Smart 2019/20: 1.4m turnover, 1,110 users – and one Corona crisis

Smart - 08/07/2020 - Xenia Kopf

At our General assembly 2020, we looked back on a turbulent year!

The Corona crisis has profoundly jumbled up our working life. Projects were canceled, sources of income were lost, events had to be canceled or transferred to online formats on short notice. We attended to and advised our users, provided default guarantees, were able to take active users into short term work or support them in making use of unemployment support. We are very proud that we can make our contribution to help our community cope with this situation in the best way possible. But we are also aware that some more challenges await us.

This is why we are currently working on a Corona Plan together with our European partners. This plan aims at providing perspectives and visibility to all those whose working life doesn’t fit into conventional boxes. The crisis has shown us once more how important, reliable and seminal the Smart model is in extraordinary times.

Stay home, Save people, Protect Workers. Smart

At the same time, we are very happy about all of last years positive developments!

We reached 1.4m Euros in turnover in 2019 and are proud to have 1,110 users now – just about according to plan. Last fall, we welcomed our 1.000th user Cordula Thym with open arms. Some of our users have taken the opportunity to become visible on our website. In the series What’s brewing with…, we present long-term users in-depth.

Portraitfoto von Cordula Thym, die tausendste Userin von Smart Austria (2019)

Cordula Thym © Saleh Rozati

Mid-pandemic, we celebrated our 5th birthday and our team is renewed: Michaela Adelberger (public relations) and Julia Haas (SmartAdmin) said goodbye, while our new colleagues are Doris Priplata, who supports our office since Fall 2019, and Lara Rainer, who recently joined SmartAdmin and will support our advisors in the future.

In early 2020, we founded the smart@work GmbH, owned by the Smart Coop, to manage commercial activities that require a trade licence as well as personell leasing. This is an option for small theatres and other insitutions that are required by law to employ their workers but don’t have the necessary capacities for this.

Logo der Smart@work GmbH, einer 100%igen Tochter von Smart Austria

We intensified our event programming: Besides workshops on DIY accounting revenues and expenditures, there are now also Tax Together workshops to support users in preparing their tax return. In the series Take Care we provide our users with input by high-profile trainers. Peter Hauptmann kicked off the series with a workshop on Fair Pay, Anne Eck followed with a Special Edition on Crowdfunding.

We engaged with professional publics on many occasions, among others at Kunstschule, Social Work Hub, University of Applied Arts, Grüne Wirtschaft, Austrian Music Council and Business Riot. Our interregional and international highlights were the Dreamocracy symposium (23 October 2019, St. Pölten) and the Platform Coop Conference 2019 (7–9 November 2019, New York), entitled: “Who owns the world?”

This question is highly relevant today: Who will be left more precarious by this crisis, who will be strengthened? And how can we ensure social security for ‘atypical’ workers on a long-term and sustainable basis?

These are the questions we’re fully dedicating ourselves to in 2020/21.