Have you already had experience in setting up a business?

Then come and help others do the same!

Do you have sound knowledge of start-ups?

Then pass on your experience!

Would you like to do some voluntary work?

Then take on a mentoring partnership as a Gründerpaten and help refugees in Berlin-Brandenburg set up a business for themselves!

The project.

“Start-Up Your Future” is a pilot project of the Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland (WJD), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

It aims to help refugees in Berlin-Brandenburg to set up their own businesses. To give them support and offer them the option of self-employment, mentoring partnerships are formed with Gründerpaten.

Your mission as a Gründerpate.

As a Gründerpate, you will give voluntary support to refugees who want to set up their own businesses. By working with them, you will make a positive contribution towards integration by giving them the chance to participate in the economy. In concrete terms, this means that you:

  • offer them one-to-one support by sharing ideas and experience.
  • help them develop the personal qualities necessary for a business founder.
  • give them access to a network of business contacts.

We are looking for Gründerpaten.

We are looking for volunteers to become Gründerpaten – people who can offer their experience to help refugees set up their own businesses. Gründerpaten can be Wirtschaftsjunioren, entrepreneurs, students and people interested in start-ups, or employees in management positions who:

  • live or work in Berlin-Brandenburg
  • have a great entrepreneurial spirit
  • have knowledge of start-ups
  • are interested in meeting people from different cultures and enjoy networking

Your commitment

There are various options for Gründerpaten to get involved with helping refugees. Our project office will provide a basic structure, but the Gründerpaten and the prospective business founders are free to choose how they set up the details of the programme.

  • Job shadowing
    Scope: duration 2 weeks, 2 meetings with the prospective founder
    Give them an idea of German business culture!
  • Mentoring partnership
    Scope: duration 4 months, 8 meetings with the prospective founder, 2 hours/week
    Pass on your business knowledge!
  • Team and tandem start-ups
    Scope: duration 6 months, 24 meetings with the prospective founder
    Plan a joint start-up with a refugee.
  • Business takeover
    Scope: duration 4 months, 16 meetings with the prospective founder
    Are you looking for someone to take over your business? Then why not choose someone from another country!

What we can do for you.

Based on first interviews with yourself and with the prospective founders, we try to find a good match. We try to match your interests and needs with those of the prospective founders to the best possible extent. You will be given a Mentor Kit with an advice booklet and our code of practice for the mentoring partnership.

We will offer you intercultural training and will be there to answer your questions and give you support. We also rely on getting lots of feedback from you!

How to become a Gründerpate.

Send an e-Mail to startupyourfuture@wjd.de stating which of the options in the programme you are interested in. We also need to know your availability. Our project team will contact you to arrange a one-to-one interview – if the conditions are fulfilled, then we will initiate the matching process to pair you with a refugee. More information on joining the project can be found in our Q&A.

Do a good deed and tell your freinds and colleagues about the scheme.

Successful mentoring pairs may be chosen for our Best Practice Gallery in the coming weeks and months – if all those involved are in agreement. At the moment, we are also developing an “I am a Gründerpate” logo for our online Gründerpaten marketing campaign. More information on this to follow.

„As well as giving the prospective founders one-to-one advice and support, we as mentors also take a good and thorough look at their business idea. Every person is different, every business is different.”

Elisabeth Schwerdtner, Gründerpate and Wirtschaftsjuniorin

“As a Gründerpate, I am learning some important lessons for my own business. Sharing ideas and experiences with my protégé helps me to develop my intercultural competence.“

Paul Kündiger, Gründerpate and Wirtschaftsjunior