The Potential of Social business in Austria
In 2015/2016 the Austrian government conducted a study about the “Potential of Social business in Austria”.
Definition, country differences and impact of social business
An Analysis of about 110 articles and policy documents shows that social business is defined as earning income by selling goods and services. Further criteria of social business is the limited profit distribution for the stakeholders.
Comparing social business with consistency and institutional arrangement there are big differences within the EU. In Great Britain for example there exists a separate legal form for social business. In Austria or Germany there doesn´t exist such a legal form for social business.
In terms of effect there can be identified three different criteria and business model which can define a social enterprise in Austria:
1. integrated social business – target group customers
2. differentiated social business – making activities to earn money, that is used to finance activities of the target group
3. sustainable businesses – they have no special target group, they try to offer sustainable, socially peaceable products and services – this could be done by sustainable production, use of ecofriendly materials or by creating local jobs.
State and development in future of social business
In Austria, there are about 1.200-2.000 organizations in the field of social economy. Till 2025 there should be a doubling of social businesses in Austria as expected by the current trend.