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The “Mikromezzaninfonds-Deutschland”

A banking funding opportunity for start-up in Germany

financing

The creation of a start-up requires the use of banking funding opportunities through for instance mezzanine funding which consists of debt capital enabling high return in compensation for the high risk level of investment.  The mezzanine capital allows companies to get even more leverage and thus finance larger transactions.

This kind of funding method is not common in Germany yet. That is why the “Mikromezzaninfond-Deutschland” (MDD) was created by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie) in 2013 in order to provide SME’s, start-ups and entrepreneurs an access to such funding opportunities. Partly financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), the MDD especially targets social and environment-friendly companies which are set up by woman, former job seekers or people with a migration background.

The application file can be submitted any time to the Mittelständischen Beteiligungsgesellschaft of the federal state where the investment is supposed to take place. A company can be financed with the amount of 50 000 Euro within 10 years. The loan should be paid back in 3 equal annual rates during the last 3 years.

Further information about this funding opportunity are available here

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Start-up funding in Germany

The KFW provides attractive funding opportunities for start-up coaching!

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Since 2007 the ESF-project “Gründercoaching Deutschland” has helped tens of thousands of start-ups on their way to develop a sustainable business plan and to succeed on the open market. The program has been administrated by the KFW since the funding period 2007 to 2013 and will continue until the end of the current period (2014 to 2020).
In the framework of this project, the KFW offers attractive possibilities for the funding of business founders coaching. It provides a partial payment for professional coaching for those who are setting up their own business. New freelancers can receive up to 3000 euro for professional counseling as a public support in order to become a competitive business company. The funding is especially designed to help female founders, migrants and those who can count on family-friendly working conditions. In general, the coaching should provide skills in economic, financial or organizational affairs to optimize one’s abilities to compete on the open market with accompany recently set-up.
The Credit Institute for Reconstruction (Kreditinstitut Für Wiederaufbau) is a public-law institution and is subordinated to the German Ministry of Finances. The funding bank is in charge of many different kinds of public funding. Among other things they offer credits for small and medium-sized companies, infrastructures, house building or financing power efficient technologies.

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In the “new” German states (except for Berlin and the Region of Leipzig), the public funding ratio is 75 percent of the consulting fee. In the old federal states of Germany including Berlin and the region of Leipzig the fund is 50 percent of the consulting-fee.
• The net price of the coaching must not be higher than 4000 Euros.
• The wage per hour must not be higher than 100 Euros.
• The coaching should not be longer than 8 hours.
• The start-up needs to be kicked off during the last 2 years.
All in all the KFW provides a highly recommendable funding opportunity for company founders. The program (“Gründercoaching Deutschland”) will help recently created start-ups to improve their competitiveness and to develop a profitable business plan.

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Creative Europe: new calls !

Creative Europe: new calls for proposals promoting networking and entrepreneurship available now!

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On Thursday, July 23rd 2015, the Directorate General for Education & Culture  published two new calls for proposals in the framework of the program Creative Europe.

Replacing the program Culture for the new funding period 2014-2020 Creative Europe aims at boosting the cultural and creative sectors by promoting the use of new technologies. Innovative aspect of the candidate projects is clearly expected and encouraged.

According to the Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013, one of the top priorities of the Cultural – Subprogram consists in testing and expanding of new business models.

Call for proposals EAC/S08/2015 – EU Network of Creative Hubs and Co-working Spaces

The Call for proposals EAC/S08/2015 intends to grant one single pilot project which  “will set up and support an EU-wide network of creative hubs and co-working spaces for cultural and creative professionals and entrepreneurs”. The project should reach this goal through the following activities:

  • To identify and select eligible creative hubs and co-working spaces
  • To develop virtual networks through the creation of a web portal, a digital platform and social media pages
  • To facilitate exchanges between creative hubs
  • To provide coaching and training support to creative hub managers
  • To organize a EU Network of creative hubs conferences in Brussels
  • To publish a report about EU creative hubs and co-working spaces

Application have to be submitted no later than on Thursday, September 10th 2015. The selected project will be granted with a maximum amount of 1,000,000 Euro for 24 months covering no more than 80% of the total budget.

For more details, please consult the guideline of this call for proposal.

