Austria - “Next” - Wien University of Economics and Business
Although social enterprise remains marginal in Austria today, characterised as it is by businesses that are, in general, very young and small in scale, there is nevertheless real dynamism and the field is in rapid expansion.
The ecosystem of social enterprise leverages support tools - mainly of public origin - aimed particularly at responding to needs that arise during initial phases of the entrepreneurial path (conception, development of prototypes, start-up). There are still very few aids to facilitate a move from the prototype phase to consolidation of the business.
In this context, in 2017, UniCredit Foundation, in collaboration with the Competence Center for Non-profit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at Wien University of Economics and Business and UniCredit Bank Austria launched the “NEXT - Supporting social entrepreneurship in Austria” programme, which involves the selection of three social enterprises that have completed the start-up phase and that have developed innovative solutions, of strong social impact, with sustainable reinforcement plans.
Of the 39 candidates, coming from all over the country, a shortlist of 10 firms was drawn up, an expert jury then selecting the three winners who were able to participate in an incubation and training phase and benefit from financial support of € 30,000 per company.
The beneficiaries are the following
Nut und Feder
The social enterprise “Nut und Feder”, based in Vienna, produces made-to-measure furniture in wood and metal, the labour provided by refugee workers who follow a training course before entering the world of work. The “Nut und Feder” project has also received an additional award of € 5,000 as part of the UniCredit “Your Choice, Your Project” initiative, with which Group employees in Austria voted for their favourite project from among the three winners.
Ready for red
“Ready for red” is an innovative digital learning platform relating to development during puberty, for adolescents aged between 11 and 16. The existing prototype needs further development in terms of its technology and content.
Open Pianos & DoReMi
The “Open Pianos & DoReMi” project uses the magic of music to promote public meetings, training and opportunities for integration. Active since 2016, the project has spread rapidly, also to Germany and Switzerland, and now has more than 60 active bases, with the involvement of approximately 140 students and 17 music teachers from more than 30 countries. The award and training received will further support the initiative’s growth.