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International award for Walburga Fröhlich

Walburga Fröhlich, founder and CEO of the social enterprise atempo, is a winner of the "EU Prize for Women Innovators". She was the only Austrian to reach the finals and took third place with a prize money of € 30,000.

Although many women work in research, development and business, there are still too few who develop their own creative business ideas and bring them to market - according to the European Commission.

This is why the "EU Prize for Women Innovators", endowed with a total of €200,000, was announced. Because: the European Union promotes equal opportunities for women and wants to put the spotlight on representatives of the supposedly weaker sex, who are particularly distinguished by their innovative strength and entrepreneurial spirit: "Women are a motor for Europe's competitiveness. Only with them will it be possible to master the social challenges of our time," say the organizers of the innovation competition.

Walburga Fröhlich is the first female entrepreneur from the social sector to be honored.

Together with Klaus Candussi, Walburga Fröhlich founded the social enterprise atempo in 2001. The guiding idea and core business is the equality of people. For this purpose atempo develops and sells products and services that make life easier for people with and without disabilities.

Under the brand capito - accessible information - atempo offers translations of difficult texts into a simple language. Via the capito App, this easily understandable information is also available on smartphones.

nueva - user-oriented evaluation - is concerned with checking quality standards in homes and workshops for people with disabilities. The consistent digitization of these services has now been recognized by the commission as a special social innovation.

As a social entrepreneur, Walburga Fröhlich built up a social franchise network for capito and nueva, which now includes around 80 partners in the German-speaking world.

"The winners are truly inspiring women who have developed ideas that have been successful on the market and at the same time improve people's lives. I am glad that our prize has recognized their outstanding achievements," said Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation at the award ceremony in Brussels on June 21.

The winners - first place went to Gabrielle Colucci (Italy), second place to Alicia Asin Perez from Spain - were selected by an independent jury of experts following an open call for entries in autumn 2017. The jury consisted of independent experts from the fields of business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and science. 122 entries were submitted from across the EU and countries associated with Horizon 2020, the EU funding program for research and innovation, which awards the prize money for the awards.