Social Impact Award Insight Survey

01. Februar 2015

Projektpartner: Impact Hub Vienna / Wintersemester 2014/2015


The Social Impact Award (SIA), Europe’s biggest training network for social entrepreneurs was designed to encourage and support the student community to generate and implement social and innovative ideas. SIA was initiated in 2009 by the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and is coordinated by the Impact Hub Vienna.

Purpose, Scope and Approach

The Social Impact Award has seen rapid growth since its foundation and has expanded into the Czech Republic and Romania in 2012, Slovakia in 2013 and as recently as 2014 into Russia, Greece, Croatia and Switzerland. At this stage it is important not to lose track of the past projects in order to evaluate the efficacy of SIA and to gain valuable learnings for the future. The aim of this research was to present a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the status quo of former participants and projects, ex-post efficacy of SIA and so derive key learnings for current participants. The geographical scope of the research area is Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In addition the time frame is limited to the events from 2012-2014.


The sample was clustered into SIA workshop participants, submitters of project, finalists and winners. Altogether 2042 surveys and 19 interview request for winners were sent out. 95 survey responses were collected, of which 40 were filled out completely and could be evaluated. 4 personal interviews were conducted. The impact of SIA on participants and their projects is unmistakable. The survey reveals that 89% of participants feel that SIA increased their understanding of the concept of social entrepreneurship. Moreover 74% respondents stated that SIA helped them to decide to get active as a social entrepreneur. Today 59% of survey participants have an occupation with a social purpose. Almost half of the SIA participants took part in the offered workshops and 97% of these workshop participants found it useful and would recommend the workshop participation to others. Concerning SIA’s impact on the projects, it was discovered that 74% say that SIA helped them to find an idea or significantly improve an idea for a social project. Although 61% state that they would have started a social project even without SIA, 71% admit that their idea would be less structured and thought through without the participation. As can be seen in the graph below, 55% of the submitted projects are up and running today and 27% are put on hold with the option to be continued in the near future. 84% of the existing projects are registered as a company, of which 39% are in the stage of impact scale/expansion. 46% of respondents indicate that they are still in touch with the people they met through SIA.


Not only the survey, but also the personal interviews reveal that the networking aspect is one of the most valued benefits of SIA. What has become clear out of this research is that participants wish for a more organized way of networking and collaboration after participation. A possible way to implement this is to start a “talent pool” for former participants in order to create a network. Furthermore, an alternative co-working space membership should be offered as an awarded prize, as not everyone has access to the HUB. Finally, participants expressed the wish for more media coverage on SIA itself to raise awareness for their projects.

Cooperation Partner

Student team

  • Arens Isabel
    Babic Emina
    Huber Lukas
    Linzer Amadeus
    Seyler Patrizia

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