The Austrian Vision addresses use of Crowdfunding for regional projects, role of business support organisations (BSOs) as well as social innovation. Regions in Austria, which are characterised by small towns or predominantly rural areas, could benefit from working on new, innovative ideas in their specific context to build economic and social capital. By using Crowdfunding as a tool, local start-ups and entrepreneurs can implement regionally relevant projects with immediate support from their fellow citizens as well as from the surrounding population, thus strengthening the existing community and further developing its common identity. As an independent first contact point for new and developing local businesses, BSOs can respond to the raising interest in alternative finance by broadening their thematic consultation portfolio and by providing requested information on Crowdfunding as a part of their service offers. Concerning social innovation, its importance and huge impact is more and more recognized in Austria. However, due to knowledge gaps and lack of suitable instrument, especially in micro-regional and rural areas, many social initiatives cannot broaden their scope and develop as social enterprises. Crowdfunding mechanisms can activate local stakeholder networks and become a useful instrument to boost social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
The Austrian Vision paves the way for the development of Regional Action Plan on improving the framework conditions for alternative finance for start-ups and social enterprises.