Social Impact Award


The Social Impact Award is an idea competition for students that want to initiate social or environmental change in a constructive way. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and practice of social entrepreneurship among students in Europe. Social Entrepreneurship in our view describes creative, entrepreneurial action, focused on a social or environmental issue.

The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business founded the Social Impact Award in 2009 and is coordinated by Impact Hub Vienna with local partners in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Greece, Russia, Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, and Austria. It offers all participants a free workshop series for supporting the birth of project ideas, knowledge resources and an opportunity to get in touch with local social entrepreneurship community. Winners further receive a scholarship and ongoing support. In Macedonia, there will be a total of 4 winning projects, three voted by expert judges and one voted by the community.

The award addresses students eager to try to solve current social/environmental problems in an innovative way by founding projects, initiatives, or organizations. The projects can be rooted in different fields, such as poverty reduction, health, education, environment, energy, information and communication technologies, human rights, equal opportunities, care, and many others. Submitted projects can be organized as part of civil society (NGO, NPO, association, initiatives) as well as in the private sector as social business: whether a mobile soup kitchen for homeless people, a new educational concept, a website to mobilize the neighborhood, a new fundraising idea, or something totally new – the important thing is that projects pursue a social/environmental goal.

This year-round educational program on social entrepreneurship dedicated to students is based on four principles:


Support participants to develop new social venture concepts. In 2016, we ran 182 workshops for 4.600+ participants in 58 cities across 10 countries. In 2017, new countries will join the program and further extend the reach our workshops have.


Connect participants with an international community of entrepreneurs, peers, and experts.

Expert juries in each country evaluate ideas and give feedback to all projects submitted. Moreover, through the community voting, in 2016 over 17.000 individual votes were given to the 93 incubated ideas.


Aid the development of entrepreneurial skills through inspiration and exposure to the field.

In 2016, 500 student teams developed & grew innovative social business ideas. Our past impact survey shows that 60% of projects submitted have been implemented and 35% are generating revenues.


Support the best teams with financial capital and active support throughout the year.

The best 35 projects from 2016 will receive a total of 68.400€ as summer stipends/seed funding, full membership in the Impact Hub Network and are part of the three-month intensive incubation process.

The project is funded by Impact Hub Vienna + ERSTE Foundation

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