This was the General Assembly of Smart Coop Austria 2022Smart - 06/07/2022 - -
The General Assembly of Smart Coop Austria (SMartAt e.Gen.) on June 29, 2022 took place small but nice as a hybrid event. As the Covid-19 numbers are currently rising again, the cooperative decided with a heavy heart not to invite all coop members, users and interested parties to a lavish reunion summer party this year, but to focus on security.
Although Corona still clearly determined the year 2021, the business activities of Smart Coop Austria recovered significantly with the variety of activities carried out by all active users through Smart. The cooperative closed the year 2021 with a turnover of over 1.4 million euros. Together with the newly founded GmbH smart@work, the business volume totaled 1.7 million euros – the best result to date since the cooperative was founded in May 2015.
The reasons were, on the one hand, a high density of activity and many catch-up project realizations after the end of the lockdowns (or in between). The development of orders at Smart also shows: Events and projects were increasingly shifted to the online media space and some users also reoriented themselves during the time of the pandemic. For example, the number of assignments in previously uncategorized new areas grew to 19% (grouped under “other” in 2021). This was a good development for the users, but also for the diversification of the cooperative.
On the other hand, the team and users of the cooperative continued to benefit from measures taken in connection with the pandemic in 2021 – in particular, short-time work enabled many to get through the exceptional situation in social stability.
Two important milestones shaped the development of the cooperative in 2021 with a lasting effect on the present and future:
One is the successfully acquired digital project Smart Portal at the Vienna Chamber of Labour. The project includes not only the development of a digital working tool, but also the development of a community and governance area and has a strong participatory focus. In the fall of 2021, a variety of ideas and needs as well as practical suggestions for the simplest possible usability were collected in an intensive process in several team and user workshops. Now the project is moving into programming implementation. Unexpectedly, a cooperation with the colleagues from the German Smart Team has arisen at the beginning of 2022. Now both teams are developing their digital tool together and see this as a great opportunity for synergies and sustainable use.
The second milestone in 2021 was the increase of the Smart Fee to 10%, embedded in a comprehensive communication process with the users and a positive decision at the General Assembly 2021. The implementation took place as of July 1, 2021, and contributes decisively to Smart’s realistic approach to the goal of a break-even in 2024.
At this point, a big thank you to all users who participated in discussions, workshops and talks. We also see both milestones as the starting point for greater active participation by comrades and users, which we are very pleased about and would like to expand – among other things very practically with the new tool.
Overall, the development of business in 2022 has so far been more hesitant than last year. Despite all this, we remain confident that, with our and all of your input and contribution, the Smart model will continue to grow sustainably towards break-even in the current and coming years. Together with our Smart partners in Europe, we want to develop more joint strategies to achieve this. Exchange, networking and the desire to speak with one voice characterize the international development.
Detailed information about our business activities can be found in the Annual Report 2021.
PS: Of the 15 members present, live or online, four were named Sebastian. What a memorable coincidence!