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NEXT Award and Programme for social entrepreneurship 2018

For the first time, the Competence Centre for Non-profit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), UniCredit Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation are calling for participation in the NEXT Award and Programme for Social Entrepreneurship. All Austrian organisations which would like to take their successful social entrepreneurial innovation to the next level, are invited to apply for the programme.

"The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration fulfils its social responsibility by working on innovative solutions for social problems in teaching and research. We are in close contact with actors of civil society. Social enterprises are increasingly playing an important role in solving social problems," says WU rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger. At the Competence Centre for Non-profit Organisations and Social Entrepreneurship of WU, social enterprises are professionally supported in their further development by means of research and ongoing programmes.

Strengthening social entrepreneurship in Austria

NEXT supports social enterprises in Austria which are further developing their projects, products or services in order to better support socially disadvantaged people. "UniCredit Bank Austria has been supporting initiatives from civil society since 2013 with its nationwide social award. With NEXT as a strong partner, we now also would like to specifically promote and reward social entrepreneurship in Austria", explains UniCredit Bank Austria's CEO, Robert Zadrazil. The initiator of the programme, UniCredit Foundation, is already promoting social entrepreneurship activities in other European countries – and now, for the first time in Austria. According to its chairman Maurizio Carrara, there are good reasons for this: "A rapid growth of social enterprises in Austria is being recognised globally. With the new programme NEXT, UniCredit Foundation wants to promote the potential of these enterprises and thus strengthen the social impact of their activities on socially disadvantaged people in Austria."

One programme for twelve finalists, awards for three winners

After the application deadline on 30 April 12 finalists will be nominated in a first selection process. Those finalists, will win the participation in a six-day programme, which strengthens them in the further development of their social enterprises and their social innovative projects. Between July and October, the Centre for Non-profit Organisations and Social Entrepreneurship at the WU campus will offer a diverse programme on the topics of organisational development, leadership and management, tailored to the needs of social enterprises which would like to achieve a stable basis and healthy growth after their start-up phase. External mentors and coaches support the finalists in the further development of their submitted project, which will then be presented to an expert jury. In this second selection process in october, the jury selects three winners, each receiving € 30,000 for the implementation of their project. In the voting of the "Your choice. Your Project" of the UniCredit Bank Austria, the winner with most votes will be awarded a further € 5,000.

For further information on the NEXT Award and Programme for social entrepreneurship 2018 please visit: 

Dr. Anja Christanell
Tel: + 431 313 36 5989

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