 

Call for proposals EAC/S11/2015 – Pilot project supporting networks of young creative entrepreneurs: EU and third countries

The Call for proposals EAC/S11/2015 intends to grant one single pilot project enhancing networks of young entrepreneurs from the EU member countries and third countries active in the cultural and creative sector through the establishment of an innovative platform. Beyond this overall goal, the project should achieve specific objectives related to those of Creative Europe:

  • To support the capacity of young entrepreneurs to operate transnationally and internationally
  • To foster peer-learning and exchanges of experiences on new business and management models in the cultural and creative sectors
  • To foster the entrepreneurship, innovation and creative potential of young entrepreneurs for international cooperation in the cultural and creative sector

Applications have to be submitted no later than on Tuesday, September 15th 2015. The selected project will be granted with a maximal amount of 800, 000 Euros for 24 months covering no more than 80% of the total budget.

For more details, please consult the guideline of this call for proposal.

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THE COMPETITION TIME AMONG ENTREPRENEURS HAS ARRIVED

We are going to reveal the most important and influential calls for 2015 and those every Spanish entrepreneur should know.

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Nowadays, publications of calls for prizes, contests and competitions focused on discovering great talents and great ideas that are generated in our country are more and more common.
In this list you will see different events in which several skills are measured, from the traditional sectors to those with the projects about the latest technologies, but in all of them, the most important factor to consider is innovation.
Many entrepreneurs and companies consider these competitions as a unique opportunity for funding, visibility and promotion their business idea. In addition to all the advice and mentoring support that are included in many of the programs.

Do you want to know the relevant ones that have been calling for over the 2015?

Salonmiempresa

“Salonmiempresa” allows a dozen start-ups obtain financial facilities for their businesses during the ‘Elevator Pitch’ contest. Moreover, there are three prizes of 3,000 euros in cash for the best business model, the best proposal for e-Commerce and the most innovative project.
Deadline: Until January 30th, 2015

Sprita Start-ups

“Sprita” is a corporate Accelerator for start-ups, specialized in technology companies and innovative seed-stage projects and seeks the best projects about Smart Cities. The selected projects are provided with 35,000 euros (€15,000 in cash and 20,000 € for services for entrepreneurs).
Deadline: Until January 31st, 2015

Lanzadera

“Lanzadera”, the project promoted by Juan Roig with 100% of private capital to help nee companies to get started. It has expanded to 25 the number of selected projects in its third edition. With a total budget of 5 million euros, the deadline for submission takes part during the month of February.
Deadline: Until February 28th, 2015

V Concurso Nacional para Jóvenes Emprendedores

The aim of this fifth edition is to award the most entrepreneurial young career, giving him or her a full scholarship to participate in one of the most prestigious and renowned programs of Executive Education ESADE: the Program for Directors owners whose cost ascends to € 14,980. Aimed at young talented people under age 30 that have developed and launched a company, but that, however, have not had the opportunity to complete their training in management.
Deadline: February 2nd, 2015

Yuzz entrepreneurs

If you have an innovative technologic-based idea, you are between 18 and 30 years old and you live in a Spanish province in which there is a YUZZ Center can submit your idea. All participants go for 60,000 euros of prizes, 40 trips to Silicon Valley and 80 full scholarships for IMPULSA Forum.
Deadline: February 19th, 2015

Top Seeds Lab

“Top Seeds Lab” is the only Spanish accelerator that is part of the prestigious Global Accelerator Network. Seed funding, mentoring, networking, and business Angels services to move forward with your project.
Deadline: February 28th, 2015

Accelerating Entrepreneurs

EY has launched the Accelerating Entrepreneurs program, a global initiative focused on supporting six entrepreneurs with potential growth and drive their businesses. Entrepreneurs who are finally selected will receive a full program of training and advice that will allow them, among other things, to expand their network of contacts.
Deadline: March 1st, 2015

Zinc Shower

In the third call for “Zinc Shower” the objective are the best business projects of creative and collaborative economy. You can present your project or start-up whether it is in early stage of development or creation, as if it is an already implemented business already in growth, expansion and internationalization phase.
Deadline: March 15th, 2015

