Business foundations by students: from the classroom to company life

If you’re a student, have your own ideas for a company and want to make them a reality, read on.

How do students become young entrepreneurs? Anyone who develops brilliant ideas in school and still needs input or support has come to the right place.

Student companies as start-ups on trial

By setting up a student company, students can get to know business practice without taking incalculable risks. Special facilities for setting up student companies also offer support.

We have put together an overview of the offers here (all information without guarantee):

  • The biggest business game for student entrepreneurs is the German Business Founder Award for Students (information in German only). In addition to practical experience, there are exciting and educational prizes to be won every year.
  • Project Junior (information in German only), run by the German Economic Institute, supports students who are aiming to start a business. In the 2018/2019 academic year, more than 2,000 companies were founded in North Rhine-Westphalia alone.
  • Project Startup-Teens (information in German only) provides free help to young people between the ages of 14 and 19 with the (further) development and implementation of a business idea, and links them with mentors.
  • Management consultants have set themselves the goal of familiarising students with business topics in a practical way via 'business@school'. NRW.BANK provides support with issues pertaining to start-up financing. The development of a business idea and the creation of the business plan are also part of the project and, at the end, the best ideas are given an award by an expert jury.
  • To support school students, the programme Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) (information in German only) provides tutors to train students in entrepreneurial issues. The teachers use a business game to simulate a start-up together with the students – and they can take part in the national competition as state winners.
  • The focus of the Changes Award (information in German only) is on the topic of sustainability. Business plans are created with personal coaches that take into account aspects of mega-trends such as demographics or digitalisation.
  • 'Jugend gründet’ (information in German only), a nationwide ideas competition, also places great value on sustainability and innovation. The competition is organised at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences and has been sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2003.