14 05, 2017

SEF blogs. THE ART OF PITCHING A SOCIAL BUSINESS (UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL)

By |Sunday, May 14, 2017|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

On Thursday the 4th of May we started our new format SPIELWIESE (=playground) with an intensive pitching workshop with Toni Kronke from Teach for Austria.

With the format SPIELWIESE we aim to intesify the frequency of our activities at SEF – Giving you the opportunity to connect, share and learn in an interactive, open and inspiring setting. At our SPIELWIESE we provide space and expert knowledge for practical learning experiences as well as opportunities to connect on a weekly basis. The format is meant for students and social entrepreneurs (to be) alike.

Wanting to expand our daily needed knowledge about communication strategies we invited the head of recruitment from Teach for Austria to share his learnings and expert knowledge on pitching a social business with us. Based on the so-called golden circle principle (why-how-what), we quickly learned to share the vision of our social business (ideas) in an inspiring way. Not only did we learn how to pitch our ideas within 30 (!) seconds, we also worked to integrate our audience’s interests into our short speeches. It was an engaging and fun experience to see all of the pitches become highly concrete and tailored to the listeners.

The workshop was very practical and interesting – not only for social entrepreneurs, but also for other people who wanted to share something important with different stakeholders. We are, therefore, grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank Toni Kronke and Teach for Austria for this special SPIELWIESE kick-off!

If you are interested in visiting a SPIELWIESE or in developing a SPIELWIESE yourself, we are looking forward to hearing from you!

See you next Thursday at 4pm #Gründungszetrum #WUWien #SEF

11 03, 2017

SEF blogs. SEF reviews

By |Saturday, March 11, 2017|Categories: SEF blogs|0 Comments

Hey everyone and welcome back to the new semester! To kick it off, we all went to an event hosted by the Novomatic Forum and organised by the Julius Raab Foundation called “Unfuck the economy”. The lovely people on the panel included: State Secretary Harald Mahrer, Markus Gull, president of the Julius Raab Foundation, Johannes Lindner, founder of the Initiative Teaching Entrepreneurship, Philip Siefer, CEO and Co-Founder of Einhorn and last but not least, Christine Jama, one of our very own SEF Co-Founders (whoop whoop).

Now, what does that mean, Unfuck the economy? The idea put forward was that instead of saying “fuck the economy” as it so often happens nowadays, it would be better to view the economy not as the problem, but as part of the solution. In fact, economy today is often synonymous with big corporations, when in fact “the economy” is all of us. So, how can we “unfuck the economy”?

The overall tenor from the panel was that what we need is more entrepreneurial responsibility, meaning that entrepreneurs and business people should not only preach but live the values our society holds dear, by incorporating them into how their business is run. In addition, we should leave more room for innovation, self-creation and self-determination, by teaching not just adults but also kids in school how to conquer challenges, deal with failure and be self-reliant.

Of course these are all valuable ideas, but is it enough? Share your thoughts and be sure to check out our next post, where we will be reflecting on the event and the thoughts expressed there – #officialteaser

16 01, 2017

SEF interviews. Supertramps.

By |Monday, January 16, 2017|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Read what Teresa from Supertramps has to say about homelessness and social business in Austria.

 

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Driven all-rounder

What problem do you solve?
Even though Vienna is always cited as world‘s most liveable city, the number of homeless people is growing. Once living on the street, finding the way back is challenging due to a complex set of reasons: Often, homeless people have little opportunities because they have no one who believes in or trusts them anymore, they unlearned social competencies and reliability, and they often have mental problems. These factors all lead to a very low self-esteem. At the same time, most people have prejudices and are not very familiar with homelessness.

How does your business model work?
SUPERTRAMPS offers adventurous walks through Vienna, developed and led by homeless guides. At carefully chosen public places, they connect knowledge about homelessness with their personal stories. With the walks, we aim to empower our guides and build awareness about homelessness. SUPERTRAMPS was founded in 2015 by Katharina Turnauer who supported a similar project in Prague with her private foundation. At the moment, SUPERTRAMPS is organised as a non-profit. The foundation supports SUPERTRAMPS with expertise and funding. However, the aim is to be self-sustaining in the long-term.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
To me, Social Entrepreneurship means tackling societal and environmental challenges in an innovative way whilst striving to be financially independent. In every step Social Entrepreneurs make, they act in a respectful and morally reasonable way. The applied practices are led by a social mission and not by profit goals. For them, impact is their main priority.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
I personally think that there are two main challenges: Does my business truly have a sustainable impact? Is my business really able to operate without external financiers?

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
Social Entrepreneurship is not only seen as a current hype but as a long-term interest by the state and as a respected and applied business model by the private, public and NGO sector. At the same time, conventional businesses acknowledge the added value of Social Entrepreneurship and recognise their social and environmental responsibilities.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
In your ambitious pursuit of goals and success, don’t forget you as a person. If you feel good, the business will flourish.

