Besides its participation in risk capital in cooperative enterprises, it grants funding and offers business consultancy.

The membership is made up of over 270 ordinary cooperative members and from the Minister of Economic Development and Italy's development, as financing member. In the course of 2006, the board approved the participation in and financing of 8 cooperatives for an overall amount of 6,9 euros, of which 1,7 million in capital and convertible bonds and 5,2 million in financing.

To them, 8 interventions will be added in the first six months of 2007, some of them in favour of social cooperatives, for a total investment of 6 million euros. In 2006 CFI consolidated its leadership among the investors in risk capital in enterprises, particularly social cooperatives of small dimension located in the South.

This trend, recorded in 2006, was confirmed in the first six months of 2007. “What we have achieved over the last few years - underlines CFI president Felice Scalvini - can be considered as pioneering work. In Italy we are in fact the only ones to invest in risk capital in social enterprises, and among the first institutional investors, in number of interventions, for enterprises of small dimension, particularly in Southern Italy.”

“What is particularly meaningful - adds the managing director Alberto Zevi - is the role of CFI in central and Southern parts of the country: in central Italy, the CFI interventions represent, in numbers, 13% of the total operations of institutional investors in the risk capital achieved in Italy for enterprises with less than 100 employees; in the South, such a figure reaches 36% (also in this case in enterprises with less than 100 employees).

From 2004 to 30June 2007, CFI intervened in the capital of 30 cooperatives which brought in 20,3 million euros and granted funding for up to 21 million euros.

The CFI contribution to the development of cooperative enterprises is particularly meaningful if the performances in 2006 in the participations are considered: the volume of the production increased by 11%, reaching 330 million euros, while the number of workers is close to 2500, which represents an increase of more than 2% in comparison with the previous year.

Source : CFI, CECOP member, 27 June 2007