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31.10.2018

Support for Austria’s social enterprises:
The winners of the NEXT Award Programme have been determined

  • After a development programme over a period of nearly three months, the international jury selected three of the twelve social enterprises as the winners of the NEXT Award Programme 2018
  • The selected companies each receive a subsidy of 30,000 Euros from the UniCredit Foundation for the further development of their social enterprise.
  • All 12 finalists received professional support in matters regarding organisational development, leadership and management, as well as communications

Social impact through entrepreneurial activities

Using innovative measures, the three prize-winning organisations improve the living situation of various social target groups. Erdbeerwoche is the first social business from Austria to specialise in menstruation and sustainable monthly hygiene. The entrepreneurs have the vision of breaking the taboo surrounding menstruation and revolutionising women’s hygiene. Nut & Feder was also given an award, a social enterprise with the aim of offering people with a refugee background prospects in the Austrian labour market by learning a trade. The DoReMi Music School of the Open Piano for Refugees Association also focuses on integration. The project offers basic music lessons for low-income people on a “pay what you can afford” basis. Nut & Feder received the most votes in the UniCredit Bank Austria “Your Choice. Your Project.” internal vote and will be supported with an additional grant of 5,000 Euros.

The international jury praises the diversity and high quality of the submitted projects.

“In my opinion, the NEXT Award is another important building block for the establishment of an agile social entrepreneurship ecosystem in and for Austria,” says jury member Hannes Schwetz from Austria Wirtschaftsservice. Other members of the jury were Hannah Lux, a successful social entrepreneur herself and Managing Director of Vollpension in Vienna, Hinnerk Hansen from Berlin, co-founder of the Impact Hub Vienna and long-standing Managing Director of Impact Hub Global, Gabriele Tatzberger of Vienna Business Agency and Manager of the Start-up Service, as well as Annalisa Aleati, Scientific Manager of the UniCredit Foundation in Milan and Martin Bachl of UniCredit Bank Austria.

The other finalists also received support

In an initial selection procedure, 12 finalists were already chosen in May. In addition to the winners mentioned, these included the social enterprises Sindbad, Habibi & Hawara, die Fairmittlerei, Three Coins, Community Cooking of Caritas, the Institut für Sozialdienste (IFS), IDUNA and Lunzers Mass-Greisslerei.

Between July and October, the Competence Centre for Non-Profit Organisations and Social Entrepreneurship at the WU [Vienna University of Economics and Business] Campus offered a diverse programme on topics of organisational development, leadership and management. The contents were tailored to the requirements of the social enterprises, which intend to create a solid basis after their startup phase and grow healthily. External mentors, as well as coaches, from UniCredit Bank Austria supported the finalists in the further development of their submitted project. UniCredit Bank Austria will also support all 12 social enterprises with their communications work in the future. In addition to this, all 12 finalists have received a voucher for a one-day Business Planner Workshop by the bank.

In addition to the WU, the programme has been facilitated by UniCredit Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation. “I am really very happy to have received this opportunity,” says one participant. “We have gained a great deal from the NEXT development programme and now know even better how we can achieve our goal."

Enquiries: UniCredit Bank Austria Press Office

Volker Moser, Tel.: +43 (0)5 05 05-52854

Email: volker.moser@unicreditgroup.at