If you could put up a huge billboard anywhere – what would it say?
Everyone has a talent. If you recognise the talent, honour and encourage it.

 

For more information, please visit http://supertramps.at/.

On a personal note, a few of us from the SEF Team have had the pleasure to take part in a tour led by one of the supertramps, Ferdinand, and we can sincerely recommend it. It was incredibly interesting and we walked away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexity of what it means to be homeless.

 

30 11, 2016

SEF blogs. SEF sparks

By |Wednesday, November 30, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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!

11 11, 2016

SEF blogs. SEF disrupts education

By |Friday, November 11, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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 (talentify.me) 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!


 

13 10, 2016

SEF blogs. SEF @ Gründen in Wien

By |Thursday, October 13, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

HEEEEELLOOOO EVERYBODY!!!

We are back – and ready to spread the love for Social Business! So to start off the semester we took part in Gründen in Wien (“Founding in Vienna”), together with FuckUpNights and The Changer, hosted by the lovely CoSpace team. Wanna know what Social Entrepreneurship is all about and how to start generating new ideas? Well, we were there to talk about exactly that.

And, since we love innovation like cute little puppies, we decided to add something new to our idea generating process (if you’re curious what we’ve done so far, feel free to check out posts from last term)  – the 5 Whys. Which basically means asking the question why five times in a row, each answer forming the basis for the next question. What sounds to be a somewhat philosophical approach is in a fact a great tool to get to the real cause of a problem. Why? Because what you see of an issue is usually just one symptom of many. Asking why repeatedly makes you dig deeper and get to the root cause of the problem.

And that is vital in Social Businesses. Because knowing the exact nature of an issue, with all its intricacies, will help you to solve it faster, more efficiently and sustainably, and with a more effective outcome. So, to kick off this semester, let’s all pick something that really grinds our gears, sit down with others who are affected by it and start asking: Why?

 

Yeah but…Why? 😉

 

PS: If you wanna know more about how to adress the needs of your target group take a look at this article on design thinking.

3 10, 2016

SEF interviews. Leila Wien.

By |Monday, October 3, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Read about what Simon from the NPO Leila Wien has to say about sharing and social entrepreneurship:

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Library of things.

Which problem do you solve?
We enable access to a lot of reusable things without buying them, thus for making the use ecologically and financially more efficient.

How does your business model work?
We are a non-profit, so we only need to cover the costs with our income and not create a profit. Our members pay a yearly fee to get access to the lending pool.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
Social Entrepreneurship is a trending term. For me a main requirement is that the social goals a startup sets itself are determining the shape of the whole organization. Creating profit should be a secondary if at all a goal.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
As all of our work is voluntary and unpaid, time is the limiting factor. To run a long term project with a team consisting of volunteers can be challenging.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
It should not be an exception that businesses aim for the social wellbeing of a society or a group within. In the future it should be a requirement. If you want to make a profit with a business, it has to have positive effects on society and environment. A lot of businesses nowadays do not.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
Talk to as many people as possible and meet all kinds of role models while you plan your project. Almost everything has been done before.

If you could put up a huge billboard anywhere – what would it say?
Sharing is back. Leila Wien

 
Simon is co-founder of Leila Wien. Read more about it on their website: http://www.leihladen.at/

 

6 09, 2016

SEF introduces. Goran.

By |Tuesday, September 6, 2016|Categories: SEF introduces, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Last, but definitely not least, is Goran Maric, who is responsible for brand building, involvement, sponsoring and strategy.

What are you doing right now? One sentence, short and sweet.
Planning Teach For Austria’s recruitment strategy for next season.

What is one random piece of information about you?
Some people tend to say that I need longer to style my hair than some women do.

How did you first become interested in social entrepreneurship?
I was studying for a finance exam at my university and bit by bit realised the egoism and falseness behind our current economic system and mindsets of many business people.

What is your motivation behind SEF?
Our society needs change and I aim to see the first steps of change happen through SEF. We are stuck in a rat race and have a deep lack of leadership within the business sector. People forgot that doing business isn’t just about making money – it’s about creating value for our society. Profit seems to be the #1 goal for so many businesses. Unfortunately, it is the new the standard. We want to change this attitude and put social impact at #1 again, without neglecting profitability.

How do you envision yourself and social entrepreneurship in the future?
I am still playing with my thoughts. On the one hand, I want to tackle challenges myself, found a business, make it grow and become influential. On the other hand, I find it very attractive and at the same time crucial to enter existing systems, be it the public or private sector, in order to change it from the inside. I believe that both approaches are needed to reach our goal – I am just not sure yet which path it will be for me.

