2.Position of SMEs in the national economy

LEONARDO Community Vocational Training Action
National Report on SMEs (Germany)
Hochschule Wismar
University of Technology, Business and Design
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ 4
1.Introduction...................................................................................................................... 5
2.Position of SMEs in the national economy...................................................... 8
2.1GDP/Export/Employment/Innovation generating capacity of SMEs ............. 8
2.2Distribution of SMEs by sector .............................................................................. 11
2.3Employment, working conditions, etc. in the SMEs ........................................ 11
2.4 Social regulations (LRS)-social dialogue (consent) ........................................ 15
3.Legal-financial and institutional framework ................................................. 17
3.1Legal regulations(basic) ........................................................................................... 17
3.1.1Stability vs instability ............................................................................................... 18
3.1.2 Clear and complicated character of legal regulation(cognitive dimension) ............ 19
3.2 Financial regulation ................................................................................................. 19
3.2.1 Degree of uncertainty and stability ......................................................................... 21
3.3.Institutional environment ................................................................................ 22
3.3.1 SME-friendly vs unfriendly government policy ..................................................... 22
3.3.2 “Bridging institutions” ............................................................................................ 23
4. Knowledge-skill supply and demand .............................................................. 24
4.1 Education/ training system and the SMEs (supply side) ................................ 24
4.2 Skill (knowledge) use practice in the SMEs (demand side) .......................... 28
5.Lessons from the sector focused on case studies ........................................ 28
Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 28
Click Solutions ................................................................................................................. 28
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy ................. 28
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated ...................................................... 29
III. Activity and markets ................................................................................................ 29
IV. Work organization, management ......................................................................... 30
V. Knowledge used, development practice............................................................... 31
INFEX .............................................................................................................................. 31
VI. Strength am weakness of the firm ........................................................................ 32
VII. Future perspectives ................................................................................................. 34
RATHGEBER & PARTNERS Ltd ........................................................................... 34
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy ................. 34
The service sector has produced a gross value added of 429.98 billion EUR (in current
prices) ................................................................................................................................... 34
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated ...................................................... 34
III. Activity and markets ................................................................................................ 35
IV. Work organization, management ......................................................................... 36
V. Knowledge used, development practice............................................................... 37
VI. Strength am weakness of the firm ........................................................................ 37
VII. Future perspectives ................................................................................................. 38
Seehotels Binz-Therme Rügen .................................................................................. 38
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy .................. 38
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated ...................................................... 39
III. Activity and markets ................................................................................................ 39
IV. Work organization, management ......................................................................... 40
V. Knowledge used, development practice............................................................... 41
VI. Strength and weakness of the firm ....................................................................... 42
VII. Future perspectives................................................................................................. 42
Enterpirse frrom the Construction industry: Krassow Bau ..................... 43
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy ................. 43
II. Main characteristics of the firms investigated .................................................... 43
III. Activity and markets of the firm........................................................................... 44
IV. Work organization, management ......................................................................... 45
V. Knowledge use, development practice ................................................................. 46
VI. Strengths and weakness of the firm ..................................................................... 47
VII. Future perspectives ................................................................................................. 48
6. Conclusions .................................................................................................................. 48
List of abbreviations ...................................................................................................... 51
Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 52
Executive Summary
Nowadays the European Union is the world’s biggest market, with more than 400 Mio
consumers and total GDP of 10200489.0 Mio euros1. When considering the scope of such
enormous economy, it is wrongly presumed that big national and multinational companies are
the one presented and doing business on the market. However the reality is quite different.
“The middle class forms the core of the European as well as of the German economy and
society. More than 99 % of all enterprises in the non-agricultural sectors in the European
union are small and middle size enterprises with up to 250 employees. They offer 66 % of all
jobs, gain 55 % of the entire value creation and make thereby crucial contributions to growth,
competitive ability, innovation and employment” (Institut für Mittelstandsforschung der
Universität Mannheim, 2003: 1f.). The biggest European economy is also driven by a large
share of SMEs. The German economy is characterized above all by its approximately 3.3
million-small/midsize enterprises (SMEs) in the crafts, industry, trade, tourism, service, and
liberal professions. Defined as businesses with under 500 employees or less than 50 million
euros turnover, SMEs contribute 57 % of corporate value added, create nearly 70 % of jobs,
about 80 % of training slots, and account for 46 % of gross investment in Germany. Small and
medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the social market economy and the
driving force for more growth and employment in the country.