UC3M ideas competition

The Business Incubator of the Science Park of the University Carlos III of Madrid announces the 7th edition of the Competition for Ideas for the creation of innovative technology-based enterprises and aimed at students, alumni, researchers, and all those who wish to undertake in the field of knowledge and technology of the UC3M.
Deadline: March 31st, 2015

Everis Awards

The Everis Foundation launches the call for the XIV Everis Awards for entrepreneurship, innovation and talent, that will give it to the business project whose proposal has as its objective the exploitation of technological, management, social or environmental innovation, in one of these categories: “Information Technology and Digital Economy”, “Biotechnology and health” and “Industrial or energy technologies.”
The winner will get a cash prize of 60,000 euros for the development and launch of his/her company as well as accompanying services and support of i-deals, valued at 10,000 euros. If the jury thinks it appropriate, it may award an honorable mention to one of the projects that have been finalists and decide on the funding.
Deadline: March 31st, 2015

XXI Entrepreneur Awards

“La Caixa” and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, through ENISA, announce the ninth edition of the Awards EmprendedorXXI, the more established call for entrepreneurs in Spain. The initiative provides 400,000 euros in money prizes for innovative and high growth potential companies. Moreover, the winners are also invited to stays for training and networking in some of the main centers of innovation in the world, such as Cambridge (UK), Tel Aviv (Israel), Silicon Valley and New York (United States).
Deadline: April 17th, 2015

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Non-formal training programs on entrepreneurship in Europe

From 23rd to 25th October ENIA RDI Ltd, emcra GmbH and the EU-Fundraising Association came together to a trilateral partner meeting in Cyprus. Among other topics, the question of “non-formal training programs on entrepreneurship in Europe” was broached.

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An Entrepreneurship Action Plan for Europe

Entrepreneurship has been put forward on the EU’s agenda through the “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan”. It should serve as a “blueprint” for decisive action to support Europe’s entrepreneurial potential and culture. The strategy is built on three pillars, one of them being the promotion of entrepreneurial education and training.

The EU is already supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education thanks to two programmes:

  • COSME, wich supports the mobility of young entrepreneurs and exchanges among educators and trainers’ best practices in entrepreneurship education. Examples of actions include:
    • The European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs, which provides advice and support to women entrepreneurs in the start-up, running and growth of businesses during their early years
    • Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, which helps new entrepreneurs (not necessarily young in years, but in the age of their businesses) by offering an opportunity to learn from a more experienced host entrepreneur in another country.  The host benefits in return from a fresh perspective on his / her business.
  • Youth, one of the subdivisions of the new Erasmus+ education program, lays a specific emphasis on youth employability and encouraging entrepreneurship in young people in Europe

Why promoting non-formal learning and entrepreneurship?

At a time when youth unemployment hits records in Europe, the question has been raised during the partner meeting whether non-formal education can help to develop skills more adapted to the workplace, complementing the ones acquired in the formal education system. It has been notably argued that EU mobility programs or other European schemes could foster the development of essential skills, such as intercultural skills, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and risk-taking, lifelong learning, practice of foreign languages, flexibility, etc, which should better prepare individuals for the job markets.

Increase employability

There are various initiatives and innovative projects across Europe addressing the challenges of recognition /integration of trainings on entrepreneurship, empowerment of young people to set up enterprises, or self-(non-formal) learning tools inside enterprises to develop new skills. The partners of the Cyprus meeting have exchanged opinions about the following projects:

  • The Dutch Entrepreneurship Module Eligible for Certification, developed by the European Vocational Training Association and partnering the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, gives upper secondary vocational education institutes the option to add entrepreneurship to existing vocational training courses
  • The Italian project “Bellacoopia” is addressed to young students from upper secondary schools to create virtual cooperative enterprises to experience what running a business means
  • The Spanish FLORIDA Universitaria, training center affiliated to the University of Valencia, enhances the development of an entrepreneurial mindset among students in order to facilitate their employability according to today’s market needs. Innovative methodologies such as business simulation games are included in the learning.
  • The EU-funded project LIFE2: key competences in life skills, bringing together vocational education organizations from Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the UK has developed a “train the trainer pack”, aiming at helping teachers and trainers to assess and include life skills in vocational learning and encouraging entrepreneurship skills such as creativity and innovation to set up in business.

