Enterprise passport

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The enterprise passport (Gründerpass) is a tool for planning, documenting and monitoring the progression of potential entrepreneurs along the different stages of setting up a business. The tool exists in paper and electronic forms.

Justification / context

Disadvantaged groups across Europe complain that they face a confusing maze of complicated procedures and support agencies which do not take into account their particular needs when they try to set up in business.

In response to this situation, the Verbund Enterprise EQUAL partnership developed a structured business support pathway for young people made up of four clearly defined stages:

  • profiling
  • planning
  • start-up
  • consolidation and growth.

Each stage involves the provision of a variable menu of services (counselling, training and qualification, mentoring and access to microcredit) which help young entrepreneurs to acquire the personal competences, skills and resources that are necessary for success.

However it is quite clear that all these services cannot be provided by just one organisation. It is necessary to orchestrate the inputs of grassroots youth organisations, mainstream business advisers and financial institutions into a tailor-made package of support for young people. Co-ordinating the services provided by different organisations and ensuring their quality for young people is major challenge.

To deal with this problem, Verbund Enterprise has created an Enterprise Passport which provides a clear and transparent road map of the progress made by the entrepreneur at each stage. With the help of a specific internet-based database software, the passport's structure and contents are displayed digitally. This enables users to plan, accompany, document and evaluate the start-up process over the four phases on an ongoing basis - independently of time and place. The system can be used to manage communication via mail and e-mail between the various partner organisations, the business starters and other external institutions. It also delivers statistic data on business starters, services taken and the different phases.

The Berlin Volksbank has accepted the enterprise passport as the central instrument to evaluate the performance of young business starters, and fast-tracks passport holders when they apply for a microloan. Several other business support institutions have expressed interest in using the passport, and the Berlin and German governments are considering whether to develop a complementary coaching passport.

The four-stage model of business support has been accepted by VDG http://www.vdg-forum.de, the Verband Deutscher Gründungsinitiativen (National Association of Start-up Initiatives), a national association of more than 40 members supported by the Ministry for the Economy and Labour. VDG provides a forum for developing support instruments, disseminating innovative approaches, learning from each other and formulating quality standards. VDG also represents the interests of disadvantaged business starters and support initiatives in politics, administration and the general public.


Norbert Kunz
Muskauer Str. 24, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 611 34 29
E-mail: kunz@iq-consult.com
Website: http://www.enterprise-netz.de
Produced by: Verbund Enterprise - Junge Menschen auf dem Weg in die Selbständigkeit DP (DE-EA-22874)