Start-up support for all from iq consult

Start-up support for all from iq consult

GermanyBerlin, Germany
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Start-up support services for specific target groups. Solving social challenges through entrepreneurship. Creating awareness and proposing solutions together with the civil society, private sector and decision-makers in public institutions.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The mainstream of start-up support programs on the market offer a very general approach on how business ideas have to be brought into live. For example very little attention is given to the personal knowledge, skills, experience, motivation etc. of the potential entrepreneurs. This leads many times to discriminations in the supply of equal entrepreneurial chances to some disadvantaged social groups (unemployed youth, migrants, people with disabilities) or specific types of entrepreneurs (social entrepreneurs, artists or people from the cultural world). The barriers to overcome are various and manifold and iq consult's goal is to knock them down working on all the spectrum of things that affects the life of an entrepreneur in its journey to a successful enterprise.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In order to provide an integrated and quality support service to these target groups many aspects of the start-up support products and services have to be redesigned. iq consult has developed since its foundation in 1994 innovative integrated start-up support solutions for specific target groups; starting with young unemployed people. The solution is basically set under four pillars: (1) the integration of the support processes for the different phases in the foundation of an enterprise into a single one; (2) professionalization of the actors dealing with this target groups to its specific needs (qualification and certification of business advisors); (3) the set-up of quality assurance mechanisms to assure that neither the entrepreneur nor the business idea are never left behind; and, (4) provision of added value services to overcome initial market entry barriers (co-working space, access to finance).
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Depending to which target group the potential entrepreneur belongs, he or she will be conducted to the appropriate support program. If he/she is a young unemployed under 28 years, he/she will enter into our “enterprise” support program. Here the entire program is specifically adapted to the needs of young unemployed. The process is divided in four phases: to oriented (assessment of personal aptitudes), to plan (training and business plan), to start (implementation of the business), and to grow (coaching, further qualification, networking). If the potential entrepreneur intends to start a social enterprise, then he/she will enter into our “social impact enterprise” program. Here the potential entrepreneurs will compete in our Idea-pitch events to get in our program. Those who get in will get four months of free coaching, advice, mentoring, training, access to networks and co-working space in our “social impact lab”. After these four months they will have to demonstrate the feasibility of their concepts in front of a jury of renowned actors in the social business scene. For successful social enterprises who already have demonstrated their financial and social viability on the market there is the option to enter into our “social impact localizer” program, where the aim is to geographically scale social enterprises. “enterability” for people with disabilities and “Lotsendienst” for migrants follow the same basic support concept as those described above. Additionally, a great effort is made in our policy advisory work to create the best framework for these groups.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Iq consult collaborates with a broad spectrum of organizations at national and European level, such as, foundations, financial institutions, private companies, social enterprises, academic institutions and associations. Regional and national ministries of labor as well as different European institutions play also a key role in our projects. Competitors in the market are incubators and support organizations for entrepreneurs that although their services are not oriented to specific target groups they cover part of their needs. Cannibalization of potential entrepreneurs to be supported between support organizations and incubators possess a mayor threat. To offer target group oriented services, together with a strong communication strategy will help differentiate from competitors.

Founding Story

Mr. Kunz’s mission is shaped by his own educational experience. Coming from an uneducated household, he learned what it means when you get a chance and good support. And, he wanted to pass that on! His first pilot project was centered in the training of disadvantaged young adults. Although all of the participants reached their qualification goals, they had no access into the working life. The light bulb moment was that when we no longer concentrated on unemployment and training, but on entrepreneurship. We were not disappointed. Our high quality support services lead to successful and sustainable star-ups. The positive experience with our young entrepreneurs, lead us to transfer the concept to other disadvantaged groups. Through our long work on creating awareness on politics and government, we have made a significant contribution to the improvement of start-up support programs in Germany.
About You
iq consult
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

iq consult

Organization Country

, BE, Berlin

Country where this project is creating social impact
Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity, Policy change/advocacy.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Our inclusive entrepreneurship projects have achieved a significant socio economic impact. As an example, these social impact figures of “enterprise” – start-up support for young unemployed:
In Berlin and Brandenburg, from 1999 to 2011; 7500 participants and 1800 start-ups; 70% still on the market creating 600 additional jobs; Benefit per start-up = 14 920 EUR; Cost per start-up = 5330 EUR; SROI = 2,8
“social impact enterprise” program in Berlin and Hamburg: more than 25 social entrepreneurial projects supported. So far four “idea-pitches” organized and hundreds of coaching and mentoring hours.
The incubator “social impact lab” in Berlin: more than 40 people working on social entrepreneurial projects every day. More than 10 thematic events organized to present successful stories of social entrepreneurs.
Our regional development projects also achieved great success empowering and advising rural and local communities on how to deal with their problems with social innovative solutions

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Scale-up the number of incubators dedicated to social entrepreneurship to at least four in the DACH region and at least one outside the DACH region. Further professionalization of business start-up advisors to work with social entrepreneurs. Extend the available instruments for social entrepreneurs, specific financial instruments, measurement instruments for social impact, training programs and policy advice to create the most adequate regulatory framework. Increase the awareness of civil society on the work and impact achieved by social entrepreneurs. Increase the transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer within the actors in the sector in Europe and beyond.
Additionally, continue generating value in our traditional projects on inclusive entrepreneurship and regional development.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Financing barriers to scale-up the number of incubators might pose a threat. Showing the strong sustainability record of the “social impact lab” in Berlin should overcome this threat.
Failure in creating the right financial instruments for social entrepreneurs to help them sustain and scale their projects. To build strong partnerships and workgroups between social venture capital organizations, intermediaries (such as Ashoka) and public organizations (KfW, EIF) will help to create strong instruments.
(Un-)Anticipated regulatory changes both for social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in our inclusive entrepreneurship projects. Therefore, we will keep giving advice and creating awareness at the policy level.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Dissemination of our offer for (social) entrepreneurs in at least 3 other major cities in the DACH region.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Completion of the development of a quality management system for the transfer activities.

Task 2

Opening of an incubator in a major German city and establishment of our consulting services in at least two other regions

Task 3

Expand our pool of business start-up advisors to cover our range of support services in the different regions.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Iq consult is in the DACH region, the central provider of support services for social entrepreneurs.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Iq consult is present in 6 major cities in the DACH region, where it offers consulting and training services for (social) entrep

Task 2

Iq consult has an Internet platform for online counseling and training.

Task 3

Iq consult creates in partnership with other organisations innovative financial instruments for social entrepreneurs.

Tell us about your partnerships

Iq consult has a rich network of partners who help enable its projects. Whether to get funding, engage communities, create awareness or help give quality to our services, iq consult always aims to create strategic partnerships with key stakeholders to achieve greater social impact.
Some partners:
Ashoka, WEF (GAC on Social Innovation), European Commission, Social Business Initiative (GECES group), Social Innovation eXcahnge, Social Innovation Europe, various Federal and regional ministries of Germany, SAP, Schwab Foundation [F.], BMW F., Telefonica F., Deutsche Bank F., Veolia F…

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list