Entrepreneurship education is not a new concept, but its implementation is still lacking of coherence. The Cyprus meeting allowed the partners to reflect on new approaches leading to innovative project ideas, notably concrete tools and needs analysis for trainers in this field.

 

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Entrepreneurial education – Non-formal training case study in France

After the post about non-formal training programs on entrepreneurship in Bulgaria, we continue our trip accross the world of entrepreneurship education meeting Hanna el Hadi, a girl who followed a non-formal training program on entrepreneurship in France.

Hey Hanna, could you introduce yourself and your educational path in few words, please?

Hey! My name is Hanna. I have graduated high school with a sciences specialization. Then I went during two years in a preparatory school because I wanted to integrate an engineer school to work in the environment field. I managed to integrate it and I was therefore able to study environment management.

Do you plan to create a business or take over a company in the next coming years?

No, it is not in my plans for now.

A moment of entrepreneurial education with non-formal training in France. Source: proentre.studiodomino.com

During your educational experience, did you have any training about entrepreneurship?

I had some interaction with professionals who had, or not, created their own businesses but I didn’t have a dedicated course on this topic. It was however possible to choose courses about subjects such as start-up creation but I didn’t. I have participated in some campaigns to raise awareness about enterprises’ issues such as working and hiring disabled people or corporate social responsibility but nothing about entrepreneurship strictly.

Did you experience a non-formal training about entrepreneurship?

In May 2014, I had a training course about entrepreneurship during which we were taught about how to create a business, difficulties dealing with that challenge, necessities to share about your project… But it was still very general. This training was organized by E-Seniors association in cooperation with an entrepreneur. It was very interesting to see how to plan and create a start-up, the importance of planning early stages and to deal with unexpected issues.

I also participated in a Youth in Action program organized by E-Juniors about creativity in entrepreneurship and its importance in the realization of a project. It was really interesting since all participants came from different backgrounds and countries and, therefore, had different way to approach a topic. We had several workshops to think together about these issues. It was great.

We thank very much Hanna for her testimony, wishing Hanna good luck for all her projects.

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Entrepreneurial education – Non-formal training in Bulgaria

On 3 March 2010 The European Commission presented Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (COM (2010) 2020), whose key initiative “Youth on the move” is aimed at improving the performance of education systems and facilitating the entry of young people into the labor market.

Two key priorities for future policy and action of the Bulgarian Youth strategy 2010-2020 emerged: promoting entrepreneurship and innovation with regards to young people.

Despite the successful models and best practices in project “JOBS – Job Opportunities through Business Support”, project “Promotion of innovation activity among young people in Bulgaria – Technostart” and project “Creating Competitive Start-ups -Project 100″, the access to information, advisory services and financing for setting-up , education and development of entrepreneurial initiatives of young people is still limited.

Some young bulgarian entrepreneurs. Source: blog.up.co

Preparing ICT students to start a business

The projects “Education of young people in entrepreneurial skills to create a competitive small and medium businesses” and “Establishment and Development of Centers to promote entrepreneurship in higher education in Bulgaria” were implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

The project aims are to prepare students from the technological universities to start a business; assist in assessing the realization of technological ideas; study the market demand for their product and provide financial resources and support to companies of the newly graduated students.

In their work centers on entrepreneurship well aware that isolation from the problems of the real business and closing only in the academic environment and training will not lead to the achievement of their goals. Therefore, each center on the basis of their experience and vision of development has its own system for connection with a real life.

Business centers to increase employment

Project “JOBS Job Opportunities through Business Support” is implemented as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the JOBS business centers. Its main objective is to surmount the high and increasing level of structural unemployment in Bulgaria and to increase the level of employment throughout the country by developing business centers, registered as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which will provide technical and financial assistance to the emerging private sector. The Project aims at demonstrating a replicable model for employment generation through stimulation and creation of micro and small enterprises.

Students submit business idea to win a grant

The Project “Promotion of innovation activity among young people in Bulgaria – Technostart” is implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism in cooperation with the United Nations development and JOBS Business Centers. The project aims to encourage young entrepreneurs – students, phD and graduates in the earliest stage of the entrepreneurial cycle – they have the chance to submit a business idea and win a grant of up to 20 000 BGN. In order to obtain the funding for the project, each applicant, after approval of his business plan, must register a company at the Registry Agency.

