Why is entrepreneurship important to you

Why does our society need entrepreneurs?

Especially in times of far-reaching upheavals, as we are currently experiencing, not least as a result of the digital change in almost all industries, the success of our economic system and future economic development in Austria depend to a large extent on the innovative strength and pioneering spirit of entrepreneurs.

E.Y Austria: Why are entrepreneurs important to our society?

Erich Lehner: Entrepreneurs are not only the much-cited backbone of our economy, but also the main driving force behind social progress. It is you who create jobs and drive progress through bold decisions. Our society needs these personalities. There is no area of ​​the economy and society in which entrepreneurs do not play an essential role. In doing so, entrepreneurs very often neglect to act as a role model for society. They are often characterized by characteristics that one should take for example: character, courage, leadership, enthusiasm, self-confidence and persuasiveness.

Has the image of entrepreneurs improved in recent years?

That can be answered with a clear “yes and no”. The increased attention paid to start-ups and founders has certainly made entrepreneurship more attractive, especially among younger generations. Millennials in particular attach great importance to making sense of their work and creating added value. In addition, entrepreneurship also offers a promise of freedom and development opportunities. On the other hand, the appreciation for entrepreneurs is still not as great as it would be appropriate due to their social importance. In terms of social development, we still have to take the step that “entrepreneur bashing” becomes less and social acceptance even greater. Entrepreneurship should also be placed even more in the foreground at universities - and not just on one chair, but across the board.

Why is EY giving the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award?

The Entrepreneur Of The Year competition was launched over 30 years ago in the USA and 14 years ago in Austria, so that not only the very big companies, but the entrepreneurs themselves are honored. There are many awards for companies, but it is the entrepreneur himself who plays an important role in the economy and society. We want to bring outstanding entrepreneurs and thus those people who make a country's economy a living, to the curtain. A look at our Hall of Fame shows that the crème de la crème of Austrian entrepreneurship will be honored on the EOY stage.