Today we need new business models that create value on different levels – thereby going beyond innovating products or services, and change the fundamentals of how a business makes money. Therefore, the study programme IMTe offered the course “Social and Sustainable Business” for the first time in summer 2020 at FH Salzburg. The course was carried out by Eva Lienbacher and Cornelia Huis from the business management department / section marketing & relationship management.
Throughout the semester, students developed business models that tackle one or more specific social or environmental problems. Despite the situation around COVID-19, and participants from different continents and time zones, the cooperation between the students worked excellently, so promising concepts for urban gardening, an app to support local tourism, a zero-waste store for small islands and a sustainable Eco-Lodge were created.
Especially in the field of social businesses, strong networks and like-minded people can be crucial for future entrepreneurs, which is why the students had the great possibility to meet Josine Bakkes. She is a founding member of the Global Shapers Community Salzburg, and as co-organizer of Hack the Crisis Austria she knows how the students felt in their process and what it takes to take a successful project to the next level. After her talk about her work and the importance of social networks, students had the chance to ask questions, and additionally they now have a great contact person. Moreover Philip, project member of the international CE Responsible Project presented figures and facts regarding the current situation of social and responsible entrepreneurs in Austria. The project is an international EU project with partners from nine countries in Central Europe. In this way, the students were not only able to receive up-to-date information about the social entrepreneur landscape, but also learned about international research projects in this field.
We wish the students of the course all the best for the future, and congratulate them again on their business ideas! The lecturers Eva Lienbacher & Cornelia Huis