In addition, non-formal education in Bulgaria is in the process of development.

Other actions to increase students motivation to start a business

At the end of 2014 in Bulgaria will start system for the recognition of formal and informal knowledge, skills and competencies developed and tested within the project “New opportunities for my future”, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministry of Education) and funded by the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development”.

For the successful implementation of the activities in the process of preparation are attracted representatives of key stakeholders – the social partners, the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

The system allows to issue a document to prove the acquired outside formal education professional knowledge and skills. This will:

  • Increase the motivation of the workforce to maintain and enhance skills, and hence – to increase its competitiveness in the labor market;
  • Facilitating labor mobility – both within the country and abroad;
  • Improving the process of recruitment;
  • Achieving a high degree of objectivity in the evaluation of staff and career development;
  • More effective implementation of systems of differential wages;
  • Reduce the time and cost of organizing further training.
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Informal training programs on entrepreneurship in France

France used to be suffering from a lack of offer regarding entrepreneurship at school due to educational and ideological reasons. If this line of reasoning is not out dated yet, things are changing slowly.

The OPPE (Observatoire des pratiques pédagogiques en entreprenariat), tool created by public authorities in 2001, has evaluated and aim now to share and promote initiatives regarding entrepreneurship towards teachers, students, pupils, schools…

Source: entreprendre-pour-apprendre.fr

Cases studies on informal entrepreneurship education in France

More young people are planning to create a business or to lead one even though not creating it and want to do it in the next coming years.

Some cases studies beyond education:

  • Entreprendre pour apprendre, the mini-business, a federation of regional associations in France whose goal is to promote economical life in schools;
  • 100 000 entrepreneurs, association that aims to spread entrepreneurship culture toward youngsters aged from 13 until 25;
  • MoovJee, association created in 2009 that aims to help young people to consider entrepreneurship as a real career after their education training;
  • Petit Poucet, providing support to students who want to create their own business.

Youth in Action, an informal training on creativity in entrepreneurship

Beside these activities, some actors are proposing different programs to develop entrepreneurship culture. For instance, EU programs Youth in Action. E-Juniors has hosted an informal training about creativity in entrepreneurship in June 2014.

Below, an interview with one of the participants:
Hello, could you introduce you, please?
Hello, my name is Céline Guignard. After graduating my bachelor in biology, I have decided to focus on agronomy. I entered in an engineer school dedicated to the topic, AgroParisTech. During my studies, I had the opportunity to study in Spain thanks to the Erasmus program and to have several internships abroad (USA, Chile).

Do you think about starting you own business or taking over a company in a next future?
This is a seducing idea but my project still need to evolve (it is still just an idea!)

During your educational experience, did you have any training about entrepreneurship?
No, not specifically but I know that there is an existing association about this topic at AgroParisTech.

Did you ever experience a non-formal training about entrepreneurship ?
Yes, in June 2014, in Saumur (France), I had a training called Value +, organized by E-Juniors association.

And what did you learn from it?
It has been an enriched training with very interesting trainers. Concepts such as creativity, working as a team, personal and professional development were presented to is in a unusual but pedagogical way. I was really satisfied of this training. It has allowed me to discover new ideas and to re-think tools and methodologies needed in the professional life

Thank you very much Céline for your feedback and good luck for your projects.

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Spirit of entrepreneur – Three success stories from Germany

The decision to start an own business is normally made after a thorough consideration of all opportunities and risks and not simply on instinct. It seems clear that a good business idea is not enough to be successful. Even professional skills – no matter if within the technical, artistic or economic field – are important but absolutely not sufficient. So what is still missing to identify the candidate who will make it on the ladder of success? Frequently you may hear of the „spirit of an entrepreneur“ that makes a difference – personality counts! To analyse the personal prerequisites for starting a business, we will have a look at three short success stories of entrepreneurs from the region East-Westphalia-Lippe in Germany. All three intensively prepared for their start-up and participated in a regional business plan competition.