This makes them a crucial part of the German economy. Throughout the last years the
economic environment has not been the best, and that has inevitably affected also the SMEs
in Germany. However, despite the slow growth of the whole EU economy, Germany’s small
and medium sized companies have kept and even extend not only their number but also their
significance in the economy.
This working paper focuses on the main characteristics of the SMEs in Germany, the legal,
economic and financial background for their establishment, further development and
functioning. Furthermore, it presents the diversity of state’s supporting programs for
establishment and fostering of SMEs. In addition, with the consideration that statistics and
official data does not fully present the reality, four existing small and medium size companies,
representing three economic branches, have been questioned and analyzed in order to
contribute to the further and better presentation of the specific features of the SMEs in
Forecast data for 2004
The primary aim of this study is to uncover the various characteristics of German small and
medium companies (their labour market status, employment and economic roles) and their
changes in time after the years of the political transition and the German Unification.
The authors of the research paper “ Doing business in Germany” claim that “Germany’s
small and medium-sized enterprises, form the backbone and engine of the German economy.
It is not only the largest employer in Germany, it is also the biggest investor.”
Strong words, but true. This statement has even a greater meaning, when considering that the
German economy is one of the biggest, and it alone makes 1/3rd of the EU’s economic output.
Inevitably, such a strong competitor has its own little weakness- East Germany. The
Unification marked an end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. Challenges is the word
best expressing the years to follow. The East German economy had to face so many of themthe transformation and adjustment of the economy, the struggle for ever rising living
standards, all other efforts, which should have led to the levelling up with the West. Issues
that are still to be fully achieved and still occupy the front positions in the economic policy.
On this point has to be mentioned that the very most important advantage of the East
Germany, compared to all the other Central-Eastern European countries, is that from the very
beginning it was a part of the strong and ever deepening European Union. The help of the
Union meant a great deal and it still does, even now the biggest expenditures under the EU’s
Regional Policy flow to the eastern parts of Germany.
The developments in the economy environment in the recent years have not been a great help
to anyone. Despite being a strong economic force, Germany also suffers the effects of the
world’s economic stagnation, the terrorism threats, the continuously climbing patrol prices
and the strong Euro, which affects the so important for the country export.
Those illustrate quite a hostile environment, in which the Germany’s “backbone” should
strive and gloom, but the efforts are still present and they still drive this enormous economy
Yes, enormous it is- with more than 80 million people living in a relatively compact area, who
enjoy higher than average purchasing power. The tendency in the development of the Gross
National Product (GNP) is definitely upwards , since 1990 up to 2000 it has grown from 1
144,7 mrd EUR to 2 020,9 mrd EUR, estimated at current prices. In accordance with the rose
in the GNP, the purchasing power per capita has been also rising- in 1991 an average German
had 16 770 EUR, in 1995 the figure was already 19 420, and in 2000-23 800 EUR. Compared
to the figures in the EU of fifteen, Germany has always been above the average level. In 1991
8.5% more, and even though in 2000 it was still above average with 2.0%, obviously a
downward movement can be witnessed.
Of course for such a big and diverse country, those figures of the GDP are estimated at
average level, the situation is quite different, if the single federal Landers are considered one
by one. The margins between them are huge. Bremen is the poorest one in terms of GDP
(without regarding the population) and the one to start with. Its GDP level in 2000 is
estimated at only 21.90mrd EUR, in comparison with North Rein-West Falia, which GDP was
450,14 million EUR in 2000.On the second place of the richest is Bavaria with 352.62mrd.
EUR. Despite the big differences among the federal states, the overall impression is that the
GDP in each country has rose since 1991(see Table1).
Table 1.
Data source: Statistical Yearbook Germany 2003
*Statistical Yearbook Germany 1999
**annualized in ECU(1ECU=1.87 DEM)
*** temporary results
As was already mention export is one of Germany’s most important economical branches.
