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People of Initiative Goran

1/3 “I was pretty lucky to pass from Volksschule to Gymnasium. My head mistress didn’t want me to pass, because I had a B in German. I had to intervene and negotiate all the time to go to Gymnasium. In the Gymnasium it was also pretty hard, because my parents didn’t know any English, they couldn’t help me with maths and I was alone all the time, which was pretty tough. […] There was a teacher who helped me, somebody who said “believe in yourself” and you will do it and “I don’t want you to quit”[…]. And when I got to high school, I happened to go to this parliamentary of students event. I was there, sitting in the Rathaus (city hall), and wondering why 200 pupils of my generation are sitting there and talking about politics and how they can be so clever, inspirational and educated people. I was starting to compare myself to them; why them and not me? What makes them better? I was sitting there in the second row on the far right corner where the left party was sitting (laughs), on the second seat in the second row and that was a moment where I just realised something, they are all Austrians, not many people who had an immigration background, that was something that I really didn’t like, and the second I realised is, that I really have to get my ass up and work 4-5 times harder than they do to achieve the same goals as they did.”

2/3 “Either way, it is hard for you as a social entrepreneur to stay in the green zone and there are no incentives, no remedies or support from the state nowadays that help you improve, which makes life harder for you as a founder, or as a team member of a social business. So, we have the financial issues and we have the legal issues. Compared to Germany and England, they have certain legal forms […] where you actually pay less taxes and they give you a refund on your first three employees. They really help you try to start social businesses, because they see the value of a social business for the state. The problem is, and I had many discussions with many politicians, many issues that social businesses are tackling right now are mostly issues that the state should be tackling. The money you save by supporting social businesses is ten times higher than the money the state would have to invest in these issues.”

3/3 “I always juggled with myself, coming from a family that had nothing to having the possibility to get a lot of money. I had nice jobs and made money from several projects but […] I was always juggling in my mind what the real value is for me. Is it something that my parents, my grandparents and generations before and after never achieved? Or is it something else? So I just tried, you know [..] you cannot have a qualified decision on something you haven’t tried before. That’s why I just reflected and even tried; could banking be something for me, is mainstream consulting something for me, and I just saw it isn’t. I think it’s pretty nice and a good thing to check on different opportunities and test them but I also believe that one will come to the point where you realize – and it can be when you’re 50 or 60, when you have everything you ever wanted, with houses and cars – and then right afterwards realise that life isn’t about all this. It’s about something totally different. And I am proud of myself that I’ve realized it for myself already that I don’t need all this shit. I believe it’s important to use your skills to help others and to make our society and life better and prosperous for others.”


“I am not a fan of idols, I say you build your own idols, but one of my heroes is my sister. She is two years older than me, and she had a much tougher time than me at school […] and she is now finishing her masters in human sozialökologie. She has always kept me grounded. I’ve been through several positions which could catapult you into a big ego, but she was the one who helped me stay who I am. That’s why she is my hero.”

– Goran Maric​


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