What’s on your bookshelf at the moment?
Die Weltverbesserer – 66 große Denker, die unser Leben verändern by Lisa Nienhaus (engl.: The do-gooders – 66 big thinkers who changed our lives) and The Orphan Master´s Son by Adam Johnson.

One piece of advice to business students?
Develop your personal skills as early as possible, become special and start building your network as soon as you can. Strive to become a better self every day and start not only scrutinising the status quo, but changing it despite the hundreds of people who will keep telling you the opposite. We are facing hard times nowadays with even harder challenges to overcome and are in need of strong individuals who want to lead whole generations into a better future.

Message Goran at goran@socialentrepreneurshipforum.org or find him on LinkedIn for more information.

28 08, 2016

SEF introduces. Markus.

By |Sunday, August 28, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Sunday we introduce Markus Kamleitner, our newest ambassador and responsible for aligning our ideas in what constitutes a social business. 

What are you doing right now? One sentence, short and sweet.
Currently I am working part-time as an accountant for a company specialised within the branch of logistics.

What are your summer plans?
As it came to the point of what my summer will look like this year, I decided exploring the beauty of Austria would be the best choice. Being in my mid 20s and not having seen a lot of the country where I was born bothers me a bit.

What is one random piece of information about you?
With 196cm I definitely serve too many double faults during a match of tennis.

How did you first become interested in social entrepreneurship?
When I had to decide what my bachelor thesis topic was going to be, I came across an interesting and relevant book from Muhammad Yunus at the library of WU. I started my research and ultimately wrote my thesis about the Grameen Experiment.

What is your motivation behind SEF?
First of all, I think it is definitely about the underlying mission SEF stands for, namely to increase the awareness of social entrepreneurship amongst WU students.
Being an ambassador for SEF enables me to spread the idea of social and sustainable methods of doing business. On top of that I see it as a huge opportunity to connect with likeminds and get inspired on a daily basis.
Last but not least it is always also about the people you work with. On this point we go nuts and no one beats us 🙂

How do you envision yourself and social entrepreneurship in the future?
In a time where too many different institutions depend on each other, someone might come to the conclusion that real change can only appear from people themselves. So do I!
Ultimately our western society needs a totally different approach of how someone or something gets valued. In a scenario in which for companies social impact is as important as the dollars earned during a fiscal year, the world would be a better place. In the end, I am convinced that every (private) person can make an impact for a socially better world. That’s also what keeps me going in what I am doing.

What’s on your bookshelf at the moment?
Atlas of Globalisation – Le monde diplomatique
Core Areas of Phsychology – Karl Lahmer

One piece of advice to business students?
If I had one piece of advice specifically to business students, I would tell them that happiness is only temporary but fullfillment can last for life. I would add that young people therefore should always strive for meaningful work instead of a big salary.

If you have follow-up questions, you can find Markus on LinkedIn or reach him at markus@socialentrepreneurshipforum.org.

25 08, 2016

SEF interviews. 1000 Worms.

By |Thursday, August 25, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Drumroll for David Witzeneder, who tells us about 1000 Worms.

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, calm and hard-working.

What problem do you solve?
When I came to Vienna to study I was upset that I had to dispose organic waste into the rubbish bin with all the other residual waste. There was no organic waste disposal system. This was not only my problem. Many other people told me that it feels bad to dispose organic waste, which is actually a resource we can use, together with the other residual waste. What we do now is to offer a solution for this problem.

How does your business model work?
We developed boxes made of wood. So called wormbox or “wurmkiste”. In the boxes live earthworms. Earthworms love organic waste and 1000 Worms eat approximately the amount of organic waste one person produces every day and they process it to fertile humus. We construct the wormboxes in our small workshop as ready-to-use boxes, do-it-yourself sets or make them together with participants in our monthly workshops in Vienna. As well we sell a very efficient wormbin called “hungry bin” for outdoor use.

What is social entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
To be able to fall asleep easily at night because everything you did on this day was in line with your personal and social values. Selling crap to your customers or treating your employees bad would result in bad sleep. At least for me.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
To treat yourself as well in a social way. Working 60 hours per week, answering emails on Sunday and being present at every event even if you are not interested are the toughest challenges I have faced or that I am still facing.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
Once a businessman came to me and told me he has some contacts to an Indian factory. “You could let them produce the boxes produce and sell it for 1/4 of the actual price”. That was his idea.
My vision for social entrepreneurship in Austria is, that it can contribute to a greater awareness that business is not only about money and cheaper production but about creating value to customers (solutions to problems) and employees (purpose and financial safety) alike. So I hope in the future there will be fewer business people thinking like that.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
Don’t believe everything they tell you 🙂

If you could put up a huge billboard anywhere – what would it say?
1000 Worms can eat your daily organic waste.

David is co-founder of 1000 Worms (formerly Wurmkiste). More information can be found on their website: https://www.1000worms.com