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.
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 www.ib-sh.de.
The 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.