate capital to projects that combine a measurable social and environmental impact with economic sustainability, while at the same time providing financial returns (Calderini et al., 2018; Clarkin and Cangioni, 2015; Oleksiak et al., 2015). SII investments can be realized by means of VC funds, debt, or other innovative instruments (e.g., social impact bonds; Höchstädter and Scheck, 2015).

Notwithstanding the recent policy and media attention towards social impact investing (The Economist, 2017; Zingales, 2018), the phenomenon has been widely discussed mainly by practitioners, resulting into storytelling and anecdotal narratives (Daggers and Nicholls, 2016; Hazenberg et al., 2014). Recently, the academic field has started to show interest in the topic, but an overall understanding of the phenomenon is still limited and fragmented. Thus, there is sufficient room to investigate whether, how, when, and under which conditions SII and VC financing act as important catalysts to develop sustainable new businesses, thus contributing positively to the environment and society, while generating a financial return.

This Special Issue welcomes general and specific contributions that examine the peculiarities, evolution, and impact of SII and VC financial instruments aimed at nurturing entrepreneurship for sustainable products and processes. Special attention will be given to those contributions that consider trade-offs and/or integration between different aspects that affect SII and VC finance towards sustainability.

Prof. Elisa Ughetto
Prof. Laura Toschi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainability
  • venture capital
  • social impact investing

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


Investors’ Aspirations toward Social Impact: A Portfolio-Based Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13095293 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 484
In the last ten years, we have witnessed a proliferation of investors claiming blended value strategies, i.e., pursuing both economic and social returns in their investments. Aside from this rush for self-selecting in a blended value finance context, we still do not know [...] Read more.
In the last ten years, we have witnessed a proliferation of investors claiming blended value strategies, i.e., pursuing both economic and social returns in their investments. Aside from this rush for self-selecting in a blended value finance context, we still do not know to what extent the investors’ claims actually reflect investment decisions. Evidence suggests that, in some cases, such investors tend to maximize the social performance over the financial performance; in some others, the effect is reverted, but literature currently lacks studies aligning the analysis of the investment decisions with the investment portfolios. Yet, it is still unclear whether blended value investment decisions are enacted as a result of investors’ deliberate strategies and what influences this relationship. In this paper we tackle this issue, analyzing the extent to which investors’ finance firms pursuing goals aligned with their strategic aspirations. Specifically, adopting a Fractional Logistic Regression model, we test the effect of investors’ aspirations toward social impact on the extent to which their investees (i.e., the portfolio of firms in which they invest) pursue social returns. Results suggest the existence of a positive and significant investor–portfolio alignment effect (i.e., the higher the investors’ aspirations toward social impact, the higher the number of investees with higher social aspirations). Yet, this effect is influenced by contingencies at both investor and portfolio levels. Investors with strong aspirations toward social impact that: (i) invest in countries with high levels of social inequality, and (ii) are located in countries that support social progress and maximize, in their portfolios, the presence of businesses pursuing social impact. We discuss implications for future researchers, policymakers and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Venture Capital and Social Impact Investment Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop