EUR 45,000 in start-up aid for social entrepreneurs in Germany

This year, the “Special Impact Award” ceremony was held in the recently opened Villa 102. KfW Stiftung and Social Impact gGmbH conferred the award for social entrepreneurs to flagship projects under the “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland” and “AndersGründer” support programmes. With their business models, the grant holders aim to tackle many different social and societal problems through sustainable and scalable business solutions. The teams received training in five Social Impact Labs located across Germany. The awards were presented by distinguished personalities including the patron of the programme; the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, represented by Dr Matthias Koehler; Sylvia Weber, City Councillor for Integration and Education in Frankfurt/Main; Dr Ingrid Hengster, Board of KfW and of KfW Stiftung; and Norbert Kunz, Managing Director of Social Impact gGmbH.

  1. In the “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland” category, the “Special Impact Award” including EUR 20,000 in prize money for the development of outstanding innovative and (social) entrepreneurial solutions improving refugees’ access to education, training and the job market in Germany is awarded to the team “Bridges – Musik verbindet” in Frankfurt. The initiative brings together professional musicians with and without a refugee background on an equal level, generates opportunities for employment through concerts and teaching assignments, and promotes intercultural dialogue. In addition, “Bridges – Musik verbindet” campaigns for fair payment for professional musicians.
  2. In the “AndersGründer” category, a prize of EUR 20,000 is awarded to the Duisburg-based team “1001plateau” for the development of a solution to a social problem and the translation of the idea into a sustainable business model. It offers psychosocial assistance to people who feel in need of support and are queer, trans- or intersexual. In addition, 1001plateau is dedicated to strengthening the idea of sexual diversity in public discourse in order to eliminate prejudice and discrimination.
  3. In the “Community Award”category, selected by the online community of the two grant programmes “AndersGründer” and “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland”, the prize of EUR 5,000 is awarded to the project “ZuBaKa” in Frankfurt. Providing a “Toolkit to secure the future of newly arrived refugees”, the team helps young immigrants and refugees to start school or enter a profession successfully and participate in society. Together with schools and other local institutions, the foundation for successful integration is thus laid.

The guests at the award ceremony could get a first-hand impression of the social impact made by the social entrepreneurs with their business ideas about how to solve the challenges faced by society today. In three panel discussions with prominent representatives from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and the City of Frankfurt/Main, the grant holders from previous years discussed the whole spectrum of business solutions. They focused on three key topics: “opportunities for the economic integration of refugees through new start-up businesses”, “particular challenges in integrating female refugees” and “refugees and people who are at home here – a change of perspective”. The journalist and evening’s host Hatice Akyün got involved in the discussion by sharing her own personal story of migration. At the accompanying social start-up exhibition, the teams sponsored by KfW Stiftung presented a great variety of business ideas.

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