Lead by the rise of the GDP, the export figures also rose in the past 10-15years. The estimated
data for 2002 at current FOB prices is 648.3 million EUR.
Chart.1 Export and import in the world
Throughout the 90s the inflation had been kept in quite steady limits with the view of the
introduction of the Euro and the Stability&Growth pact obligations. In 1996 the inflation rate
calculated by the HICP index was 1.2%, in 2000 it was 1.4% and in 2002 1.3%, still fairly in
the limits.
That was the situation until 2000.As all of us have witnessed the changes in the past four
years, it is no surprise that all the prognosis and analysis has turned wrong.
An important indicator of the macroeconomic stability is the budget deficit. Despite certain
steps, undertaken by the German government, in attempt to contain strict budget discipline
and to be in accordance with the commitments under the Stability and Growth Pact, budget
deficit was high as 2.7% of the GDP in 2001, exceeding by a large margin the target set
October 2000 (1.5% of GDP). In 2002 Germany's budget deficit exceeded the reference value,
reaching 3.8% of GDP. The public authorities' total debt exceeded the 60% reference value,
rising to 60.9% of GDP. An evidence of the difficult economic environment after 2001. The
real GDP in 2002 grew only by 0.2%, a lot worse than previously predicted 0.9%.
In 2003 Germany was in its third year of economic stagnation. Real gross domestic product
was expected to fall slightly in 2003, by 0.1%, and a fundamental change in the cyclical trend
was not in sight for 2004 either. Average growth for the year was probably arithmetically at
1.3%, with 0.6 percentage points due to a working days effect. Hence, the cyclical rate was to
be 0.7%. Beside the weakness in the domestic economy, which was primarily due to
unfavourable earnings prospects and investors' uncertainty regarding the development in the
world economy, the export trade, which has so far been the most dynamic sector in the
German economy, was now under strain. The rise in the external value of the Euro has been
stronger than expected, and this has hindered exports, while imports have increased strongly,
necessitating a revision of the prognosis downwards. At the beginning of 2004, Germany was
on the way to economic recovery. The gross domestic product will probably grow by 1.4% in
2004 and again in 2005. After 3 years of persistent stagnation this is a good start, even though
it still feels like setting off without releasing the handbrake. Before the end of 2003, the
government and opposition were able to get together at the eleventh hour and produce a raft
of reforms made up of tax relief, cuts in subsidies, and reforms in the labour market, which at
least indicate that they are prepared to implement changes and an actively anticyclical
economic policy. This is basically the right way. If it is followed steadily and without
deviations it will lead Germany out of the economic crisis in terms of both the short-term
business cycle problems and the structural issues of the economy.
Innovations tend to be of a major importance in the country. According to the EUROSTAT
data, in 2000 Germany has spent 2.49 % of the GDP on innovations. Industry was the economic
branch with the highest expenditures with estimations at 66.4 % of the total R&D expenditure,
followed by the government R&D spendings, which were 31.4 % of the total R&D expenditure
and quite small amount of the money spent on R&D came from abroad-2.15 %.
In the year 2000 the IT expenditures amounted to 3.4mill EUR and those in the
telecommunications 3.0mill EUR.
The high unemployment is one of Germany’s major issues, which Germany has to overcome.
The future economic growth should contribute for the decrease in the number of unemployed
Table 2. Annual average unemployment rate
2 510
3 114
3 065
3 957
1 140
1 547
1 660
1 924
1 567
1 405
1 471
females 1 369
The table above represents the development of the unemployment figures. It is obvious, that
from 2000 to 2002 the number of unemployed people had risen. Here there is an action
required on behalf of not only the government, but also on behalf of the companies.
