Strengthening the start-up intensity in Münsterland and tapping into completely new target groups and potentials in the process: These are the goals of the project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland. Until October 2022, the project with a volume of around 1.16 million euros will focus on two important areas in Münsterland: School and business succession. In response to the restrictions surrounding the Corona pandemic, digital offerings such as podcasts and online seminars also play an important role. The Münster district government recently approved funding for Münsterland e.V. and the project partners involved for this purpose.
"On the one hand, we want to start directly with the young people. They are often full of innovative ideas that are worth taking a closer look at," emphasises Klaus Ehling, board member of Münsterland e.V. "At the same time, it is important that established companies remain in the market and find a committed successor. This is the only way we can continue to keep the Münsterland economic region attractive and encourage people to take the step into self-employment."
The project creates opportunities for interested parties to exchange ideas with like-minded people in workshops, to participate in virtual seminars, or to be inspired by practical examples around the topic of business succession in a podcast. However, the restrictions around the Corona pandemic pose challenges for those responsible for the project. "Motivating people for business succession is not an easy task in these times of crisis, but it is all the more important in order to secure the existence of businesses in Münsterland in the long term," emphasises Frank Sibbing, project manager of Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland at Münsterland e.V..
Networking events are also planned, where participants can meet interesting people from the scene, exchange ideas and benefit from relevant experiences. However, since such events are not possible at the moment, the project team is now concentrating on digital offerings for the time being: Interviews have already been conducted for a podcast on the topic of business succession, and the first online seminars are to go online soon. All information on this can be found at www.youngstarts-muensterland.com.
In addition, the project wants to show pupils that starting a business can also be a possible career option after training or studying. The young people are to approach the topic in full- or half-day workshops - and at special locations outside of school. The workshops are aimed at pupils from the tenth grade onwards in Münster and the district of Warendorf. "Because of the current situation, however, the earliest we can start with this is next school year," explains project worker Katharina Stemmer. "If the situation gets worse, we will have to change the concept and think about digital alternatives."
Later in the project, so-called summits are planned - events with several lectures and workshops on one topic. The young people can also present their start-up ideas here and meet other personalities from the field of start-ups. In addition, the "Gründergeist" business plan competition, already established from the previous project Gründergeist@Münsterland, is to be continued and expanded to include the "school" category - if the future permits with a view to the Corona pandemic.
The project is funded by the European Union and the NRW Ministry of Economics within the framework of the ERDF call "Regio.NRW". Münsterland e.V. is implementing it as lead partner together with the following partners: Wirtschaftsförderung Kreis Coesfeld GmbH (wfc), Wirtschaftsförderung im Kreis Warendorf (gfw), Technologieförderung Münster GmbH, TAFH Münster GmbH, Wirtschaftsförderungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft Steinfurt mbH (WESt), Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft für den Kreis Borken mbH (WFG), IHK Nord Westfalen and Handwerkskammer Münster.