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Startup-Beratung im betahaus Hamburg © C. O. Bruch

More State Funds For Founders

Hamburg Employment Agency helps unemployed locals to start their own company with total funds of 15.2 million euro

In Hamburg, unemployed persons are entitled and encouraged to apply for a “start-up grant” (GZ). Under this funding scheme, the Hamburg Employment Agency paid out more than 13.5 million euro last year . For the current year, the employment agency even increased its budget by 1.7 million euro or 12.5 per cent to a total of 15.2 million euro.

Help For Moving From Benefits To Work

“The new enterprise allowance is an important instrument of active labour market policies. In 2013, we paid the financial subsidy to 1,249 entrepreneurs. In 2014, their number has risen to 1,400, e.g. an increase of 151 persons or 12.1 percent. Month after month, 115 unemployed people venture into self-employment”, says Sönke Fock, CEO of the Hamburg Employment Agency. A 2012 study by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) confirms that the start-up allowance is a successful tool. After 15 months, 80 per cent of the founders were still on the market. “This is a very good result and speaks not only of good ideas, but also for rock-solid planning and implementation. Quite a few startups soon also need new employees or employees, and thus relief the labour market even more.”

Two phases of funding

Once a candidate has drawn up a business plan that has been approved, the first phase of funding starts, with former benefits now being paid out as enterprise allowance over a period of six months. During this time, the start-up grant will be complemented by a second monthly payment of 300 euro to cover social security. After six months, the viability of the concept and the results achieved will be once again assessed by the Hamburg Employment Agency. Following positive approval, support will be continued for further nine months, but reduced to a monthly payment of 300 euro for social security.

Regular GZ Information Sessions:

Monthly meetings for unemployed provide an initial overview of the prerequisites for GZ-promotion: application procedures and deadlines, amount of funding, business ideas, budget plans, business registration, etc. The next dates:
• 25 March 2015
• 29 April 2015
• 7 May 2015
• 17 June 2015
• 22 July 2015
To participate, please register at one of Hamburg’s local branches of the Hamburg Employment Agency.

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