2.Position of SMEs in the national economy
2.1GDP/Export/Employment/Innovation generating capacity of SMEs
As already indicated SMEs contribute 57 % of corporate value added tax(VAT), create nearly 70 % of
jobs or 20 Mio.people, about 80 % of training slots, and account for 46 % of gross investment in
Germany.Those 3.3 Mio. SME‘s in Germany represent 99,7 % of all German enterprises . Moreover
they make almost 43 % of the annual industrial turnover in Germany
Technology and Innovation
In the field of technology, R&D, and innovation, there are a number of assistance measures
especially aimed at helping improve SMEs' technology base. The new PRO INNO program
(PROgram INNOvation Capabilities for SMEs) aims at intensifying R&D cooperation both
among SMEs and with the scientific community. This also entails the temporary transfer of
staff from companies to research facilities and vice versa, as well as companies' support for
the exploitation of innovations. In addition, the program "Technologies of the Future for
SMEs" and the program "Support for Innovative Networks," which was launched in
September 1999, assists demanding collaborative projects within which SMEs, including
handicraft firms, cooperate with research facilities and universities.
Table 4. Rate of the companies with successfully conducted innovation
project 1998 until 2000(in %)
5 - 499 employee 500
industry and
Special assistance is given SMEs in Germany's new states in the form of the program to
"Assist Research, Development, and Innovation in SMEs and External Industrial Research
Facilities in Germany's New States." The program section for "R&D Staff Assistance" is
aimed at stimulating SMEs in the goods producing industries in Germany's new states and
strengthening and expanding their personnel base in the R&D sector. The program section for
"R&D Project Assistance" supports SMEs in trade and industry and assists external industrial
research facilities in the development of new products and processes. The InnoRegio
competition is also tailored to the special innovation circumstances in Germany's new states;
it assists new forms of regional cooperation among educational and research facilities,
business, and administrations, thus helping develop marketable products and services.
All those initiations were used by a large number of companies, operating in Germany. The
next table illustrates the percentage of companies in the different economic sectors, that took
advantage of the above mentioned opportunities:
Table 5. Percentage of firms with public financial for innovations, Innovators 2000
(10 or more employees)
Transport equipment
and 27,0
High-technology sectors 31,5
Food, beverages and 21,7
Textile and leather
Wood and paper
plastic 13,7
mineral 27,9
Metallic products
NEC and recycling
Low-technology sectors 26,9
Table 6. Rate of the original innovators by the frequency of their R&D activity200/2001
Inovation rate
without own
casual R+D
constant R+D
Data source: Gottschalt et al (2002)
Shcriftschtueck Mittelstand Monitor 2003 p.99
Remarkably positive characteristics of the German SMEs (up to 10employees) is that
Research&Development is taken quite seriously. No matter of the economic branch the
percentage of innovations is at least 50% and above. The highest rate of innovations (product
and processes) have the machinery and equipment (73.6%), on the second place is the hightech sector with 69.7%, followed by the chemical industry 67.4%. The lowest rate of R&D
has the non-metallic mineral products- 49.1%.
Almost the same is the situation when SME with 20 or more employees are considered. The
top branches are the same, but here the percentages of innovations are even higher. Machinery
and equipment tend to be Germany’s most innovative sector with 77,4%, the high-tech has
72.8%, and the smallest number of innovations here has the Food, beverages and tobacco52.6%.
Foreign Trade, Investment Initiative and Export Promotion
Foreign trade and investments are of paramount importance for growth and jobs in Germany.
The German economy generated a record export surplus of 126 billion EUR in 2002. Every
fifth job in Germany - in industry every third - depends on exports. Accordingly, the federal
government views its foreign trade and investment initiative "Active Worldwide", adopted by
the federal government on 4 June 2003, as an important part of its Agenda 2010. It is a
supporting pillar of economic policy for more growth and employment in Germany. This is
also particularly important for the German SME sector.
This initiative consolidates central areas of foreign trade policy in a ten-point program and
will take special account on SMEs:
 a resolute market opening policy in the current world trade round,
 a more SME oriented form of foreign trade assistance, concerning for example Hermes
export credit guarantees and investment guarantees,
 strengthening the global network of German foreign chambers of trade and commerce (in
2004, chambers established in areas including Baltic, Bulgaria, Singapore) and more
intensive political support for the investment of German enterprises in foreign countries.
The promotion of foreign trade fairs is being focused more intensively on SMEs. For 2003,
participation was facilitated in this manner at 24 additional fairs.
In addition, foreign direct investment is also contributing to growth and employment.
