First ingredients for entrepreneurs
So is Germany an entrepreneurial paradise for the hospitality sector? The answer isn’t quite that simple. While entrepreneurs may be willing to take on responsibility for a business and be eager to create something on their own, they are still faced with challenges and risks. “Particularly in Germany, the fear of failure is a significant hurdle,” explains Grichnik. “In the US, failure is often viewed in a positive light – after all, you gain experience from a failed business. But here in Germany, it continues to carry a stigma.” Hamburg-based start-up coach Manfred Troike, who specialises in the food service industry, is familiar with this problem: “It’s not easy to keep a business going. Things often run smoothly in the first year, because people are curious about the new offer. After that, success depends on whether regular customers can be secured over the long term.”
Often, newcomers lack the necessary know-how. The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) noted that, while the number of wellprepared and qualified entrepreneurs is on the rise, there are still areas of weakness. Many aspiring entrepreneurs still lack business knowhow or sufficient industry knowledge. The first ingredient for business success is clearly good preparation. It requires a great deal of knowledge to get a business off the ground. How do I develop a sustainable business concept? What should I consider when choosing a location? What types of financial solutions are available?
The spectrum of competent business contacts is broad, ranging from employment agencies to the chambers of commerce and industry. The database of the online portal www.existenzgruender.de alone contains around 25,000 addresses of public institutions that provide entrepreneurs with practical help and advice. There are also numerous other support services available, from workshops and online training sessions to competitions that promote outstanding business ideas. One example is the “Gastro-Gründerpreis” (Gastronomy Start-up Award), which honours the top five start-up concepts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland each year.