First story – Mecondo GmbH from Rietberg

Mecondo is the melodious name of a young enterprise that regards itself as the “first contact for metal design for gardens and landscapes. The founders Annette Berenbrink and Bernd Voltmann participated already in two business plan competitions and were awarded with the third price in both of them. The thoroughly established business plan was worth because even in year three sales still were in line with the planned numbers. The diverse and elaborate products like sight protection walls, water objects and sculptures etc. found their lovers within the gardening and landscape architecture industry. To reach the market in Northern and Southern Germany as well as foreign countries, especially France, Belgium, Norway, Austria and Switzerland, Mecondo cooperates with five trade agencies. The rest of Germany is served directly from the location in Rietberg and Gütersloh.

One of the gardening design products by Mecondo. Source: mecondo.de

Starting the business from a position of being unemployed was a courageous step for the two managing directors. The know-how of their former professional background as a graphic designer (Annette Berenbrink) and a technician (Bernd Voltmann) was the basis for developing innovative products. At this point the two of them were the first on the market developing artistic metal products for gardening and landscape architecture. Compared to their former status of being salaried employed, they appreciate a lot the higher level of flexibility and freedom – even if the work load of being self-employed is regarded to be extreme. The experience of mentoring was regarded as very valuable as they learned to focus all their efforts on the core message of their enterprise. Further support was granted by the municipal office for business support in the district of Gütersloh that helped with all the official and bureaucratic issues. Up till now two employees – one full-time for production/distribution, one part-time for office work – support the young company. And now it’s about not giving up and keep on growing! Link – www.mecondo.de

Second story – ECOSUS® from Augustdorf

Matthias Hölscher is a forester. His product development leads us into the area of soil amendments and growing media. Peat-free mixtures of substrates based on organic charcoal (“biochar”) increase soil fertility in the garden. The products include organic potting soil and organic soil improver. Production takes place in cooperation with farming operations and is based on environment-friendly, closed substance cycles according to the so-called “terra preta principle”. The products are primarily sold directly and delivered to agricultural shops, retail shops and hopefully soon to wholesalers for organic products and mail-order shops for high-quality products.

Products by Ecosus before the delivery. Source: ecosus.de

Hölscher started the business on the side of his regular job and is satisfied that his main job covers him financially so that he is not dependent on loan capital. Besides being a civil servant, he enjoys the development of his own products in line with market requirements and by this having an impact. From the business plan competition he could learn a lot. The general management of the company ECOSUS is now taken over by Hendrik Andrae coming from the field of agribusiness management. There is a gap in the funding system for young entrepreneurs, as Hölscher recognised. A lot of funding programmes are only addressed to larger and well-established companies. If you have no capital reserves, starting a business is still difficult, even in Germany. According to him the personality of an entrepreneur is characterised by perseverance, a realistic view, authenticity and flexibility. To him it is very important that a founder of a business sets him-/herself a personal maximum limit for which one is ready to work. If the objective is not achieved, one should also be ready to take the necessary steps. But ECOSUS laid a good foundation. Right now scientific research is carried out to further prove the quality of the products. The results can serve additional proofs and facts to convince end consumers. Link – www.ecosus.de

Third story – VELOfactur GmbH from Hüllhorst

i:SYs is an extraordinary 20 inch compact bicycle that is perfect for rent and the use in companies. End customers are of course also addressed. After being part-time self-employed, in 2011 Rüdiger Wiele together with Martin Kuhlmeier founded the company VELOfactur GmbH. Looking back, Wiele appreciates the personal development and all the new experiences that he has made since then.

i:SYs, the 20 inch compact bicycle made by VELOfactur GmbH. Source: isy.de

Rüdiger Wiele describes the successful sort of entrepreneur as being someone who believes in him- or herself, who has perseverance and can also cope with backward steps or failures. There is a need of high level identification with the business. Earning money should not be the first priority. The financial insecurity as well as the work load of a business founder should be considered beforehand. As positive factors he evaluates all the possibilities for self-fulfilment and the chance to start the business together with a partner. While Wiele himself is strong in the area of sales and organisation, his partner Martin Kuhlmeier contributes with the technical know-how. There are disadvantages resulting from the friction of two different leader personalities, but this can also be regarded as a maturing process to reach a consensus within a partnership. VELOfactur also initiates a lot of new projects and follows a number of new ways to bring the company forward. Wiele sees the necessity for improvement in the situation of entrepreneurs in Germany as it is difficult to get liquidity and subsidies. As an important support structure he mentions business angels and the mentoring service from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Bielefeld. Furthermore, the own position seen by the credit institute or the trust of the bank to the company should not be neglected. Links – www.isy.de | www.velofactur.de

