LBS alumna Andrea Gegö (IML 2014) completed her master thesis on social entrepreneurship in Austria titled “Unravelling the Reality of the Austrian Social Entrepreneurs while Looking for Solutions in Tailored Educational Programs” under the supervision of Prof. Mag. Robert Schwertner, working for the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft, FFG).

For the analysis, Gegö succeeded in interviewing the founders of two successful green enterprises, “Hut & Stiel” and “Wohnwagon”, who later won the Austrian green start up competition greenstart in January 2017. Their business ideas have been awarded with 15.000 EUR of starting capital, as well as professional guidance and workshops organized by the Austrian Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. Interviewing the greenstart winners especially raised the quality of Gegö’s work and findings. More about the greenstart prizes and the awarded enterprises can be found in the greenstart news section.

The LBS alumna points out: “The highlight of my work is by far having the expert interviews. The willingness and the level of engagement of my busy research partners has been impressive to say the least, but above all having heard their stories, the entire process from coming up with an idea and transforming it into self-sustainable businesses, along with the countless challenges and opportunities encountered at every corner, has personally been a source of inspiration that I know I will go back to time and time again.”

The main findings of the paper were identifying the areas in which social entrepreneurs could need support, and are concerned with “the legal field, conceptualization and design of the business model, market specifics, product development strategies for innovation, managerial and organizational support, as well as development on a personal and inter-personal level.”, as Gegö explained.

The Director of Studies, Prof. Dr. Hanno Poeschl announced that social entrepreneurship is in line with the IML curriculum and will be further incorporated in classes, as it is a sphere of interest of many LBS students as well as a relevant topic for the future business market.

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