The Business Mentoring Service offers tailored preliminary for the creation of a new business or the takeover of an existing business
Business Mentoring Service supports founders and successors who do not have experience in managing a company in 3 steps:
1Initial discussion with experienced project staff about the idea, conditions, expectations, needs etc.
2)Development-Center (3-4 days): external consultants work together with a group of founders to get a clear insight into the concepts and individual knowledge of the founders. At the end a “founding schedule” is elaborated that contains a detailed overview of the next steps and what the individual consultation should focus on.
3)Individual consultation:based on the “founding schedule” an external consultant accompanies the participant individually, trains him e.g. in managing, business Administration, legal aspects and all appearing questions related to their plan and according to their needs.
At the end of this process consultants and participants have elaborated a business plan with a forecast for the next three years.
The BMS is free of charge for the participants but some access requirements have to be fulfilled: their place of residence and the (planned) business location have to be in the Federal State of Brandenburg. Furthermore they must not yet have an existing business.
In the current funding period 2018-2020 an explicit note by the BMS has been included that business transfers can be supported.
The fund providers set various indicators, e.g. 60% of the qualified participants are supposed to found or take over a company.

Resources needed

BMS are financed by the ESF and two ministries of the Federal State of Brandenburg (Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy).
The total amount for the funding period 2018-2020 is almost 5 Mio Euro (incl. BMS for special target groups).

Evidence of success

During the funding period 2015-2017 3.172 participants have been qualified. More than 1.800 companies have been founded in this period. 68 business transfers have been successfully supported. This figure is still low, but constantly increasing.
Due to higher budgets in former funding periods the capacity to take more participants in the project was even higher (about 100 participants for each of the 19 Business Mentoring Services in the Federal State of Brandenburg).

Difficulties encountered

The BMS is a valuable tool to support business transfers. Due to the regulations the company owners cannot make use of the BMS. In some cases the transfer process is too complex and takes years means that the BMS is not a suitable tool (because of budget and time restrictions).

Potential for learning or transfer

The subject of business transfer is fundamental in all European countries. To avoid the closure of companies and the loss of jobs it is of utmost importance to prepare the successors sufficiently.
The individual focus of BMS distinguishes this tool from other tools like management seminars. Through the use of experienced consultants successors have the possibility to prepare individually according to their needs. They can improve their personal skills. The structure of BMS with its different pillars has always been further developed over years and it has proved.
For a transfer it has to be taken into account that the costs for project staff and external experts are considerably high and thus fund providers are needed.

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Main institution
Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family
Brandenburg, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
January 2001
End Date


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