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Social Enterprises in Austria

Hanna Schneider, Ruth Simsa WU Wien, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Austria is characterized by a large, heterogeneous, and predominantly publicly financed nonprofit sector. Although Social Entrepreneurship (SE) has its roots in the 19th century (cooperative movement), it has only gained prominence as a label and field with a specialized support infrastructure within the last ten years. This manifests itself, for instance, in the level of specialized intermediary institutions of SE: all except one have been founded within the last ten years Work integration social enterprises, a notable exception, date back to the 1980s and are the most institutionalized form of social enterprises in Austria. In this country report we will discuss the development and future prospects of SE, describe in detail the different types of social enterprises in Austria, their historic development both in qualitative and quantitative terms and will contextualize social enterprises against the Austrian political, economic, and welfare situation.