The Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides advice on starting your own business

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Of: Paul Broeker


Oliver Stöhr and Miriam Postlep from IHK Kassel-Marburg © Paul Bröker

In the 100 Days project, we show how young people help Kassel. New start-up groups are changing the city, but they also need support – for example from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Kassel – We have already shown how new startups are enriching Kassel. SoLocal Energy and Veload companies focus on sustainability. Veload builds a cargo bike, SoLocal Energy wants to advance the energy transition on a small scale – with balcony power stations.

The two start-ups were able to draw help from the Science Park. This is connected to the University of Kassel as a business incubator. Here young entrepreneurs get advice on how to develop their start-up. Science Park funding can also be applied for. And there is plenty of office space that can be rented at attractive prices. A real stepping stone to self-employment.

100 days: The city beyond documenta

Kassel as a documenta city, home of Grimm, capital of raccoons, home of Hercules? Kassel is more. And that’s what we want to show. In the focus of the “100 days”, the HNA volunteers present, dedicated Kassel residents, exciting projects and hidden corners – in the newspaper, online and on our Instagram channel kassellive.

Founding doesn’t just happen at the university: the Chamber of Industry and Commerce is the contact point for all founders

But where can non-university founders turn? The local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) is one of the contact points for the challenges. IHK Kassel-Marburg offers various types of advice. “First of all, an introductory seminar that offers basic information in a two-hour format,” explains Oliver Stöhr, team leader in the area of ​​corporate promotion and location politics. “The second step is the personal interview.” Here, the topic of a business plan is often on the agenda.

“There was a bit of a drag on start-ups because of the coronavirus pandemic,” explains Stöhr. “In the meantime, though, we’re back to pre-coronavirus levels.” But the catering trade in particular has suffered, which is still reflected in the numbers. Besides trade and the service sector, it is one of the three sectors in which start-ups usually take place.

These are usually sole proprietorships. “The sole proprietorship is the formative start-up request, because it is also the simplest way to become self-employed,” says Oliver Stöhr.

Takeover as an alternative to setting up a new company: IHK advises successors

But the Chamber of Industry and Commerce does not only accompany start-ups. Miriam Postlep is responsible for corporate succession at IHK Kassel-Marburg. “In the Kassel region, 6,500 companies are set to expand in the coming years – mainly for age reasons,” Postlep reports. The IHK assumes that a third of entrepreneurs have problems finding a suitable successor.

“It’s no longer a given that kids are taking over the business.” Therefore, there is great potential for buying companies. “These are established, the business model works and employees can be hired,” explains Miriam Postlep. This is a strong argument, especially in times of shortage of skilled workers.

Unfortunately, starting a business is not always easy. “The biggest challenge for external stakeholders is to even find a company in the region that suits them,” says the IHK expert. “Our task then is to bring the successors and the entrepreneurs together.” It’s hard because it’s a very anonymous market. “As a rule, no one knows which companies are ready to deliver, as the offer profiles are published anonymously.” In addition, applicants often underestimate the financial effort and sometimes lack the qualifications to continue the chosen company. (Paul Broecker)

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