Specialisterne Now in Austria

The Specialisterne model continues to spread to more locations around the world, and we are delighted to announce that Specialisterne Austria is now an officially registered association. Local Coordinator Stephan Dorfmeister is leading the operation and is already in full swing with fundraising activities and business planning.

Read also the updated posting about about the Specialisterne Austria team here.

dorfmeister1“We are progressing well and have already secured part of the funding needed to conduct the Feasibility Study thanks to contribution from the Essl Foundation,” says Stephan Dorfmeister. “If things continue to progress well, then we hope to start the actual operations of Specialisterne Austria in late 2012 with assessment and training beginning soon thereafter.”

Stephan Dorfmeister MBA is an accomplished independent management consultant with a background in business development in Europe, the Middle East, the US and Asia, and has always had a strong focus on social responsibility and sustainability.

Ashoka Austria was instrumental in connecting Stephan with Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) Founder and Ashoka Globalizer Thorkil Sonne, through the Ashoka Localizer program. This program helps Ashoka Fellows, such as Thorkil, to scale their business ideas in other countries by creating networking opportunities and by providing important support to accelerate market entry and the growth of the venture.

“It is really great to see the Ashoka Localizer program helping to facilitate connections and establish new socially innovative businesses such as Specialisterne here in Austria, “says Marie Ringler, Director for Ashoka Austria. “We’re looking forward to working with Specialisterne Austria as it is a great example of a company striving for social change.”

It was also through Ashoka Globalizer, that Specialisterne came to the attention of the Essl Foundation.  “The Essl Social Prize 2010 was given to Bill Drayton, Ashoka Globalizer and Founder of Ashoka,” says Dr Michael Fembek, Program Director, Essl Foundation. “Since Thorkil Sonne is an Ashoka Globalizer, and the Essl Foundation is especially supporting innovative projects in the field of persons with disabilities, we decided to support this great project and its high potential.”

The Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) is also thrilled at the establishment of Specialisterne Austria. “This is an important addition to the Specialisterne global community, and a natural step for us in our mission to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges,” says Thorkil Sonne, Chairman of the Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) Board. “Specialisterne Austria are well on their way to providing excellent assessment, training and meaningful job opportunities for people with autism in Austria.”

For more information on Specialisterne Austria, please contact Stephan.