2019-2020 / GEST3041-1

Performance globale et reporting de l'impact social


30h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité5 crédits 


Virginie Xhauflair

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue française

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier


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Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

Impact investing is actively placing capital in enterprises that generate social or environmental goods, services, or ancillary benefits such as creating good jobs, with expected financial returns ranging from the highly concessionary to above market. In other words, impact investments are investments made into businesses, nonprofits and funds with the intention to generate positive and measurable social and/or environmental impact, alongside financial return for part of these investments.
Impact investing is part of the "new philanthropy" trend, also labeled as "venture philanthropy" and displays a broad spectrum of investment practices, depending on the expected impacts and return, and on the types and needs of potential investee organizations. It has become a hot topic in the social enterprise field, as it is now considered as an appropriate lever to foster and scale up organizations targeting a social aim. Its popularity is also linked to the potential for impact investing to cause a paradigm shift in philanthropic action: targeting investment capital as a complementary resource for achieving the social and environmental changes typically pursued by philanthropic organizations.
During the course, students will discover the diversity of the impact investing practices, and locate these new investment tools in the broader context of the transformation of investment practice and of philanthropic action, and of the growth of the social entrepreneurship field.
The course will rely on the resources provided in the MOOC "L'impact Investing: La finance qui change le monde" developed by ESSEC Business School and accessible on the Coursera platform. Students will have to discover those resources on their own, following a planning communicated by the lecturer.
During classes, students will discuss the information obtained based on the MOOC resources and will focus on the Belgian context. Cases will be discussed, and students will have the opportunity to meet impact investors and their beneficiaries, and various actors from the impact investing sector. Based on this acquired knowledge, the relevance, ethics and efficiency of impact investing for social enterprises will be debated. We will also focus on one of the main challenges related to impact investing: how to assess the social return? How to avoid the risk of mission drift? How to develop the impact investing market ecosystem?

Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

In coherence with the Intended Learning Outcomes  of the Master in Management program and more particularly of its specialization in "Social Enterprise Management", the course will enable students to:

  • Understand what is impact investing concept and give examples of impact investing practices (and related concepts such as socially responsible investment; social investment, venture philanthropy)
  • Understand the structure of the emerging impact investing sector in Belgium and in the neighbouring countries, know the field actors and their roles, understand the market dynamics and issues
  • Analyse the impact investing processes presented in case studies and/or by impact investors or investees
  • Based on case studies and testimonials, assess and discuss the investment model underlying a social enterprise project (check consistency between objectives and financial means; between stakeholders' expectations; discuss inconsistencies between objectives and allocated financial means/chosen investment instruments)
  • Understand the social impact measurement and give examples
  • Assess and compare existing social measurement tools
This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes :
ILO-2 : Gaining the knowledge and understanding of one of the proposed fields of concentration or to gain deep knowledge in the field of the management being already specialized thru a first University Master Degree . 
ILO-4 : To acquire the capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem, 
ILO-5 : Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems, whether real or simulated, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.
ILO-6 : Ability to speak 2 foreign languages: C1 in English and B2 in one other language.
ILO-9 : Developing a critical sense (arguing)
ILO-10 : Developing a transversal, global vision 
ILO-11 : Creative conception of solutions 
ILO-12 : Professional capacity for oral communication
ILO-13 : Professional capacity for written communication 
ILO-14: Faced with a management problem, suggesting solutions that are ethical and socially responsible and that respect the principles of good governance.

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

Strongly recommended, but not compulsory:
Before or simultaneously: Analyse financière des business models durables (GEST-3037, Prof. Sybille Mertens)

The course is taught in English, but requires a good knowledge of French as the ESSEC MOOC is only available in French, and as most invited speakers are native French speakers.

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

The course is structured around three main questions, which will be documented and discussed based on resources provided in the MOOC, invited speakers, and case studies analysis.
1) Impact Investing: Who? What? Why?

  • What is impact investing? ISR, Impact investing, venture philanthropy key characteristics
  • Who are the impact investors? What are they looking for?
  • Investors and social entrepreneurs: New allies for social impact?
2) The impact investment process

  • The impact investing instruments
  • The impact investing process: deal screening and impact centered due diligence
  • Measuring the social return
3) Developing the ecosystem of Impact Investing
Developing an impact investing market
Social and solidarity-based finance
Social Impact Bonds
Crowdfunding for social impact
For each of these three questions, students will rely on the MOOC contents. The MOOC itself is structured into 3 different MOOCs with three different focuses:

  • Comprendre les fondamentaux
  • Etre acteur de l'impact investing
  • Innover dans l'impact investing
Each MOOC is composed of different modules with various topical focuses. These modules present video interviews of lecturers, experts and practitioners with an expertise and/or an experience in impact investing.
Students will have to discover those resources by themselves in accordance with the schedule that will be communicated by Mrs Xhauflair prior the first class.

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel ; enseignement à distance)

e-learning (MOOC on Coursera) and classes requiring active participation of all students

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

Relevant course materials (powerpoints, academic papers, reports, case studies, etc.) will be posted on Lol@ by the teacher.

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

The presence of each student is compulsory and the involvement in the class and in the MOOC will be formally evaluated.
The final grade is based on
1) Group work: (30%, modulated by peer evaluation)
2) Involvement of the student before and during each class (20%, assessed through presence, participation in class discussions, unexpected tests and quizzes)
3) Individual written exam (case study analysis) (50%): assessment criteria

  • Relevance and depth of answers
  • Ability to discern the key information
  • Ability to critically analyze information
  • Ability to link answers with course contents/concepts
  • Ability to rationalize answers
  • Ability to discern, compare and discuss various potential options/solutions


Remarques organisationnelles

The course takes place during the second semester, on Friday mornings (9-12)  
The course is taught in English, but requires a good knowledge of French as the ESSEC MOOC is only available in French, and as most invited speakers are native French speakers.


Virginie Xhauflair, v.xhauflair@uliege.be