Essl Foundation MGE gemeinnützige Privatstiftung Haus der Philanthropie Schottenring 16/3.OG 1010 Wien Zugang über Lift 5&6 Austria

Essl Foundation MGE gemeinnützige Privatstiftung

The Essl Foundation MGE gemeinnützige Privatstiftung is an Austrian Foundation established in 2007 by Martin and Gerda Essl, and their children, for social purposes and scientific research.

The purpose of the Essl Foundation is to support those in need, in particular to promote proven social innovations and their social entrepreneurs from all over the world, as well as scientific research in this area. Such innovations should be made known and taken from a local or regional level to an international level in order to be able to offer their benefits to as many people with disabilities as possible.

The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008, with its mission centred on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and its commitment to a world with zero barriers. The main topics of the Zero Project are in education, employment, accessibility as well as self-determined life and political participation. The Essl Foundation is a member of Philea and has the ECOSOC status of the United Nations.


The mission of the Essl Foundation is to support social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and persons with disabilities.

The mission of the Zero Project is working for a world with zero barriers. Worldwide, the Zero Project finds and share solutions that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities.

Geographic Focus


Programme Areas

The foundation works in the following areas:

  • Financing and further development of the Zero Project.
  • Support for social projects, especially in Austria, with a focus on education, employment, and accessibility for people with disabilities, as well as barrier-free art education.
  • Active participation in the activities of the Sinnstiftern and member of the association for non-profit foundations.
  • Co-founder of the Haus der Philanthropie, Vienna – an office community for non-profit foundations and related organizations.
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