Social Entrepreneurship Monitor Austria 2020

The first data based on the Austrian social entrepreneurship landscape

With the “Social Entrepreneurship Monitor Austria 2020”, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economics and prepared by Social Entrepreneurship Network Austria, a well-founded data basis is now available for Austria for the first time. The analysis of the needs of social entrepreneurs forms the basis for measures for their further development.

By the way, you can find the recording of the online presentation incl. panel discussion of the study here.

“Today, social enterprises/businesses make a valuable contribution to the economy and society: they not only create jobs and generate added value, but also offer innovative solutions for social and ecological challenges, such as the environment, climate, equal opportunities, and education,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck on the occasion of the now available Social Entrepreneurship Monitor Austria 2020. Social entrepreneurship is understood as social entrepreneurship, namely companies that are dedicated to solving social or ecological problems. “Internationally and also in Austria, this segment of entrepreneurial activity is growing,” said Schramböck, “which is why we have also agreed in the government program to give this important field a higher priority in the future.”

Results of the Monitor – New models of business in demand

With around 2,300 social businesses, Austria has an agile social entrepreneurship landscape that is about the same size as the startup scene. And with a degree of innovation of over 70 percent and a degree of digitization of almost five percent, Austrian social entrepreneurs need not fear comparison. The fact that 56 percent of social businesses are also startups by their own definition shows how important the field is for our economy. Almost half of the entrepreneurs in this field are women, who are otherwise heavily underrepresented in the startup sector. The Corona crisis clearly shows us that new models of doing business are needed. At the center are communities and new forms of collaboration and support, many of them digitized. This is where social entrepreneurs are leading the way and making important contributions to mitigate the hardships of the Corona period. “Quite generally, a change of mindset can be observed among founders in Austria. The topics of sustainable business and individual social responsibility motivate young people much more today than they did 20 years ago,” Schramböck also confirms.

At the same time, however, the sector also faces challenges, knows study author Constanze Stockhammer. “Social entrepreneurs not only have to contend with a lack of public visibility and knowledge of their concept, but in connection with this they often also have major financing problems. There is a lack of access to classic funding sources, but also impact investors and foundation funds. The latter is quite different in Germany, for example.” Furthermore, to increase visibility and clearly delineate the target group, a publicly effective legal construct is needed, he said. “This could be a separate register for social enterprises, as is the case in Denmark,” Stockhammer is convinced.

Click here to download the study.