Lutz Koopmann: Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB) as partner of the regional economy

Schleswig-Holstein is not just a state for wellness and recreation, but above all an economic and technology location with above-average location conditions. The con­­vincing mix of different factors provides Schleswig-Holstein with an un­­mis­­ta­­kable profile in the competition of glo­­bal locations. From here, trade and co-opera­tion opportunities with neighbouring coun­­­tries of the Baltic Sea region can be ta­­­ken full advantage of. The health economy, re­­newable energies and ma­­r­­itime economy have proven to be parti­­c­­ularly special engines for growth. Thus global companies have arisen from the small wind power pioneers, which now build whole wind farms throughout the world.


With a balance volume of 16.8 billion euros and round 450 employees, the Inves­ti­tions­­bank Schleswig-Holstein (IB) is the state’s primary development in­­stitute. The new business volume comprised over two bil­­lion euros in 2009. The development task is the creation and securing of work­­pla­ces in Schleswig-Hol­stein and the sup­­port of structural transformation. IB ac­­­­com­­­panies start-up companies and sup­­ports small and medium-sized enter­pri­ses as well as ag­­­ricultural busines­ses (full­­­time ventures). It is available for co-financing investments, current assets, li­­quidity requirements and also for suc­­­cession planning. The comprehensive ad­­visory section of IB offers orientation to meet demands.

Funding pilots and ad­­vice for founders clear the “funding jungle”
People interested in starting up a business and young entrepreneurs can find an ideal climate for founding their businesses in Schleswig-Holstein. Well-net­worked economic development optimizes start conditions.
With the IB.­Förder­lot­sen and the IB.Grün­­derinnenBeratung, com­­panies, free pro­­fes­­sions and people in­­­te­­­­rested in start-up companies are offer­­ed a special free serv­­ice: The IB’s experts clear the “funding jungle” and provide unbinding consulta­tion on the possibilities of state, federal and EU fun­­­ding. A further highlight is the preparation for interviews with house banks, which especially focuses on their demands for convin­­cing foundation and company con­­cepts.



Consultation with IB experts can be its worth in gold and safeguard that no fund­ing opportunities are missed out on. With the “Starthilfe Schleswig-Hol­­stein” lo­­an, IB successfully accompanies promising smal­­l­­er start-up plans and consolidation fun­­ding within three years of a company’s foundation.

Sharing the risks with a house bank through co-operation loans
In the financial market crisis and in face of currently changed economic prognoses, our co-operation loan product, with which we shoulder funding for com­­panies in Schleswig-Holstein together with a house bank, shall gain growing significance. Such syndicated loans allow the sharing of risks and the protection of equity for house banks, create new scope for the granting of credits and ease companies’ access to new credits. In this way, necessary in­­vestment for small and medium-sized enterprises can be guaranteed.


But a sustainable funding concept is the basic pre-requisite for the commit­ment of a development bank. With the cre­­dit programme IB.KMUdirekt, IB gua­r­­antees funding for small and medium-sized en­­ter­­prises that, in the light of a difficult cor­porate situation or due to a non-jus­­ti­­fiable extent of assessment and granting of credits, cannot receive funding from banks, despite a positive prognosis for the future. IB can also take over the full fund demand for these loans on its own.

Special loans and capital for the strength­­ening of equity
A suitable capital adequacy of investment is becoming more and more im­­portant, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. A solid capital ba­­sis is not only the foundation for a suf­­ficient es­­tablishment of credit, but also allows even economically difficult times to be more easily overcome. IB offers special loans with equity-like character and is a contact partner for when in need of equity capital. In this way, “ERDF (European Regional Devel­op­­ment Fund) Schleswig-Holstein II” brings eq­­­uity ca­­­­­pital to small and me­­dium-sized enterpri­­ses as well as start-up busines­­ses. The aim of the Mittelstandsfonds Schles­wig-Holstein is to support established me­­dium-sized enterprises with eq­uity ca­­pital to the sum of one to two million euros.



Strengthening competitiveness and the companies’ basis through subsidies
Surrounding the “Zukunftsprogramm Wirt­­schaft” (period of 2007 to 2013), the IB is responsible for the management of sub­­­si­­­dies for regional projects and corporate in­­vestment funding. For this aid, means of ERDF (European Regional Devel­op­­ment Fund), the community project “for optimizing the regional economie structure” and the state were made available.

The “Zukunftsprogramm Wirtschaft” funds regional projects and company investments throughout the state. The main focus is, for example, laid on the strengthening of knowledge and innovation, the increase of company competitiveness and the strengthening of the company basis. The total investments covered by the funds secure existing long-term jobs in the com­­panies and those that are newly created.

EU advice and co-operation with other funding institutes
IB co-ordinates the “Enterprise Europe Network” for Schleswig-Holstein and Ham­­burg: Under this roof, four partners build a regional association offering comprehensive consultation on questions re­­gar­­d­­ing the EU funding of economy and sci­­ence for companies, higher education establishments and research institutes. IB’s EU advisory section provides information regarding current programmes and funding possibilities, offers support all the way from application through to project implementation and, with its re­­­p­­resentation in Brussels, can directly re­­­p­­resent interests. As a financing bank of the Baltic Sea area, IB implements the “Baltic Sea Region Programme” under as­­signment of all adjacent states as well as the EU Commission at the locations of Rostock and Riga.



Die Investitionsbank (IB) unterstützt das Land Schleswig-Holstein als zentrales Förderinstitut in der Umsetzung wirtschafts- und strukturpolitischer Aufgaben.

IB does not only work tightly together with house banks, but also with their part­­­ners, the Mittelständische Beteili­gungs­­gesellschaft SH (MBG), Bürgschafts­bank as well as the Business and Technology Trans­fer Corporation Development Schleswig-Hol­stein GmbH (WTSH) in the Haus der Wirtschaft. MBG improves the capital base of com­­panies. The Bürgschafts­bank Schleswig­-Holstein assures that good business ideas do not fail due to a lack of security. WTSH provides its competence in the field of innovation and foreign trade de­­velopment.

IB helps in a tailor-made und uncompli­cated manner. Those interested should speak to their house bank about the in­­te­­gration of the IB or contact them di­­rect­­­ly. Preliminary information can be found on the internet under


IB_Lutz-KoopmannThe author, born in Flensburg in 1945, stu­­­d­ied business administration in Kiel after a banking apprenticeship. He worked in various positions for the Lan­desbank Schleswig-Holstein from 1972, finally as head of the department for company clients. From there he trans­­ferred to the Investitionsbank Schleswig-Hol­stein (IB) in 1999. He has been the chair­man of the board of IB since June 2003.