Press Room

Media Release

Barbora Kuckova and Olga Guttenova from Slovak Republic are the Tour winners of The Social Business Idea Contest 2010

12. January 2012

According to the idea, these elderly women would be offered workshops on modern design and knitting patterns, so that their products (sweaters, hats, scarves etc) would fit today’s fashion standards and would become a “must have”. More than that, a “grandma’s brand” would be created for the knitted products, which would benefit from internet promotion and, also, partnerships could be created with fashion designers.

The six national winners are:
Austria: Nicole Prop, Theresia Berger & Dorit Haubenhofer with “First eco-social Green Care centre in Austria”
Slovak Republic: Barbora Kuckova & Olga Guttenova with “Overknit Your Pension”
Hungary: Melinda Kassai & Aron Horvath with “ProRatatouille Program”
Czech Republic: Lucie Lankašová & Kristina Řešátková with “Employment of people with disability in community compost garden”
Romania: Beuca Ioan & Popovici Vasile with “Sustainable Development of Micro-region Ruscova Valley” Serbia: Dragana Tomic, with “Centre for Social Responsible Entrepreneurship”

The Tour winning team, Barbora Kuckova and Olga Guttenova, will receive comprehensive and long-term assistance in realizing their idea from the Erste Group – this assistance will range from expert advice to provision of the required start-up financing. The national winners will each receive consultation and training to the value of 5.000 Euro, which will be provided by the ERSTE Foundation. Additional support will be offered to the winners by the sponsors of The Social Business Idea Contest: ERSTE Stiftung, Slovenská sporiteľňa, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Consumer Protection, Republic of Austria, Wolf Theiss, Hub Prague.

The Social Business Idea Contest is part of The Social Business Tour 2010, under the patronage of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, which from May to October 2010 provided information about Social Business and offered impulses for sustainable Social Business Initiatives in six countries and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Bucharest and Belgrade). Prof. Yunus personally awarded the winners of The Social Business Idea 2010 contest on 29 October in Bucharest.

The Social Business Idea Contest 2010 was, as the name indicates, a contest between ideas—and not a contest for the best social business projects that have already been implemented. The submitted social business ideas should have had the potential to solve a clearly specified social problem: e.g., in the areas of education, agriculture, health, energy, finance, and the social integration of people who are affected by poverty and social marginalization, and fulfill the other criteria of a Social Business—financially viable, socially and ecologically sustainable, and consistently focused on social goals. That also means that profits always remain in the business and are used for expansion and improvement.

The juries of the national preliminary decisions were made up of experts from the areas of business, entrepreneurship, finance, and the non-profit sector of each respective country. The winner of The Social Business Idea Contest 2010 (Tour finale) was chosen by an international jury, whose members included: Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Founder and CEO of Grameen Bank; Dominic Bruynseels, BCR CEO; Jennifer Rowe, good.bee CEO; Boris Marte, ERSTE Foundation Member of the Board; Hans Reitz, Founder of the Grameen Creative Lab; Michael Landau, Caritas Vienna CEO; Ester Bergmann, representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Consumer Protection, Republic of Austria; Ewa Konczal, Ashoka CEO.

Media Contact:
ERSTE Foundation, Communications
Maribel Königer, Tel. +43 (0) 50100 15453, e-mail:
Andreea Gurau, Tel. +43 (0) 50100 19614, e-mail: