SEF interviews. Wohnwagon.

By |Friday, April 29, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , |

SEF interviews once again, this time Theresa from Wohnwagon! 

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, persistent problem-solver.

What problem do you solve?
We offer solutions for the future of natural living. Looking at a world of immense resource waste, climate change and a lot of unhappiness, most people know that things can’t go on like this. But they are lacking a clear understanding of what to do. The Wohnwagon (engl. caravan) is one possible alternative and inspires people to find new ways of self-sustained and natural living. The 25m2 living unit is completely independent thanks to its bio-toilet, water treatment system and photovoltaik system. We sell the Wohnwagon for multiple purposes: it can be a full-time living unit, an office, a hotel room or a second home. We also offer the modular autarky systems of the Wohnwagon for different purposes and want to help people to take steps towards a more sustainable and independent life – no matter if they are living in a small flat in the city or on a huge farm in the country.

How does your business model work?
We sell Wohnwagons (engl. caravans) well as products for natural, self-sustained living and offer workshops and coaching to help people realise their ideas.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
Social Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool to address the problems of our times while building a business that is also financially sustainable and independent from public support or donations. It is not an excuse for politics or the individual citizen to engage in those topics as well.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
Keeping your focus on your impact and at the same time acting in a financially responsible way is tough sometimes. Your energy might drift more to one side or to the other eventually. What is important is that you keep evaluating your business. Even if there is a lot to do, take a step back and analyse where you are and where you are going right now, discuss it with your team and partners and listen to your gut feeling.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
I think Social Entrepreneurship can become a great trend that not only solves social and environmental problems but also offers people a meaningful place to work where they can still make a living. It is great that this platform tries to raise the awareness for this possibility to found a business! I think it should also be taught at universities and it might make sense to establish a separate corporate form for it.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs-to-be?
Find an area that you are really passionate about. Build a great team, that you can rely on – even if times get tougher. Keep going!


Theresa Steininger is the CEO of Wohnwagon. For more information, please visit http://www.wohnwagon.at

SEF interviews. whatchado.

By |Tuesday, April 26, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , |

Welcome to our new category: SEF interviews, giving you real-life examples of inspiring social entrepreneurs. First up: Kambis from whatchado! The stage is yours.

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Ambitious, motivated, megalomaniac.

What problem do you solve?
Jobs can be fascinating. However, too many young people nowadays lack clear vision in what to do and what not. Particularly job- and career-wise they are still seeking to find something that really matches their interests.
Back in 2012, my friends and I therefore decided to launch the portal whatchado, a combination of storytelling handbook and standardised format of short films on real-life job descriptions. Fascinating job stories and a dating concept will guide job seekers to find their true calling. Loving to probe people on their lives and backgrounds, we want to provide authentic career information and empower young people. We have therefore collected thousands of faces, careers and inspiring stories from all walks of life, regardless of position, rank and industry.

How does your business model work?
Using online (Social Media, SEO) and offline (Events, whatchaSKOOL) marketing, we acquire users within the relevant target group (13-34yrs.). Our customers pay to keep accessing this target group through company profiles. On these profiles their employees introduce their jobs and employers in a standardised video format. New digital placements and advertising ensure our recurring revenues.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
Social Entrepreneurship to me is changing the society for the better. Whereas most businesses often focus on making profit or increasing shareholder value only, social businesses also need to target a societal problem, e.g. lack in education, and provide a proper solution. In doing so, you can sustainably change your environment.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
I think that one of the toughest challenges is having a sustainable business model that generates regular income. Many social businesses ultimately fail because they cannot operate without external financiers. Therefore, social entrepreneurs need to understand basic business economics as well.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
My vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria is a strong increase in younger people who are not afraid of becoming social entrepreneurs. This comes with a positive approach in entrepreneurial mindset and that social businesses benefit the whole society.

 A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
Dare!


Kambis Kohansal Vajargah is the co-founder and CMO at whatchado. For more information please visit https://www.whatchado.com

SEF blogs. SEF rises (and it was amaaaaazing).

By |Saturday, April 23, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |

After “SEF involves”, this was our first major event, including guest speakers, a podium discussion, snacks, drinks – the works! We started off with our Keynote-Speaker, Walter Emberger, the founder of Teach for Austria, who gave us an insight into his journey from being a banker and consultant to becoming Austria’s first social entrepreneur of the year.

After a short session of doing the twist (yes I mean the 60s dance – gotta loosen up), we dove right into the impulse-speeches. We heard from Dominik Beron, who founded refugeeswork.at, Birgitt Wodon-Lauboeck from Projekt Bank für Gemeinwohl, and Toni Kronke, who helped start Teach for Austria. Afterwards, these three inspiring people sat down and answered our questions in a podium discussion – and here’s what we learned:

Social entrepreneurs strike new paths, not only in terms of what they do but how they do it. While expertise and hard work are no doubt part of being a social entrepreneur, the most important aspect is the motivation to effect positive change – it is what drives them and keeps them going even in the most frustrating of times.

We are proud to have hosted over 90 people – thank you all for your support and we hope to see you on 11.05.2016 at our next event, “SEF connects”!


For more pictures and a recap video please visit our Facebook page.

If you want to know more about our guest speakers and their organisations, check out their videos on our Facebook page or follow these links to learn about their projects: http://www.teachforaustria.at/
https://refugeeswork.at/
https://www.mitgruenden.at/

SEF blogs. SEF involves reviewed.

By |Tuesday, April 12, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , |

Do you feel like business needs to be more social? Do you think that our economy should serve the people in this world, and not the other way around? Then you are like me. I’m an ambassador for SEF and today I would like to tell you about my experience at “SEF involves” and how I got inspired to become a part of SEF.

The idea of “SEF involves” was to inform attendees about SEF’s activities and goals. But what I expected to be a simple presentation turned out to be much more than that.

Not only did the founders of SEF share their vision, to make social business the standard by building a community of like-minded people, but they immediately put that idea to work by inviting everyone of us to share our own motivation for being there. It gave us a chance to exchange ideas and opinions, and inspired a lively conversation right from the start.

This open and communicative atmosphere persisted throughout the entire evening and at the end I wasn’t just convinced that social business was going to be the next big thing. I also loved the idea of getting together with so many great people and becoming a part of such an inspiring community.