March 13, 2023

Unicorns at Impact What are we talking about?

Unicorns at Impact What are we talking about?

For the past two years, the Impact France Movement, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and ESSEC Business School have been working together to define a common vision of what a successful company is. From this work was born the concept of the Impact Unicorn, champion of the economy of tomorrow, which was presented at the publication of the first part of the study in May 2022. In March 2023, the second part of this study allows us to better define what this Unicorn with Impact is.

Download the study

Why Unicorns at Impact?

The impact ecosystem, although very dynamic and growing, is not able to develop quickly enough in relation to the major challenges of the 21st century and the solutions it can provide. Impact companies or companies in transition choose production methods that respect high social and environmental standards, which does not allow them to be competitive with companies that benefit from a vice premium by relocating and producing at lower costs. The Impact Unicorns could be the lever to accelerate a whole ecosystem and could promote another way of doing business.

In this respect, the Unicorns with Impact, champions of tomorrow's economy, are also a political objective that will allow this economy to shine!

Because it is high time to change the models of business success, the Unicorn at Impact also embodies the role that businesses should take and the potential for systemic transformation that these champions could have on our ways of making and consuming!

How to identify the Unicorn at Impact?

Mirroring the traditional criteria for identifying the classic Unicorn, the Impact Unicorn includes 3 cumulative criteria:

  1. Be a young company or organization (less than 10 years old)
  2. Propose a breakthrough innovation (technological, social or environmental)
  3. 50 million euros of avoided costs for society per year

It is the introduction of this last criterion, replacing that of the billion-euro financial valuation, that allows a real change of perspective on the role of companies.

What are the avoided costs?

Unicorns with Impact work with the main objective of responding to a social or environmental issue. Professional integration, health prevention, tons of carbon avoided, the activity of these companies can cover a wide range of positive impacts for society. The notion of avoided costs allows us to objectify the direct contribution of these companies in their field by translating their positive impact into avoided costs for society.

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