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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: www.nex­ 

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