Enterprise - Young people on the road to professional independence


since 1999


Norbert Kunz



Development Partnership

iq consult


Youth unemployment remains a severe problem in Germany. At the same time, young people willing to start their own business face difficulties in getting adequate support. Start-up advice providers do not differentiate between target groups. Because of their background, young unemployed people are not taken seriously by Chambers of Commerce, banks, development agencies etc. Youth organizations have a different focus and are not capable to accompany a young person in planning and setting up a business.


Enterprise sets out to tackle the problem of youth unemployment by designing a cost-effective four-phase business training program, and equipping out-of-work youngsters with a passport that clearly shows their entrepreneurial skills. The program includes: - a profound needs assessment based on previous experience, personality and expectations of the young person - targeted one-to-one advise before, during and up to 3 years after the business has been created - training workshops and seminars on business topics - access to microloans of up to 5.000 EUR for promising business concepts - business mentors providing sector-specific information and network access for newly established companies The system has now spread to eight centers in four Länder, and to keep the ball rolling it has co-founded a national association of start-up advisers with a quality charter.


- network of local business start-up centers for young people - entrepreneur passport showing experience and skills - self-learning materials on business topics, e.g. accounting, marketing, business planning, human resource management etc. - Revolving microfinance fund with as volume of 100.000 EUR


- 4.500 young people took advantage of the training program since 1999 - 1.200 new businesses created, - 75% still on the market after 3 years - Microloans with a total volume of approx. 150.000 EUR issued since 1999 - Creation of a German National Association of Start-up Support institutions with about 50 members across Germany, main focus: quality management - Implementation of a German Accreditation System for Start-Up Advisors