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Key promotional area: Start-ups and general corporate finance – business sector Mittelstandsbank (SME Bank)

Start-up and succession financing to secure competitiveness and jobs

Start-ups are very important for the national economy. With their courage to become self-employed and launch new products and services, start-ups drive development, stimulate competition and create jobs. KfW offers start-ups and young businesses a range of different financing programmes as well as advice as a means of promoting start-up activity in Germany.

KfW recognises successful start-ups (German page)

Current trend

The employment record on the labour market once again curbed Germany's start-up activity in 2017, with the number of start-up entrepreneurs down year-on-year by 115,000, or 14%, to 557,000 persons. So it is all the more important that KfW increased the volume of its start-up promotion again to EUR 3.8 billion despite the surprisingly pronounced decline in start-up activity.

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Corporate succession remains a key issue within the SME segment

On the one hand, demographic change means that more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seeking successors every year. The succession exchange platform nexxtChange helps them in this endeavour. On the other hand, Germany's historically healthy labour market situation is resulting in lower start-up activity and thus less successor potential. A total of 240,000 owners of small and medium-sized enterprises with more than 2 million employees are planning to have handed the reins over to a successor by the end of 2019. Delays or failure in business transfers puts investment, competitiveness and jobs under pressure.

Current financing offers for start-ups and young companies, as well as established companies (in connection with corporate succession)

Read more on our key promotional areas in 2017

Legal notice:
The information contained in this online Annual Report 2017 is based on KfW’s Financial Report 2017, which you can download here. Should this online Annual Report 2017, despite the great care taken in preparation of its content, contain any contradictions or errors compared to the Financial Report, the KfW Financial Report 2017 takes priority.