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Trust, the word that will save young entrepreneurs in tourism

Sabri Kuçukdurmus is a young Turkish entrepreneur involved in the field of tourism with his agency, Jolly Tour. He was born in 1990 in Konya, a city in the Central Anatolia region. He lives there with his wife and they have a child. He graduated from Vocational High School of Tourism and Aydın Didim Vocational School, department of Tourism, Travel and Agency. He has been working in tourism sector for 8 years. He has been the owner of a tourism agency for 8 months. Besides, He is a member of administrative board of TURSAB (association of Turkish Travel Agencies) and a member of Active Businessmen Association. He is fond of working in the area of Tourism. In his spare time, he loves playing Football and watching it. Further, he likes spending time with his family.

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Sabri Kuçukdurmus in his office in the city of Kunya, Turkey

He thinks that young entrepreneurs should be supported and it is necessary to smooth the way for them, for that we did him some questions about his experience as a young entrepreneur to understand how the situation is for young tourism entrepreneurs.

Hi Sabri, welcome to the Stupcom blog. Please describe your job
Well, we provide the transfer of Turkish guests from certain point to a certain place. That is to say we are Domestic Tourism agents. And also, we do sell airplane ticket and high-speed train ticket. In addition to all these, I can say that our main work is accommodation. Apart from these, we organize domestic and foreign tours and their accommodations and car rental business. Furthermore, we offer health tourism.

How long have you been working in this field?
I have been working for 8 months. However, I have been dealing with tourism business actively for almost 10 years.

How did you decide to do this job?
As a matter of fact, I graduated from the department of Tourism, Travel and Agency which is the school of this job. At the same time, it is a job that I like. Once, I was already working in another agency.

What are the difficulties of your job?
The most difficult side of my job is the busy period that we encounter. We have a difficulty in finding a place for our customers in the most busy period especially in summer season. And also, the delay of tour and transfer planes due to the weather conditions is the leading difficulty that we encounter.

Who supported you to do this job?
First of all, my family supported me materially and spiritually from the beginning of the process until now. My co-partner, the owner of Yaman Building, offered me to do this job.Consequently, we started this job with the material support of my co-partner and my experiences in this field. Thus, I did not use to take Bank borrowing.

Ara you happy with your work materially and spiritually?
When we first started this job, we were not satisfied with the process of establishment as it is seen in every company, but now, it does. That is, we think that we receive the recompense for our work. Firstly, we love our job, and we do our work enthusiastically. We meet so many people. We are working hard in order to succeed for our prestige. In addition, our agency is connected to a large company that serves throughout Turkey and this provides us respectability.

Do you receive feedback from your customers?  
Firstly, I can say that customer dissatisfaction is minute amount. We know and understand how a holiday our customers want. First we learn the district that our customers prefer and or the place where they took holiday before. Besides,we know all the institutions for which we work because we go and see them. At the beginning of the season, we visit all the hotels thanks to the info tours arranged by Jolly Tour (the agency of Sabri, editor’s note) general centre. Thus, the hotels we recommend to our customers would be the ones that we really know.

The tours that we arrange to abroad, are our pocket tours and they have a certain standart. If we come to your question about feedback, we call all our guests at the end of the travel and poll the satisfactation level. Already we owe the 99% of our success to this. Besides all these although we work as 3-4 persons in this agency that you see , there is a team of 300-400 persons in the centre of this job. We have offices in all countries that we arrange tours in abroad. We have a working agent in each hotel. All these bring us in to the forefront in customer satisfaction.

How do you see the future of your job?
From our point of view, we see its future promising. Our goal is to be the best among 110 tourism agencies that do this job in Konya. Although, technological developments such as internet seem to be negative for our job in the future, in my opinion, depending on the trust that is given to people for a good holiday and satisfaction still and in the future, our job is promising a good future.

Posted by Stupcom  |  0 Comment  |  in Blog, Case Studies
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