Social Equity Initiative

The initiative

In 2019 ”la Caixa” Foundation, BPI and Nova School of Business & Economics (Nova SBE) joined forces to launch the Social Equity Initiative, a partnership  that aims to promote the social sector in Portugal in the long run, sketching a portrait of the sector and developing research and empowerment programs to support Portuguese social organizations.

In total, the initiative involves the creation of eight projects and two Chairs, hence complementing the intervention of BPI and “la Caixa” Foundation in Portugal.

In this initiative, six Knowledge Centers of Nova SBE are involved and leading the execution of the different projects:

“This is one of the most relevant and ambitious partnerships that “la Caixa” Foundation has established in Portugal, since it arrived in the country, less than a year ago. Alongside Nova SBE, we want to put knowledge and innovation at the service of the Portuguese population, especially vulnerable people. We are a foundation with a history of more than a century, and our experience proves that these kinds of partnerships with renowned institutions mirror the well-being of the citizens”.

Isidro Fainé
the President of the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation.

“BPI is possibly one of the entities in Portugal with more comprehensive knowledge about the social sector. For more than a decade, through Prémios de Solidariedade BPI [BPI Solidarity Awards], we have come to know in detail the work, but also the difficulties of thousands of social institutions all over the country. This reinforcement of the partnership we have with Nova SBE will allow us to strengthen the complementarities between the Awards BPI “la Caixa”, the entities supported they support, and the projects launched today within this initiative, bringing more value to our country”.

Artur Santos Silva
Honorary President of BPI and curator of the "la Caixa" Foundation.

“The Social Equity Initiative alongside BPI and the “la Caixa” Foundation will be a partnership that will help map Portugal’s social situation and empower organizations that strive daily to improve it. We want to work together to create and contribute to impact in Portugal, Europe, and the world. We are sure that with the support of all stakeholders and the team involved this initiative will be a success. ”.

Daniel Traça
Dean of Nova SBE.

Some of the projects included in this partnership are:

Knowledge Center: Nova SBE Economics for Policy Knowledge Center

Academic Direction: Prof. Susana Peralta


The goal of this project is to promote knowledge and public discussion through an annual public report on the Social Balance of Portugal. The report will depict the social-economic framework of Portuguese families, focusing primarily on situations of deprivation and exclusion, and, whenever possible, on access to the existing social responses in Portugal.

Learn more.


  • Knowledge Center: Nova SBE Data Science Knowledge Center
  • Academic Direction: Leid Zejnilovic
  • Project Management: Bruna Riboldi

The social sector represents an important sector of the Portuguese economy. However, existing data sources provide insufficient and disconnected information, with a low level of interaction and weak data visualization. The goal of the project is to create an integrated public database of social sector organizations in Portugal, that serves Portuguese societies, namely associations, foundations, cooperatives, social enterprises, researchers, Governmental bodies, investors, volunteers and other interested parties from the impact economy in Portugal.


  • Knowledge Center: Nova SBE Leadership for Impact Knowledge Center
  • Academic Direction: Miguel Pina e Cunha

A new executive intensive training program concerning the context and leadership of social organizations, in order to empower business professionals that have non-executive roles in social organizations, hence supporting the professionalization and credibility of the social sector. 

  • Knowledge Center: Nova SBE Leadership for Impact Knowledge Center
  • Academic Direction: Carmen Lages
  • Project Management: Joana Castro e Costa

The Social Leapfrog Program is a pioneer program that aims to diagnose and accompany social organizations in different business areas. The project will involve Nova SBE’s wider community (students, alumni, faculty, and partners) over the course of three years. The program includes a customized plan per organization and aims to support organizations in “taking a leap” in terms of impact and financial sustainability.  

More information here.

  • Knowledge Center: Nova SBE Data Science Knowledge Center
  • Academic Direction: Leid Zejnilovic
  • Project Management: Bruna Riboldi

Each year, this project will address a specific social problem that could be analyzed and solved through data science. Challenges could be presented from different areas with social impact, such as from the health sector, labor market, the environment or from education.

In the first year of the project “Data for Change” will work with APDP – Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal, with the goal of characterizing risk profiles of the development of nephropathy in the diabetic population.

The sustainable development Goals (SDGs) addressed by this initiative are:


The partnership also includes the creation of two endowed Chairs:

Recognition of Professor Miguel Ferreira. To develop research and training projects in the area of responsible finance and sustainable finance. This area analyses the contribution of finance  and the financial system to the sustainable development of society, including topics such as “Stakeholders and Value Creation”, “the Effect of Corporate Governance in Long-term Investment,” and “Socially Responsible Investment”.

Dean of Faculty & Research

For more information, click here.

Recognition of Professor Pedro Pita Barros, that will develop research and training projects in the área of health economics. This chair will analyse the new trends and challenges of the health sector through impact measurements, studies and analysis regarding subjects such as Access to Healthcare Services, Human Resources and Population Ageing.

For more information, click here.

More information

For more information on this initiative, please contact:
Joana Castro e Costa
Coordinator of the Social Equity Initiative

For more information on our partners, please visit:
”la Caixa” Foundation
Bank BPI