Social and sustainable entrepreneurship: for a sustainable economy

Sustainability is not just a trend; it is a necessity. Founders in particular make their contribution with sustainable ideas. Here you will find special support offers for companies with a focus on ecology and equity.

Many founders in North Rhine-Westphalia want to exemplify social responsibility. This is how entrepreneurship can be sustainable and successful in the long term. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia supports the spread of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and promotes CSR competence centres in particular.

‘’ is the first state-wide centre for business and digital responsibility in North Rhine-Westphalia and an ideal contact for start-ups. In addition to a broad programme of workshops and information events, also offers a comprehensive network of companies with expertise in sustainability and responsibility.

The topics of CSR and sustainability are also anchored regionally. The Ostwestfalen-Lippe region, for example, has its own CSR competence centre with a focus on ‘CSR 4.0’.

Further information on the CSR competence centres is available here.

The regional starter centres in North Rhine-Westphalia offer special advice for founders promoting sustainable business ideas, and have advisors with special expertise on social and sustainable start-ups.

NRW.BANK has opened the largest development loan in terms of volume, NRW.BANK Universalkredit, (information in German only).

Companies that are specifically dedicated to the environmental economy can use the start-up competition KUER (information in German only). Receive support from and in North Rhine-Westphalia. Specialists and coaches from the fields of climate, environment, energy efficiency and resource conservation help with the start-up from the idea to the market launch.

Acting sustainably for a sustainable North Rhine-Westphalia

More and more often, founders are making a contribution to a sustainable world with their innovative business model – according to the German Start-up Monitor, every third company sees itself as part of the ‘green economy’. As many as 38 per cent of companies state that they do not primarily strive for profit maximization, but want to solve a social problem.

North Rhine-Westphalia is an attractive location for social and ecological founders.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has set itself specific goals: in addition to the expansion of renewable energies, 420,000 people are to be active in the environmental economy by 2025. The recycling rate should and will also increase.

The starting points for start-ups are diverse. These state founding institutions are happy to advise on how sustainability and business goals can go hand in hand.