i2b Business Plan Competition

The i2B Business Plan Initiative organises Austria’s largest business plan competition with the special category Social Business. Cash and non-cash prizes with a total value of over 150,000 euros can be won.

The competition offers you a large stage on which you can draw attention to yourself and your business idea. Not only your idea, but also your business model will be awarded.

Social Impact Award

The Social Impact Award honours particularly outstanding budding social entrepreneurs and supports them in their beginnings.


The TRIGOS is the most renowned Austrian award for responsible business. The TRIGOS sees itself as a motor for corporate responsibility and sustainable innovation in the Austrian economy and gives a stage to those companies that actively help to shape a sustainable society.

The award is presented in six categories. With responsibility in the core business as a necessary basis, the focus is on innovative strength, impact and sustainability of the respective initiatives and projects. At the same time, the contribution to the global sustainability goals of the UN – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – is particularly valued.

TRIGOS Regional: Awards also in the federal provinces

In addition to the nationwide TRIGOS awards, companies based in Carinthia and Tyrol 2020 also have the opportunity to be awarded the TRIGOS regionally. All participants from these federal provinces automatically take part in the federal competition and the regional competition.

World Summit Award

The World Summit Awards are a unique award system that selects and promotes local digital innovations with high social impact. It is a non-monetary award system with a focus on sustainable knowledge transfer through a global network. Winners do not benefit from a one-off financial reward, but from a lifetime of partnership and integration.

The World Summit Award also encourages and recognises young innovators who have developed a digital application that addresses the UN SDGs. The WSA Young Innovators is a special recognition for young social entrepreneurs under the age of 26 who use ICT to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Along with each year’s WSA winners, they are honoured for outstanding digital innovation with social impact.

EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year

This year marks the third edition of Ernst & Young‘s “Entrepreneur Of The Year” award in the “Social Entrepreneurship” category.

The competition uniquely showcases and promotes the entrepreneurial activity of individuals who have great potential and inspire others to vision, leadership and success.

The Social Entrepreneur Of The Year offers you the opportunity to make important contacts for your personal network – whether in Austria, Germany and Switzerland or internationally. You can position yourself as a successful company among your stakeholders and benefit from EY’s know-how.

You can find more information here.

Austrian SDG Award

This initiative of the Ethics Advisory Board of the Senate of the Economy (Senat der Wirtschaft) aims to make pioneers in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) known to a broad audience through the award. 

The Austrian SDG Award is presented in the following categories:

  • Business
  • Youth/Education
  • Media/Journalists
  • Communities

The award ceremony will be reported in detail in the communication channels and partner media of the Senate of the Economy. This not only brings visibility to the important issue of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, but of course also to the award winners. 

The best thing to do is to submit your entry right here.

Get Active Social Business Award

In 2020, for the 13th time, the Get Active Social Business Award called on companies, non-profit organisations or committed individuals to work out their ideas in an entrepreneurial way in the form of a competition. Last year, the main topics were above all the environment and recycling, equal treatment of women, social inclusion and the question of how we can further strengthen our social sector despite the pandemic. The twelve successful project ideas after the general submission phase are to prepare a detailed business plan and present them to an advisory board. In 2020, a starting capital of 91,000 euros (in cash and in kind) was available.

More information can be found here.


Creating perspectives for the future – this is essential for the successful integration of recognised refugees. Integration into the Austrian labour market is essential. Only through work can people build a livelihood and become a value-creating and integrated part of society.

That is why the Deloitte Future Fund supports social start-ups that prepare refugees for the Austrian labour market and create jobs. These projects are accompanied in an intensive, five-month acceleration programme. The goal is to successfully establish the initiatives on the market. The focus is on projects that use new technologies in their business model and are thus at the cutting edge. Experts from Deloitte Austria and the Impact Hub Vienna work together with the social entrepreneurs to implement the ideas.

As a prize, the social entrepreneurs will receive further pro bono consulting services from Deloitte Austria as well as prize money totalling EUR 25,000.

More information on this project can be found here.


greenstart, a start-up initiative of the Climate and Energy Fund, offers the TOP10 start-ups selected by an independent jury of experts workshops, coaching, public relations support and expert support from the Impact Hub network for six months. Afterwards, the ten start-ups will once again face the expert jury – and the public, who will choose their favourites via online voting. From the TOP-10, the three young companies will be presented, who will receive a further 15,000 euros in support for the implementation of their business plan.

Design Concepts Award

This special award honours innovative concepts with high market potential that have not yet been implemented. The award is intended to encourage young designers to channel their creativity into entrepreneurial directions and to give Austria the necessary innovative impetus as a business location.


State Prize for Innovation

On behalf of the BMDW and in cooperation with partners in the federal provinces, the aws organises the State Prize for Innovation, the special prize ECONOVIUS and the special prize VERENA powered by VERBUND.

