Advice and support for start-up projects is one of the main focuses of Bonn's business development department. Those interested in setting up a business are supported with free and competent advice during the preparation of the business plan and are informed by the start-up advice team on topics such as market analysis, choice of location, pricing and financing. Reviewing the business plans and issuing "positive statements on economic viability" for submission to the employment agency or job center is also part of the consulting service. In 2020, a total of 229 start-up projects received individual support.
The workshops and network meetings held in 2020, some of which were digital or hybrid, were also well received, with around 900 people interested in starting a business taking part.
BonnProfits Start Up Services
The BonnProfits Start Up Services initiative aims in particular to promote knowledge-intensive services and increase the rate of self-employment among women. For more than 10 years, the Bonn Economic Development Office and Sparkasse KölnBonn have thus been working together to activate the start-up potential in the city of Bonn. Offers tailored to the target groups, such as small-scale office space, qualification, consulting and coaching modules provide support in the start-up phase as well as in the development of the company. With the web and social media presence, founders and startups are regularly provided with current information.
In 2020, the following activities were implemented by BonnProfits Start Up Services:
Innovation and Start-up Centre (IGZ)
The BonnProfits - Innovation and Start-up Center at Godesberger Allee 139 in Bonn has been in existence since January 2011 and has established itself as a renowned address for start-ups with know-how. The high-quality and affordable office space in a central location offers young companies the best conditions for a successful start. A healthy mix of industries from the field of knowledge-intensive services as well as an extensive range of consulting and events make the IGZ an interesting partner for start-ups.
Workshop series "Expanding competencies"
The workshop series was aimed specifically at female founders and entrepreneurs. With topics such as successful positioning or the optimization of personal and media corporate presence, both women who are at the beginning of their self-employment and women entrepreneurs who are reorienting themselves are addressed. In addition to imparting knowledge, the workshops serve to promote the exchange and networking of women entrepreneurs. Last year, a total of around 70 women took part in the series of workshops, some of which were conducted digitally.
BonnProfits Presentation Workshop
In these one-day workshops, the Economic Development Office, together with Sparkasse KölnBonn, and the University of Bonn provide a person as a coach and work with eight start-up personalities for a day on their appearance and company presentation. In 2020, only one attendance date could be realized due to Corona.
Exchange of experience for female founders
Networking plays an important role in the goal of increasing the proportion of women among the self-employed.
For regular exchange and as a platform for presenting their business ideas, this format serves women in the start-up and development phase. In the second half of 2020, digital meetings could be organized, which proved helpful in the stressful situation for many. Between 15 and 25 female participants take advantage of this offer.
Bonn/ Rhine-Sieg start-up network
The Economic Development Office is a member of the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Start-up Network, which was founded to implement the NRW Start-up Scholarship.NRW funding program. A representative of the founding team participates as a voting member of the jury.
At each of the 5 jury meetings, 6 founding teams or applicants applied for the NRW funding with their pitches.
Consultants' Network/ Founders' Days
The "Beraterinnen-Netzwerk Bonn/Rhein-Sieg" (Bonn/Rhine-Sieg Network of Women Consultants), which has been in existence for more than 20 years, aims to increase the proportion of women in the start-up scene (still at 40%). As an association of experts from institutions and self-employed female consultants, the network supports women in starting up and building up their businesses and brings female entrepreneurs into the public eye. As in previous years, the network organized two (hybrid) events with expert presentations, a roundtable discussion and topic-related brief consultations.
Cooperation with the University of Bonn
The Bonn Economic Development Office continued to be involved with the implementation of a business plan workshop and in the jury for the study module "Business start-ups in agricultural and food science".
As part of the digitally conducted career day of the Career Center of the University of Bonn, the lecture "From university to self-employment - with a subsequent Q&A session was very well received with about 80 participants.