About us: #GründenNRW

For a competitive and vibrant start-up in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to provide entrepreneurs with the best possible conditions to pave their way towards self-employment.

For this reason, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia has set up ‘Gründen NRW’ – a state initiative that heralds an era of new business start-ups.

In an age when markets are expanding with ever-increasing speed and increasingly specific niches are emerging, business founders need support and a wealth of advice.

To ensure that businesses receive the best possible information, advice and support, and an environment in which they can make continuous progress, the ‘Gründen NRW’ initiative is based on ten pillars:

Ten pillars of the ‘Gründen NRW’ initiative

  • A mind map labelled Start Up

    1 - Simplifying start-ups

    Starting up a business in North Rhine-Westphalia needs to be as easy as possible. We want the state to have as few bureaucratic hurdles for business start-ups as possible.

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  • Fists bumping over a desk

    2 - Inspiring start-ups

    Within the next five years, we want to climb the ranks to become one of the top three states in Germany with the highest number of start-ups, and we want to generate the most start-ups across the country on an annual basis.

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  • A woman typing on a laptop

    3 - Power to female enterprise

    We want to encourage more women to take the plunge in setting up their own business. We want North Rhine-Westphalia to be Germany’s leader for female enterprise. By 2025, we also want to increase the proportion of women starting their own business to 33 per cent.

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  • A tree in the hand of a person

    4 - Establishing a financial foundation

    Every promising start-up in North Rhine-Westphalia should be able to find the necessary initial capital.

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  • A shining light bulb

    5 - Strengthening the start-up ecosystem in North Rhine-Westphalia

    North Rhine-Westphalia should be one of the leading hotspots for start-ups in Germany and Europe.

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  • A surface of red LEDs

    6 - Specific funding for start-ups in future-oriented industries

    In future, North Rhine-Westphalia should be one of the leading B2B locations for start-ups throughout Germany. We are investing specifically in infrastructure to support this growth potential in recognised industries and technologies. Start-ups should benefit as much as possible from the strengths of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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  • A bookshelf in a library

    7 - Developing our higher education institutions to become the leading academies for start-ups in Germany

    We want to significantly increase the start-up activities in our universities and colleges. At least three higher education institutions need to be in the national top ten. Our intention is for the number of spin-offs to increase by at least 50 per cent by 2024. The federal EXIST-Gründerstipendium grant scheme for start-ups should ensure that North Rhine-Westphalia climbs to rank among the top three federal states within the next five years.

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  • Euro coins

    Das ist eine Test-Beschreibung.

    8 - Transforming North Rhine-Westphalia into a hotspot for venture capital

    North Rhine-Westphalia needs to attract more venture capital. The investment of venture capital in start-ups should increase to half a billion euros by 2022 and thus increase five-fold compared with 2017.

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  • People watching a sunset

    9 - Increasing consideration of the environment and social aspects in start-ups

    North Rhine-Westphalia needs to be the most appealing location for socially and environmentally oriented start-up teams.

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  • Keys and a wallet on a table

    10 - Ensuring business succession

    All successful owner-managed businesses in North Rhine-Westphalia need to find suitable successors for exiting business managers.

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The state government has created the Neue Gründerzeit Nordrhein-Westfalen’ concept (in German only) with the objective of strategically positioning the region for business start-ups. The aim is to further improve the climate for start-ups and to generate the most start-ups in Germany in the next five years. The Minister for the Economy and Digitisation, Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, together with partners within the state, has presented a joint statement. In this statement, the group sets out the areas of focus for the collaboration and agrees on the key measures for implementing a ‘Neue Gründerzeit Nordrhein-Westfalen’ initiative.

The concept of “Neue Gründerzeit” in North Rhine-Westphalia was published together with the Joint Declaration on the Neue Gründerzeit in North Rhine-Westphalia on 18 July 2019.

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