In each province, regional innovation awards are held and up to three companies are sent to the State Award for Innovation and one company each to the Special Award ECONOVIUS and the Special Award VERENA. Participation in the State Prize for Innovation or the special prizes ECONOVIUS and VERENA is therefore only possible through participation in the respective provincial innovation competitions.

Participation is open to Austrian companies that have developed innovative products, processes or services and brought them to market. The implementation of the innovation should be largely completed; at least initial experience of the effects of the innovation should already be available.

Further information on application and participation can be found here

NEXT Award

Organised by the WU Competence Center for Nonprofit Organisations and Social Entrepreneurship, UniCredit Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation, the NEXT Award programme aims to support social entrepreneurship. Twelve initiatives operating in Austria that want to take their successful social entrepreneurial innovation to the next level will be nominated as finalists. There will be three winners from this group. They will each receive € 30,000 for their project and take part in an internal Bank Austria vote in which the most votes will bring an additional € 5,000.

All finalists will also have the opportunity to participate in a 3-module programme that will support them in the further development of their organisation and strengthen their leadership skills. In addition to lectures and workshops, they will be supported by personal mentors and other experts. The modules in German are tailored to the needs of social enterprises that have already gone through the start-up phase and have already gained initial experience with prototypes, target group and environment.

Further information can be found here.

Social Impact Lab PwC

The Social Impact Lab is a competition for start-ups and scale-ups with a social mission. It helps founders take their social enterprise to the next level and increase their own social impact. Participants from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey can register. The winners will receive a cash prize (EUR 5,000 for start-ups, EUR 10,000 for scale-ups), two years of coaching from PwC and the opportunity to use PwC office space. The entrepreneurs also receive support during the Social Impact Lab: start-ups, for example, receive a business plan training organised by PwC and the Impact Hub Vienna, while the scale-ups receive financial training from PwC experts.

Details and the former winning projects can be found here.


SozialMarie is an award for successfully implemented socially innovative projects. In 2021, the SozialMarie – Prize for Social Innovation was announced for the 17th time and sought tested, implemented and effective social innovations in all sectors in Central Eastern Europe (Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia). The best 15 social innovations will be awarded the SozialMarie in Vienna on 1 May 2021. The first three main prizes are endowed with 15,000 €, 10,000 € and 5,000 €, another twelve prizes are endowed with 2,000 € each. The details of the call for entries for 2021 can be found here (submissions are currently no longer possible).

Magenta TUN Fund

The Magenta TUN, Technology and Sustainability Fund, awards €50,000 annually for innovations that solve environmental problems and promote sustainable action. The general objective is to promote the development of a sustainable society. New projects as well as existing ones are eligible for the award. Co-financing of at least 25 percent is required.

Projects submitted for the Magenta TUN Prize can come from a wide range of subject areas. Ultimately, the jury decides whether a submitted project meets the basic criteria of technology, environment and sustainability using ICT (information and communication technologies) and how the annual prize money will be divided among the winning projects.

More information can be found here.

Upper Austria


EDISON the prize is a two-stage ideas competition aimed at creative, technology- and innovation-oriented inventors.

In the first stage of the competition, ideas are evaluated for their feasibility and potential. In the second phase, the best ideas in each category are developed into a coherent business concept together with experts. Coaches prepare the finalists for meetings with investors in workshops and work with them to define implementation strategies. The aim is to make it easier for the participants to take the step towards founding a company and entrepreneurship and to take away the fear of risk.

Prize money totalling EUR 21,000 will be awarded in the following three categories:
innovative-oriented ideas
creative-economic ideas
technology-oriented ideas

For some years now, a special prize for social entrepreneurship has also been awarded. The prize money is 1,500 euros.

Further information and the link to the submission can be found here

Lower Austria

riz up GENIUS Ideas and Start-up Prize

The riz up GENIUS Ideas and Start-up Prize seeks out and awards prizes for the most innovative and novel business ideas in Lower Austria!
These will be awarded at an award ceremony.

The competition is open to ideas from all fields. The best ideas from the following categories are sought:

– Ingenious Start-Ups
– Ingenious entrepreneurs
– Ingenious research and development
– Ingenious digitalTop

The riz up GENIUS addresses ALL persons and entrepreneurs who have innovative developments or new business ideas and who (will) implement them in Lower Austria. The submission can be made as an individual or as a team.

Further information can be found here

Creative Business Award

The Creative Business Award looks for and awards prizes to the most creative Lower Austrian companies, business ideas and projects in 3 categories:
– Creative Business
– Creative Idea/Start-Up
– Creative Student

The best projects in each category will be awarded € 3.000,- each.

Further information is available here

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