About Franziska Graf

Franziska is co-founder of SEF and currently in Milan on exchange for her master degree in International Management. She is particularly interested in the people behind social entrepreneurship and telling their stories as well as impact investing and limitations of social entrepreneurship. At SEF Franziska is responsible for communications, brand building and event coordination. If you have any questions, simply get in touch via email: [email protected]

SEF introduces. Stefan.

By |Sunday, July 17, 2016|Categories: SEF introduces|Tags: , , , |

Welcome to our summer feature, dear SEFsters: SEF introduces, a set of interviews with the people behind SEF. Why? Because we want to give you an insight into our team, tell you what we are doing during the summer and simply explain why we love SEF.

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SEF interviews. Peter Vandor on Social Entrepreneurship Education.

By |Tuesday, July 12, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , , |

University is where most of us from the SEF Team first heard about social entrepreneurship. Hence, we are very thrilled to have Peter, a real pioneer on the field of social entrepreneurship education in Austria, answering our questions.

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SEF interviews. Wohnwagon.

By |Friday, April 29, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , |

SEF interviews once again, this time Theresa from Wohnwagon! 

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, persistent problem-solver.

What problem do you solve?
We offer solutions for the future of natural living. Looking at a world of immense resource waste, climate change and a lot of unhappiness, most people know that things can’t go on like this. But they are lacking a clear understanding of what to do. The Wohnwagon (engl. caravan) is one possible alternative and inspires people to find new ways of self-sustained and natural living. The 25m2 living unit is completely independent thanks to its bio-toilet, water treatment system and photovoltaik system. We sell the Wohnwagon for multiple purposes: it can be a full-time living unit, an office, a hotel room or a second home. We also offer the modular autarky systems of the Wohnwagon for different purposes and want to help people to take steps towards a more sustainable and independent life – no matter if they are living in a small flat in the city or on a huge farm in the country.

How does your business model work?
We sell Wohnwagons (engl. caravans) well as products for natural, self-sustained living and offer workshops and coaching to help people realise their ideas.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
Social Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool to address the problems of our times while building a business that is also financially sustainable and independent from public support or donations. It is not an excuse for politics or the individual citizen to engage in those topics as well.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
Keeping your focus on your impact and at the same time acting in a financially responsible way is tough sometimes. Your energy might drift more to one side or to the other eventually. What is important is that you keep evaluating your business. Even if there is a lot to do, take a step back and analyse where you are and where you are going right now, discuss it with your team and partners and listen to your gut feeling.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
I think Social Entrepreneurship can become a great trend that not only solves social and environmental problems but also offers people a meaningful place to work where they can still make a living. It is great that this platform tries to raise the awareness for this possibility to found a business! I think it should also be taught at universities and it might make sense to establish a separate corporate form for it.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs-to-be?
Find an area that you are really passionate about. Build a great team, that you can rely on – even if times get tougher. Keep going!


Theresa Steininger is the CEO of Wohnwagon. For more information, please visit http://www.wohnwagon.at

SEF interviews. whatchado.

By |Tuesday, April 26, 2016|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , |

Welcome to our new category: SEF interviews, giving you real-life examples of inspiring social entrepreneurs. First up: Kambis from whatchado! The stage is yours.

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Ambitious, motivated, megalomaniac.

What problem do you solve?
Jobs can be fascinating. However, too many young people nowadays lack clear vision in what to do and what not. Particularly job- and career-wise they are still seeking to find something that really matches their interests.
Back in 2012, my friends and I therefore decided to launch the portal whatchado, a combination of storytelling handbook and standardised format of short films on real-life job descriptions. Fascinating job stories and a dating concept will guide job seekers to find their true calling. Loving to probe people on their lives and backgrounds, we want to provide authentic career information and empower young people. We have therefore collected thousands of faces, careers and inspiring stories from all walks of life, regardless of position, rank and industry.

How does your business model work?
Using online (Social Media, SEO) and offline (Events, whatchaSKOOL) marketing, we acquire users within the relevant target group (13-34yrs.). Our customers pay to keep accessing this target group through company profiles. On these profiles their employees introduce their jobs and employers in a standardised video format. New digital placements and advertising ensure our recurring revenues.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
Social Entrepreneurship to me is changing the society for the better. Whereas most businesses often focus on making profit or increasing shareholder value only, social businesses also need to target a societal problem, e.g. lack in education, and provide a proper solution. In doing so, you can sustainably change your environment.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
I think that one of the toughest challenges is having a sustainable business model that generates regular income. Many social businesses ultimately fail because they cannot operate without external financiers. Therefore, social entrepreneurs need to understand basic business economics as well.

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
My vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria is a strong increase in younger people who are not afraid of becoming social entrepreneurs. This comes with a positive approach in entrepreneurial mindset and that social businesses benefit the whole society.

 A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
Dare!


Kambis Kohansal Vajargah is the co-founder and CMO at whatchado. For more information please visit https://www.whatchado.com

SEF blogs. Expectations and explanations.

By |Sunday, March 13, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

As mentioned in our previous post, this blog serves multiple purposes, from documenting our progress to giving inspiration as well as a stage. How will this work?

The plan is to have different sub-sections on our blog, with 1-2 posts a week:

SEF blogs. A glimpse behind the scenes of the SEF Team.

SEF interviews. Where social entrepreneurs explain why and what they are doing, in order to make social entrepreneurship more relatable.

SEF recaps. Reviews and learnings of our events.

SEF zooms. Highlighting aspects of social entrepreneurship in specific cities. Vienna is the most obvious example, but expect a broader view.

SEF inspires.  YOUR stage to talk about topics you care for.

We are always looking for enthusiastic content contributors, so if you want to share your knowledge on our blog, feel free to contact us ([email protected]).

SEF blogs. Our history.

By |Wednesday, March 9, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

The idea to create The Social Entrepreneurship Forum first appeared in the fall of 2014, when Jana attended multiple Think Tank events in Washington D.C.. Also Christine considered it a fruitful plan to host a Think Tank  for Vienna’s Social Entrepreneurs to be, which resulted in the first event in the spring of 2015 with around 30 attendees (under the name Social Venture Think Tank). After helping with the the organisation of the following events, both Fran and Alex quickly took up the spirit and joined the team. The most recent addition to the SEF Team was Goran, also sharing SEF’s vision.

Since the spring of 2015 not only our naming, but many other things have changed. A lot of brainstorming, experimentation and feedback have transformed a vague idea into a growing community of like-minds: people who strive to make the world a better place by creating sustainable yet social business models. 

We just left the pilot phase and recently launched our website, Facebook page, and much more. Click here to find out more about our mission.

The SEF story continues.

SEF blogs. The beginning.

By |Sunday, March 6, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , |

Welcome to our blog, dear SEFsters and newbies!

You might ask yourself: Why is SEF blogging?

It really breaks down to two aspects.

First of all, you, our community, form an essential pillar of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum. And we, the people behind SEF, want to be as transparent as possible. This includes how we work and also who we are. Therefore, via this blog, we want to give you a glimpse behind the scenes and keep you up to date. Capturing our progress, learning from it and sharing our passion is also a main aim of this blog.

Secondly, we aim to broaden perspectives and inspire to take action. This blog will therefore serve as a platform for creating content, sharing knowledge and making Social Entrepreneurship relatable. Furthermore, we want to involve you, so if there is anything you would like to say to other members of this community, we would be happy to give you a stage. We want you to discuss issues you are interested in.

So, what more to say? Spread the love and feel free to reach out to us ([email protected])!