"Setting-up | taking over | securing businesses" – these are the current fields of work of the IQ Competence Centre on Migrant Entrepreneurship. We focus on migrants already living in Germany, as well as on those who come to Germany as professionals or refugees.
We want to give you an impression of the many facets of migrant entrepreneurship. Since the beginning of the millennium, start-ups by migrants have experienced a boom that has largely gone unnoticed by the general public and academic discourse. Migrants are responsible for about 50 percent of all start-ups and account for approximately 20 percent of all self-employed persons registered in Germany.
Their higher-than-average start-up rate and variety is evident in various sectors: they include doctors and tax consultants as well as kebab shop and nail studio owners. Social entrepreneurs are also no exception, as our portraits show.
In spite of all the euphoria, immigrants have to overcome significant obstacles on their way to self-employment. These range from access to information on self-employment and legal requirements regarding their residency status to the recruitment of skilled workers and apprentices and the transfer of companies to suitable successors.
These challenges need to be faced and appropriate concepts have to be made available. We can rely on tools developed together with colleagues, inlcuding the ideal-typical startup process, the multi-lingual dossier on terms relating to startup support, the seminar for individual and target group specific consulting. Migration-specific instruments for the consolidation of companies and company succession are currently being developed.
Our initiatives also focus on the high number of international students in Germany: Students, graduates and skilled workers from non-EU countries are still barely regarded as potential entrepreneurs. Therefore, we started the website "We're Setting up Business in Germany" in order to provide prospective entrepreneurs with ongoing support.
In the case of refugees, it is not just qualified specialists who are coming to Germany, but also many people with entrepreneurial experience. Their entrepreneurial drive was significantly higher in many countries of origin than in Germany. Voices that are hoping for a new entrepreneurial boom in Germany are becoming loud. How can this development be addressed? Based on our experience, we want to find new ways to meet the requirements of refugees.
Our work and the good practice arising from it do not remain hidden. They are made accessible to the general public thanks to our ongoing dialogue with practicioners, politics, public administration and academia. To this end, we have organised the "Expert Forum on Migrant Economy" as a platform for current issues and developments relating to migrant entrepreneurship in Germany.