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Weave don’t leave – Business model development for refugees

Recent years have seen the students at the Kuchl campus learn wicker weaving from Romanies as a sustainable cultural skill. The task this year was provided by Günter Berger, head of the business and management department at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences in Kuchl: develop a business model for weaving seminars to support the Phurdo association in Salzburg.

The Romanies in Salzburg’s old town are often seen as a nuisance. To make matters worse, they are either unable or not allowed to use their skills and abilities in today’s job market. Basket weaving as a cultural technique with the growing natural resource of willow however can be the basis of a meaningful and dignified source of income for the Romanies in Salzburg. Together with the association members of Phurdo under chairman Raim Schobesberger, the entire process is planned and implemented by market research for products and seminar services, all the way to the first practical implementation of a workshop for a kindergarten in Puch.

The student group Finn Brinckmann, Armin Humer, Bettina Kopitar, Lukas Seidl and Anna-Lena Schörghofer were challenged in this intercultural environment to design and implement feasible solutions within a special environment. The first workshop with the basket weavers Vassili and Rosetta as well as Günter Schnaitl as a local weaving expert provided important insights for further seminars. The Romanies now have the basics to offer their teambuilding seminars in companies, schools, clubs, or anyone else who might be interested. Club chairman Raim Schobesberger always likes to emphasize how well the central message of mutual understanding can be conveyed in these seminars.