SEF blogs. SEF sparks

By |Wednesday, November 30, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

Last week we hosted SEF sparks, where this time it was all about finance, and with us we had Oliver Holle, founder of Speedinvest, Peter Vandor, founder of the Social Impact Award and senior researcher at WU, Kristina Notz from the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and Jakob Detering, Director of the Social Impact Award. Thanks also to the Impact Hub, who were kind enough to lend us their space for the event.

Now why finance, you may ask. Surely, when talking about social business, there are other aspects that are more important than money? Which is why finance is sometimes treated very much like the proverbial stepchild in the SE family. And while profit isn’t the highest goal in SE, generating a sustainable income stream is a vital part of the business plan.

The problem is, that very often there is a divergence between impact and profit, e.g. your profit gets smaller if your impact gets bigger and vice versa. Another issue is the question of scalability (which I hear is important to investors). As a SE, scaling impact is gonna be more important than scaling profit – which then leads to the question of how to measure impact in the first place.

So keeping all that in mind, how can you convince traditional investors to come onboard with SE? According to the wise words of our panel, on one hand Social Entrepreneurs need to be prepared to talk about money as well as their impact. On the other hand it needs gutsy investors who aren’t afraid to “invest out of the box”. Lastly, not all money fits every business – the plurality of structures in SE requires an equally large variety of investment logics/ approaches.

There is much potential still unused in Austria in the area of Social Entrepreneurship. Our panel nicely summed up how to spread SE even further through more initiatives, out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration across various backgrounds and areas to get out of our silos.

Thank you everyone for an inspiring evening! Feel free to browse through the photos and we’ll see you at our next event!

SEF blogs. SEF disrupts education

By |Friday, November 11, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

Have you ever wondered what a perfect education system would look like? Which systemic changes would be necessary? What would the curriculum look like? Would there even be a fixed curriculum? What forms of teaching would be employed? Which competences would we most foster in our pupils? And most importantly: how do we ensure that every child has equal opportunities to learn, grow and prosper?

Together with the lovely people from the Gründungszentrum WU we hosted the inspiring event Disrupt Education, in which pioneers from the education sector shared their views and answered many of our burning questions. Margret Rasfeld (Initiative Schule im Aufbruch, Berlin), Matthias Strolz (NEOS), Bettina Fuhrmann (WU), Toni Kronke (TeachForAustria) and Bernhard Hofer ( made up our panel and shared their views and ideas with us, some of them broad and general, some very specific. While each of our panelists shed light on different aspects, one thing they all agreed on: our education system needs to change, preferably yesterday.

And while it’s impossible to sum up all of the insights, let me give you some keywords for inspiration:

  • creating new structures instead of improving the old
  • teachers as companions rather than authority figures
  • new subjects like responsibility and challenge
  • human- centered education (seems logical but how many times in educational discussion do we actually talk about what kids need)
  • and most importantly: why education?

Because education needs to have a purpose: to prepare you for life, to enable you not just to function but to think, to give you the tools to answer the big questions humanity faces today, to empower and to offer choices and create opportunity – for all children equally.


Click here and have fun browsing through the pictures from the event!

Next stop: November 23rd, 6:30pm at Impact Hub Vienna –> Future of Social Entrepreneurship with amazing guest speakers! Check it out here!