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‘Talente’ is a Local Exchange and Trading Scheme (LETS) based in the region of Vorarlberg (Austria), which allows people to exchange time, goods and services between individuals and small businesses. ‘Talents’ as a currency are used as a means of exchange. One hundred ‘Talents’ is equal to one hour work.


Talente’s primary goal is to provide an alternative currency for the neighbourhood; so that less affluent people can use Talents as a complementary currency to buy goods. Its secondary purpose is educational: to show people that there are systems outside of the official financial structure.


The geographical scope of Talente’s activity is state-wide in the federal state of Vorarlberg which has 350,000 inhabitants. Talente has ten regions within the state but all of them work in different organizational structures in order to find the best organizational solution for each region.


Talente is an initiative set up by the head of the Catholic Church’s educational organization. He was inspired by the English Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) and invited 30 people from the region in 1996 to implement the Talente together. The primary goal was to double the number of members from thirty to sixty in a period of nine-months. But the initiative proved to be so successful that, by the end of the year, they already had one hundred members.


Today, Talente has 700 accounts, which are used by 1,800 people. An account is often used by more than one member of the family. Some of the members are organizations like churches, or those providing social services. Today, Talente’s annual turnover is three million Talents (30,000 hours) and an estimated value of 600,000 euros. On their website you will find an average of 3,000 offers of goods and services. Every month 150 to 250 new offers are added. A wide ranch of goods and services are offered. These include food from farmers, homemade food products, arts and crafts, and services like piano lessons, languages lessons, hairdressers, originally designed and tailored clothes, office services, mobility services, etc.


The ideal of the founders was to be absolutely independent. For that reason Talente has never received any external funding. The organization is completely financed by the member themselves, who pay an annual fee 24 euros plus 3.6 hours of service a year. Talents cannot be bought or exchanged with Euros or other currencies.


Talente uses the open source Cyclos software. This software has been developed by the Dutch company STRO. It is basically an online banking system with additional features such as personal profiles for members, advertisement boards, an internal e-mail system and a search engine. Talente also uses a smartphone application, and members can make payments through their smartphone in Talents.


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Type of initiative Other (specify): Regional currency
Field of work Trade, Financial services, Other (specify): community currency, local economy
Date of commencement 1996
Founder(s) A group of 30 citizens
Legal form not for profit network
Continent Europe
Country Austria
City The whole region of Vorarlberg
One or several keywords that describe your initiative community currency, LETS
Publications Newsletter, Film
More information

Contact person(s)

Gernot Jochum - MŁller


Contact information

Name Talente / Obmann & Sprecher
Address Weidenweg 2
Zip/postal code 6850
Place Dornbirn
State/province Vorarlberg
Country Austria
Phone +43 (0) 5572 22 787
E-mail g.jochum - mueller @



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