Our roots

Fondazione Social Venture pursues its mission following in on the activities of two historical non-profit institutions

Fondazione Opere Sociali

Fondazione Opere Sociali (FOS) was was established in the late ’50s by the Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde to provide welfare services for the elderly and education for young people. In recent years its activity has been linked to the management and enhancement of the student residence of via Monneret De Villard a Milano.

At the beginning, in response to emerging social issues, the goal was to allocate some buildings as workers’ residency. Later, with the increase in university enrollments, special attention was also given to university students living in fragile conditions. To cope with their needs, the aim was to establish a special University Center for the most deserving students.

The purpose of the Foundation, as per its Statute, was “the professional qualification and the cultural and moral elevation of the workers” with the possibility of widening the field of intervention by carrying out “activities in favour of other categories of people deserving assistance”, also through “the organization of workers’ residencies, professional education courses, libraries, sports fields, etc.”.

The Foundation fully achieved its goals by proceeding with the creation of a University Center in Milan and seven social centres between 1962 and 1969 located in Novara, Monza, Varese, Lissone, Magenta, Brescia and Cernusco. The financial resources of the Foundation were substantially represented by the annual disbursements of the Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde.

Towards the end of the 70s, however, there was a change of direction. On the one hand, the management of the centers was no more sustainable; on the other, given the socio-economic changes that have taken place over the years, the social centers had exhausted the function for which they had been created. After having reduced considerably its scope of action, the Foundation continued to pursue its goals through the University Center of Via Monneret de Villard in Milano that received – free of charge and on the basis of an open competition – students from the Universities of Milan.

Later, since the building required significant renovation work, FOS sold its surface rights in 2013 to FHS for 33 years and, as part of the same operation, in 2016 it sold the remainder interest to Fondo Immobiliare di Lombardia, managed by InvestiRE SGR SpA that, at the same time, acquired the surface rights from FHS.

Fondazione Giordano Dell'Amore

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore (FGDA) is a foundation created by Fondazione Cariplo with Fondazione CRT and Compagnia San Paolo as co-founders. Constituted in 1977, the Foundation had been operating since a decade: it represented the evolution of the del Centre for Financial Assistance to African Countries (Finafrica) established in Milan in 1967 by Professor Giordano Dell’Amore, at the time Chairman of Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde and Rector of Bocconi University.

Since 2006 the Foundation started focusing its activities on the microfinance and financial inclusion sectors, redefining its mission in 2010:

“To activate and catalyze the skills and resources of Italian organizations in order to develop projects and methods of intervention in the microfinance sector, both in industrialized and developing countries, in compliance with consolidated best practices and with the capacity to contribute significantly to the development and innovation of the microfinance sector.”

The main lines of activities were:

  • Organization of periodic workshops featuring a strongly operative perspective on specific microfinance issues, presentations by national and international experts and a closed number of attendants
  • Support in designing and planning microfinance interventions, business development and fundraising
  • Coordination of innovative projects, featuring high systemic relevance or developed in partnership with the founders
  • Organization of a microfinance award to promote the best international practices.

Specifically, the Foundation realized a European Award and an International Award:

Europe Award, destined to microfinance experiences in European countries. With an annual frequency, it is realized in collaboration with the European Microfinance Network and the Ceremony is hold during the EMN Annual Conference. The first award was realized in June 2009 in Milan and since then FGDA has organized 8 editions.

International Award , addressed to microfinance experiences in developing countries, it was realized every two years focusing on specific themes considered crucial for the development of the microfinance sector. 3 editions of this prize has been done.