press release March 14, 2008

The International Essl Social Prize

The Essl Social Prize was endowed by Martin and Gerda Essl as an international social prize valued at EUR 1 million. The prize will be awarded annually beginning in 2008 to provide support for private social initiatives and so-called social entrepreneurs. The first award ceremony is being held March 14, 2008, at 6:00 pm at Schömer Haus (bauMax headquarters) in Klosterneuburg in the presence of the EU Commissioner for Education, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity, Vladimír Špidla. This year’s recipient is Father Georg Sporschill for his project for former street kids in Romania.


Social responsibility has a long-standing tradition in the Essl family business (the bauMax Schömer Group). Even outside the family business, Martin and Gerda Essl are deeply committed to social issues in their private lives as well. Out of the many initiatives, small and large, already carried out (e.g. helping people with disabilities, the demining initiative in Croatia, etc.) came the idea of bundling their multifaceted aid activities and bringing them under a single roof by institutionalizing it. This was the inception of the Essl Social Prize. The prize is awarded once a year and subject to a stringent nomination and selection process.


Martin Essl made the following statement: “With the international Essl Social Prize we want to fund those social projects and ideas of entrepreneurs which we consider to be particularly worthy, efficient and ground-breaking. In this way we can help offer people in dire straits lasting help. It’s especially important to us that the money actually benefit people in need and not get spent on administrative work.”


2008 Prize-winning Project: “Casa Abraham“

Sixteen years ago Father Georg Sporschill founded the social project Concordia – the City of Children for street kids in Romania. Now the time has come to offer the growing youths vocational training and consequently new prospects in life. The prize money for this year’s Essl Social Prize will go to building a residence and vocational training center for 24 youths called Casa Abraham.

For any questions: Dr. Monika Voglgruber, Public Relations, Tel.: +43(0)2243/420-9149, info(at), Klosterneuburg, 14.03.2008

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