Hintere Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

Austrian Social Enterprise Monitor (ASEM)

Austria's social enterprises pursue social and environmental goals through entrepreneurship. They develop new solutions in the areas of health, poverty among the elderly, labour market integration, climate change, education and more.

Although their work is very important, little is known about these organizations. What legal forms do they choose? How do they finance themselves? What role did they play during the pandemic? How satisfied are Austria's social enterprises with the political framework? How does Austria's social enterprise sector compare internationally?

The Austrian Social Enterprise Monitor (ASEM) is being conducted for the second time and is currently the largest study on social enterprises in Austria. More information on both studies:


The aim of the Austrian Social Enterprise Monitor 2021/2022 as well as further iterations of the report is to improve data availability in regards to social entrepreneurship in Austria. The results should help decision-makers from politics, business and the civil society to understand this emergent ecosystem and to support it with appropriate measures.

The Austrian Social Enterprise Monitor is part of the European Social Entrepreneurship Monitor consortium (ESEM), consisting of over 50 leading support organizations and universities in Europe. The ESEM was initiated by the European Commission and the Euclid Network and implemented for the first time in 2020 in Germany, Denmark, England, Estonia, Croatia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Spain (among others by ESADE, Social Enterprise UK, SEND). Building on this successful pilot run, the Monitor 2021-2022 has been implemented in over 18 European countries and will also be continued and expanded on in 2023-2024. This database will enable numerous country monitors as well as a comparative European publication. The methodology of the survey is developed by a European, scientific panel led by Prof. Johanna Mair (Hertie School of Governance, Stanford), Prof. Matthias Reith (EURAM) and Professor Niels Borma (Utrecht University, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), and provide internationally comparable, systematic results.

The Austrian Social Enterprise Monitor represents Austria's country monitor and has been conducted by the Social Entrepreneurship Center of WU Vienna since 2021. In accordance with the European Consortium the project will be continued in 2023/2024. The overarching goal of this study is to generate solid primary data material with sector- and location-relevant analyses based on it. The results can serve as a basis for political discussion and further measures by the public sector. This study aims to make the following contributions, among others:

  • Current, quantitative survey of essential characteristics of Austrian social enterprises (sector, location, innovations, jobs, company age, founding team, etc.).

  • Analysis of enabling and hindering framework conditions and possible support and subsidy gaps in private and public support services and ecosystems

  • Internationally standardised survey in accordance with the ESEM methodology enables broad sampling and analysis of differences and similarities between different types of social entrepreneurs (market-oriented, participatory, etc.)

  • Broad coverage of social entrepreneurs through sampling by means of multipliers and independent creation of a secondary source-based longlist (cf. methodology Austrian StartUp Monitor)

  • Documentation of the Austrian results within the detailed, publicly accessible study and presentations

  • International comparisons in an additional, independent report at the European level by EUCLID Network and Academic Board


Dr. Peter Vandor

Peter Vandor

Head of Social Entrepreneurship Center, Senior Researcher
Responsibilities: Co-founder and Head of the Social Entrepreneurship Center. Research: Social entrepreneurship, migrant entrepreneurship, mental wellbeing and internationalisation among social entrepreneurs, civil society in CEE Founder of Social Impact Award.