Gründerwerkstatt young companies is a start-up incubator for young people focused on reducing the unemployment among young people.
"Young companies" is supporting the business start-up process and covers the rural region where there is a high need for such support but less mobility of people living there, compared to dense urban areas. The practice offers courses, assistance and essential technical equipment free of charge, such as a working space with computers, printer and telephone.
Public authorities like the unemployment agency, job center, public offices, chambers and the city hall are involved in the support system targeting young people threatened by unemployment. Stakeholders are mainly “young companies”, the ESF and MASGF Land Brandenburg (Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family), chambers, unemployment agencies, job centers.
Support from the initial idea to an own company, getting ready for founding, securing one’s livelihood and how to be your own boss. Mainly through consultation and support and monitoring. Using external consultants and workshops, seminars (also specific ones regarding taxation and law). Only an idea is necessary to have a close long-term support for all matters possible.
Human resource: 1 part-time project manager, 4 location managers & 15 consultants. Financed by the Ministries of Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family Brandenburg and Economic Affairs and Energy Brandenburg with ESF and through State of Brandenburg. Total budget: 600.000 € (3 yrs).
Evidence of success
- 1112 participants over all locations
- 622 start-up foundations
- 76% are still on the market a year after start showing recruitment, apprenticeships and growth
- Webinars (currently in first run) for less mobile people are in high demand
Founders need grants, as soon as these are not available due to political changes less people dare to start a business. The labor market situation is crucial to young entrepreneurs, it can promote start ups due to distress/ necessity and makes a difference in the number of participants.
Potential for learning or transfer
Success factors are work with different concepts to promote brainstorming activities, exchange & networking; keeping the participants numbers high to meet the quotas for foundations (40% of the participants should start a business). Open dialogue and honesty are important as young companies wants participants to start a successful business and run it for years. That is honest feedback on business idea: whether it has prerequisites for a success or not to move forward with it.
Critical assessment of problems or core issues is needed and Giving the participant a starting point or different approaches and homework to do research in solving the issue. Quality control of the process and all external consultants. They have to have experience in the field and their references have to be checked upon a catalogue of criteria (scorecard). Using fairs to get more attention to the practice is useful as well as testimonials/entrepreneur portraits to advertise for and represent the practice.