Grants: direct financial support

Funding that does not have to be repaid is a secure financial basis. The following options show what options are available for business founders in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Grants can be worth their weight in gold, especially at the beginning of a business start-up. They are particularly attractive because they usually do not have to be repaid.

These grants can look like this, for example:

  • The Gründerstipendium NRW (information in German only) enables founders with innovative business ideas to receive a grant of 1,000 euros per month for a maximum of one year. The grant is supplemented by individual coaching.
  • The Federal Government's EXIST programme is also ideal for business founders from the university sector in the variations EXIST Start-up Grant and EXIST Transfer of Research. More information for students and graduates can be found here.
  • The Beratungsprogramm Wirtschaft NRW (BPW NRW) (information in German only) promotes advice from independent business consultants. Business founders can use the programme for a planned start-up or takeover.
  • The Start-up Transfer NRW funding programme provides direct support to start-up teams from universities. Start-up projects can receive funding of up to 320,000 euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • With the master craftswoman/craftsman start-up bonus NRW, master craftswomen/craftsmen receive a grant if they create jobs. More information for craftswomen/craftsmen can be found here.
  • Introductory funds for unemployed business founders to support their livelihood costs during the start-up phase. Expert bodies such as the HWK or the IHK decide whether the start-up project is expedient and whether funding should be provided in this respect.
  • The Mittelstand Innovativ & Digital (MID) programme (information in German only) supports you in tackling your own innovation projects and implementing digital products, services and production processes. Various voucher variants (MID analysis, MID innovation, MID digitalisation) are available for this, as well as the option of employing a university graduate as a MID assistant.

If you are unsure as to which grant programme might be suitable for your start-up or what other options are available, please contact one of the state advice centres for business founders.