circle17 Alumni

OeEB - Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank

About the team

OeEB - Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank


As the development bank of Austria, we act with a mandate from the federal government and are committed to the objectives of the Austrian Development Cooperation. We finance and support projects in developing countries and emerging markets that are economically sustainable and have positive impacts on development. Every project supported by OeEB contributes to local, sustainable development. Sustainable business and sustainable growth are our tools for maintaining and developing economic, ecological, and social progress. In addition to adherence to local and national environmental and social regulations of the respective country, we also strive for the adoption of international environmental, social, and human rights standards when financing projects.


circle17 has been a highlight in 2020!

  • Perfectly organized and well prepared through the three challenge lead workshops
  • Inspirational event and fun set-up --> despite 100% virtual
  • The amazing circle17 Spotify Playlists carried the special circle 17 vibes into our daily lifes 🙂 and helped to get through the winter lockdown more or less sanely 😉
  • We were deeply impressed by the Circular Co-Creation workshop (Friday workshop: challenge leads + social innovators). The methodology is ideal to build up team spirit, get to know each other and to gather new perspectives and ideas for the challenge. We intend to conduct such a workshop internally at OeEB in the future.
  • Great opportunity for OeEB to reach out to a new audience in Austria and to present our bank and the services we offer to Austria’s start-up scene
  • PR and communication of the circle17 team was very effective: great networking opportunities throughout the program.
  • Helped us to also raise awareness internally.

Header: (c) via Unsplash

woman standing in front of wind turbines
(c) Shutterstock
(c) via Shutterstock
What Challenge were you working on during your time with circle17 and what SDGs are you focusing on?

OeEB has set itself the goal to increase gender relevance of its projects across its entire portfolio, whilst also maintaining the focus on the renewable energy sector, as Austria’s biggest contributor to climate finance. However, projects in the renewable energy sector do not have an explicit gender focus and therefore do not contribute to OeEB’s share of gender relevant investments. There are various reasons for it: renewable energy projects typically are not labour intensive (once operational), located in remote areas and data gathering is focused on climate indicators rather than gender related metrics. Additionally, it is challenging to grasp the disaggregated demographics of beneficiaries to design appropriate action or technical assistance programmes. 

We participated at the impacthon with the following challenge: “How might we operationalize the two seemingly conflicting, cross-cutting strategic focus topics “climate” and “gender” to meet gender targets in the Renewable Energy Sector by 2030?” Our focus lied on gathering out-of-the-box ideas and insights from the start-up community on what to take into consideration and what instruments, products, approaches there are to sustainably increase the participation of women in the renewable energy sector.

Focusing on: 

  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
What did you learn from your experience?

Key take aways from the Impacthon for OeEB was the following:

  • Participation in the Impacthon offered an ideal opportunity to build a network in the digital world even during COVID-19 and to present OeEB to a new audience.
  • The interest in the OeEB Challenge was very great because it combined technical expertise with social aspects. This resulted in one of the teams with the highest number of social innovators.
  • We received exciting insights into various methods of design thinking with a facilitator role. These methods could also be useful for internal OeEB events.
  • A variety of ideas were generated using innovative digitals tools and moderation methods. We would like to take up such ideas, which were not pursued further during the Impacthon, and further develop them internally at OeEB.
How was it working with start-ups?

For OeEB, this was a very new experience and the first time OeEB participated in an open innovation initiative. It was sometimes challenging to align the dynamics of the Impacthon with the internal approval and communication processes.

Did you set up a partnership and if so, would you like to tell us more about it?

We did not set up any formal partnership, but we remain in close contact with the start-up BelongIn, who have been members of the social innovators team for our challenge during the Impacthon.

What would you recommend future participants to get the most out of the experience?
  • Plan enough resources (timing-wise) for the employees who represent the challenge during the Impacthon.
  • Communicate internally and manage expectations.
(c) via Shutterstock

Team Members