Female start-ups: more women should start their own business

Women still lag behind men when it comes to setting up their own business. We are therefore offering tailored support to encourage women to start up their own businesses.

North Rhine-Westphalia has some great female business founders. But we want even more of our start-ups to have women at the helm. To make that vision become reality, the state is providing support to women on start-up issues

All start-up institutions within the state have set themselves the target of providing particular support to women. They offer relevant consultancy services. Find out more about exactly what options are available here:

Take your first step to self-employment in North Rhine-Westphalia with the help of the Startercenter NRW.

These Startercenters offer a range of advisory and support services for women. They are a place where budding female entrepreneurs and young businesswomen in all sectors can obtain free-of-charge support from a single source in over 70 locations.

A digital overview of women-specific funding opportunities and support programs is provided by the national funding database (both in German only).

As part of the Women Entrepreneurs in Science initiative at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (University of Wuppertal), a higher education network for women starting their own business is emerging across the federal state. Female founders’ summits, female founders roundtables and female speed-dating events regularly take place within this network. Prospective female founders from universities in North Rhine-Westphalia can also obtain advice from this network. Within the initiative there is also a female incubator programme to support female university spin-offs and to establish a female mentor network (information in German only).

At the Ruhr University in Bochum (RUB), one such initiative is also being developed with FACE@RUB, i.e. the female academic entrepreneurs at RUB. With this project, the Ruhr University is increasing the awareness of female students and academics of the opportunity of founding their own start-up or running a company as a woman. Further information can be found here.

The Gründungsstipendium NRW (information in German only) start-up grant sees the introduction of a customised tool that is particularly well-suited to female founders. This is becoming apparent in the continuously increasing proportion of women, which, at 22 per cent, has remained at an above-average level for the entire period since the funding programme began. We are continuing our work to ensure that more women receive support.

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has started the initiative "Frauen unternehmen" (english: "Women do”). This initiative aims to encourage women to achieve professional independence and to start their own businesses and to inspire girls to become entrepreneurs.