"gabarage upcycling design"
As part of the "Ideas against poverty" initiative, the project "1ne Gesellschaft für 1ne zweite Chance" (A Society for a Second Chance) was chosen as the 2014 prize winner.
This project was initiated by the socially integrative company "gabarage upcycling design" and has since then been employing and qualifying (former) addicted persons under the principle "everything needs a second chance". An employment with gabarage should enable the employees to prepare themselves for (re-)entering the regular labour market within one year. In cooperation with an external management consultancy, gabarage has developed a five-step qualification programme to qualify employees in various areas such as sales, workshops and administration. The slogan of the socially integrative company is also reflected in the products: gabarage processes materials and products that are no longer used by upcycling them into new designer pieces with an extensive assortment ranging from bags, jewelry and accessories to lamps and furniture.
The social added value created by "gabarage upcycling design" in Vienna was evaluated on the basis of the recently opened location in St. Pölten. The Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis was used to assess the social return of the company as well as the social benefits for stakeholders. Due to a lack of time and financial resources as well as scarce data availability, impacts were only considered and monetised to a limited extent. The lack of data also forced the evaluators to make more assumptions and estimates.
Nevertheless, an SROI value of 1.51 can be recorded, which means that every euro invested in gabarage creates effects in the monetarised equivalent of 1.51 euro, which is not extraordinarily high.
This is partly due to the high input in the form of subsidies, which in relation to the monetarised effects exerts a significant influence on the SROI value. Especially on the individual level of day and transit workers, however, the work at gabarage plays a central role: it contributes to a significant improvement of their living environment, enables them to earn additional income and creates additional communication and interaction possibilities.
Customers benefit primarily from the upcycled, handmade and individual products and gain a "good feeling" through the support of a company. In addition, through gabarage they have the opportunity to set an example against the throw-away society and to be sensitised with regard to their environmental awareness.
All in all, gabarage is primarily a successful business that combines economic, social and ecological goals well.