"Women, dare to start your own business!"
"Women, dare to start your own business!"

The crisis got many people thinking: How can I better combine work and private life? Women in particular could benefit from being self-employed. The information festival "Business Maniacs" on November 18th should help. We have the interview with the organizers!


Every crisis also harbors an opportunity, said Martin Luther King analogously. In conversations across all age groups you can feel it: The pandemic has one A thought process initiated. The big question: How do I want to live and work in the future? On November 18 rises under the title "Business Maniacs" an information festival for founders, startups and young entrepreneurs. Top-class keynote speakers reveal their secrets for a successful start-up.

Before the event, WOMAN spoke to Ruth Gabler-Schachermayr from the Junge Wirtschaft Wien about how women as entrepreneurs enrich the economy, when they benefit from self-employment and who supports them Network of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, and Gabriele Tatzberger, Head of Startup Services the Vienna Business Agency.

WOMAN: Women and business start-ups - what about the pandemic?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: Well, in 2020, despite the corona crisis, more women than men founded a business in Austria - namely 54.4 percent. That shows the courage women show.

Why do women even go into business for themselves?

TATZBERGER: I am sure that starting a company takes passion, real enthusiasm, perseverance and good preparation. All properties that most women find in their daily life a matter of course are.

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: In addition to the desire for personal responsibility, the most important founding motive is actually flexible time and life planning - 75 percent of women founders say that. Due to the traditional division of roles in families, the compatibility issue still largely lies with women. That is why many mothers are looking for it Way to self-employment, in order to be able to be more flexible and independent in terms of time and to be able to better combine business and family as a single parent. It is always important that you are well protected - but that applies to everyone.


You always hear of the need for "networking". But how do I do it right? What are men doing right that we women still have to learn?

TATZBERGER: In my opinion, women do not have to learn anything from men - neither in networking nor in founding a company successful running of a business. Well prepared, authentic and determined, women or men pursue and achieve their goals and enrich the corporate landscape.

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: The main way to do it right is to simply do it. It's never too late to start networking. A golden rule is: 'Networking is a give and take, whereby the giving is always in the foreground' - that means you should think about what you can give into your own network from the start. That could be other contacts, know-how, networking and more. And then consider: what is the goal? Where do I want to go to next five years and who can support and encourage me? Men are sometimes a few steps ahead of us - especially when it comes to speaking clearly about the business and what we need.

Can't I just network and see where it takes me?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: Nice. But the goal is important and can also help with auditing your own network. Not everyone is a born networker, but everyone has a passion, a passion. When we talk about them, then we are authentic and open, then we live our vision - and then we are ready to network.

On November 18, they are co-organizing the "Business Maniacs", an information festival for female founders and young entrepreneurs, where there is also the opportunity to network. What can women in particular expect from it, and why should we attend such events at all?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: I spoke earlier about the courage of women. It is precisely this courage that needs to be supported and encouraged, and we are pleased to be able to present a courageous keynote speaker with the startup grande dame Selma Prodanovic at the "Business Maniacs". As deputy state chairwoman of the Junge Wirtschaft Wien and founder of the first Austria-wide digital platform on the subject of reconciliation, it is also particularly important to me to encourage women in their projects and to network them with like-minded people. That is exactly what we do with the "Business Maniacs".

TATZBERGER: Women in business are not only strong, they are growing too. We have long been convinced of this. That is why it is very inspiring to support them in their first steps towards self-employment with events such as the "Business Maniacs".

Speaking of support: We are currently experiencing the fourth wave of the pandemic. How does a woman use a crisis as an opportunity?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: Think new, think different. Working and pivoting in solutions is no different for a woman than for men - in this regard, however, our problem-solving skills are a great strength, which is also evident in the number of new startups by women during the crisis!

Which mistakes should a woman avoid when setting up her own business or starting or wanting to set up a company?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: To think it's easy. It is also often really hard work at the beginning. That means you have to do something that you really enjoy doing. Your own passion, to implement your own passion, certainly helps immensely and is an insider tip for often even night-long work at the beginning. And: looking for like-minded people to exchange ideas!

Ms. Gabler-Schachermayr, what are your personal experiences as a mother and entrepreneur? What should a mother consider when starting a business?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: It is important to know what risks are associated with this - and how I can minimize them. My personal experiences as a mother and entrepreneur have been very positive. I know many of the founding stories like mine, because being a mother and having a family is a decisive experience for everyone.

You begin to question so much, to do differently and once again to be very conscious of the meaning of life. Life is mixed up from one day to the next. On the one hand, that's wonderful, but on the other hand, it also leads to changes. Suddenly you are no longer responsible for yourself only - and thus question your own career, your own position, your work and much more. Above all, it is about the importance of the future, for yourself, but also for the entire family, you always have to consider that!


How do you specifically support women?

TATZBERGER: The Vienna Business Agency has been providing targeted support to female founders and entrepreneurs in Vienna since 1999 in order to increase the proportion of women among the self-employed. The Vienna Business Agency also offers special funding programs and advisory services for women entrepreneurs and start-ups. Funded projects that are led by a woman receive additional funding. Workshops with the aim of getting girls interested in science and research help to sensitize them to job descriptions that go beyond role stereotypes.

Is Vienna a good place for women to become entrepreneurs?

TATZBERGER: The statistics say: yes. Of all the European cities examined, Vienna has the highest proportion of women-specific startup events. But that is only one of many reasons why the city is particularly attractive for women. You can see it with the startups: The startup location Vienna attracted attention in 2020 with a ranking published by Startup Heatmap Europe.

Of all the European cities examined, Vienna has the highest proportion of women-specific startup events. These events make the city attractive for female founders. But many other important reasons such as security, infrastructure, childcare make the Austrian capital particularly attractive for (international) women.

What else needs to be done to make it easier for women to start a business?

GABLER-SCHACHERMAYR: A lot more should happen in Vienna to pave the way for women. The Junge Wirtschaft Wien advocates further reduction of bureaucracy and the discontinuation of the home office in the housing association. That sounds banal, but there are the necessary framework conditions to make the path easy for women entrepreneurs, to support and encourage them. We will continue to address and demand that.

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