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From language course to start-up: InnoSÜD and Institute for Education launch start-up mentoring for migrant women

From language course to start-up: InnoSÜD and Institute for Education launch start-up mentoring for migrant women

by D. Barsch | Oct 20, 2020 | Activities, Foundation, Gründungsmentoring_Frauen, HNU, Press Releases | 0 Comments

Language course

[Neu-Ulm/Ulm] – "More than 70 percent of new companies in Germany are founded by men," reports Prof. Dr. Julia Künkele, who heads the InnoSÜD subproject at Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences. "The career aspiration "founder" is hardly present among women – they prefer professional and financial security." However, the specialist for leadership understanding wants to show that founding a company can also be an opportunity, especially for women, with start-up mentoring. And in doing so, he came across a group that is even less likely to be founded: migrant women.

In addition to the challenges that most founders face, they also face other hurdles – first and foremost the language. That is why the Institut für Bildung und Sprachen GmbH is a partner in the project, offering language and integration courses at eight locations in the region. The project participants attend such courses there; some of them have only been in Germany for a few months and are still learning the language. "We are the first point of contact for women here in the country," explains founder and managing director Meltem Madenci. She also understands from her own experience what concerns the participants: "I started my own business with the Institute of Education and Languages 15 years ago and I know how difficult this is. But we need the potential that lies dormant in women."

There is no shortage of business ideas for women, as the round of introductions reveals. Restaurant, IT consulting company, beauty salon or intercultural meeting café: Some of the project participants already come to the kick-off event with concrete start-up projects. You have many questions: What do I have to consider when founding a company? Do I need permission for my business idea? Is there any financial support?

These questions will be clarified in the course of the project. The team is therefore supported by management consultant Hildegard Kuch-Kuthe and business coach Manuela Orlowitsch, who advise women on founding a company. At the kick-off workshop, they gave the participants the most important questions that need to be clarified for a start-up – above all the question: "Why do you want to start a business?"

The answers are manifold: A course participant from Hungary wants to work flexibly and self-determined as an IT consultant and not be obliged to a boss. A participant from Afghanistan wants to use a restaurant to refute the widespread prejudice in her home country that women cannot run a business alone. A third participant comes from Ukraine and is actually a consultant, but would like to turn her hobby into a profession with a nail salon.

One wish unites all participants: to build up a new, independent existence with the foundation here in Germany. The foreign language, culture and bureaucracy are an obstacle – but many also hope that they will have opportunities here in Germany that they did not have before. Meltem Madenci also observes this hope: "Among other things, the women express the desire for independence. I see a change in the way of thinking, for example with regard to male and female roles – it is no longer just men who become self-employed. I wasn't aware of this thinking 15 years ago."

In order to seize this opportunity and put their plans into practice, the women will be supported with further seminars and individual mentoring in the coming months; Experts provide input and assistance in all aspects of founding a company. And: The participants are integrated into a network of women who support each other.

The project is planned for 2 years for the time being. "If it is successful, it could possibly be extended to other integration courses," says Prof. Dr. Künkele.

Text: Dorothee Barsch, InnoSÜD-Wissenschaftskommunikation | InnoSüd, Intern, 20 October 2020

Note: The photo was taken at an event in September in Ulm in compliance with the corona regulations of the state of Baden-Württemberg valid at that time.  

Südwest Presse (Ulm) | 30 October 2020: From language course to your own startup

From a language course to your own startup

Südwest Presse (Ulm) | 30 October 2020 | Juh

The Innosüd university network helps migrant women to realize their business ideas. As the association announces, the project was launched in September at the Institute of Education. In the coming months, 12 participants will be prepared for the start-up of the company. The women bring different business ideas with them: from the opening of an Afghan restaurant to the beauty salon. Project manager Julia Künkele says that the project is intended to offer women a chance that they did not have before.

Language course

Note: The photo was taken at an event in September in Ulm in compliance with the corona regulations of the state of Baden-Württemberg valid at that time.  

Text: Südwestpresse, 30 October 2020

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