According to a current OECD report, Germany ranked second, behind France and ahead of
the United States, as an initiator of direct investment among OECD countries in 2002. To
make even better use of this potential, the advertising for Germany as a location for
businesses and technology is being strengthened as part of the foreign trade and investment
initiative. On 1 July 2003, the Office of the Federal Commissioner for Foreign Investment in
Germany was therefore transformed into a federal enterprise, "Invest in Germany Ltd.-, which
is operated under the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour.
Export Promotion
Assistance for the development of foreign sales markets and production sites is primarily
undertaken by a close network of German chambers of commerce abroad, by so-called
"delegates' offices," and by representations. Their offerings for SMEs range from market
reconnaissance to the preparation of market studies, concrete advice in structuring joint
ventures, and the placing of investments. The Federal Office of Foreign Trade Information
also provides important information on markets, products, and possible cooperation partners
abroad to SMEs. Alongside general information services on specific topics (such as customs
requirements, import procedures), branches, and markets, the Office also provides a special
information service with targeted research, supported by numerous market observers abroad.
The third pillar of external economic assistance is the business and economic services of the
German embassies and consulates abroad. At the initiative of the Federal Ministry of
Economics and Technology, the most important protagonists of Germany's external economic
assistance, created the Internet portal "iXPOS" early in 2001 in the framework of service
collaboration in external economic affairs. This is an overview of all of the important service
offerings in connection with doing business abroad and with the support measures available to
The federal government also assists SMEs by providing export credit guarantees, investment
guarantees against political risks in order to protect foreign investment, and assistance for
participation in trade fairs abroad since international fairs are of particular significance for
opening up the possibility of and transacting exports. Foreign investment is also facilitated
through low-interest loans granted in the framework of the "KfW SME Program -Abroad."
Finally, the establishment of contacts to foreign partners is facilitated through the
organization of cooperation meetings.
2.2Distribution of SMEs by sector
In 2002 SMEs constituted to more than 95% of each non-agricultural economic branch. In
fact all enterprises involved in the hotel and restaurant industry were SMEs marking the 100
per cent there. Almost similar was the situation in the construction industry, land transportpipelines, retail sales (excluding motor vehicles)
Share of SMEs in number of entreprises and
turnover by economic sections, Germany, 2002
Research and development
Air transport
Wholesale trade
80 100 120
2.3Employment, working conditions, etc. in the SMEs
According to the Institute für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn SMEs employ more than 70.1% of
all employess in the private enterprises, which in absolute number is more than 20Mio people,
and they provide vocational training for more than 80.1% of their apprentices.
Even a higher growth and employment will only be possible if a new dynamic can be
unleashed in and for the SME sector. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour seeks to
provide the im-pulses, reveal new ways, simplify already proven approaches and package
together important activities. In short, it seeks to safeguard SMEs' ticket to the future. The
"pro mittelstand" SME Initiative launched in January 2003 is therefore a first step toward
making life easier for start-up entrepreneurs and for existing SMEs. The core elements of the
SME initiative are supported by additional individual measures.
All players in the economy and society, in politics and among social partners, are called on to
participate in the alliance for SMEs and help advance the reforms.
The SME sector needs flexible framework conditions and a deregulation of the labour market.
Only in this way can it be insured that existing jobs are safeguarded in the long term and new
jobs created.
On 1 January 2004, the Act on Reforms on the Labour Market entered into force. It is a
further important step in implementing Agenda 2010. With the amendment of the Act on
Protection against Unfair Dismissal and of the Act on Part-Time and Fixed-Term
Employment, new jobs are promoted, above all in small enterprises and in connection with
start-ups, in the interest of more growth and employment. The legislation takes balanced
account of the interests of the employers, employees and job seekers.
The threshold for applying the Act on Protection against Unfair Dismissal has been altered. In
enterprises with ten or less workers, the legislation does not apply for employees hired after
January 2004. Workers already employed in enterprises with more than five employees retain
their previous protection from dismissal. The new threshold is aimed at encouraging smaller
enterprises to react more rapidly to a favourable trend in orders by hiring new employees; the
measure thus gives job seekers better employment opportunities.
It is the task of policymakers to prepare SMEs for the threatening lack of skilled manpower
and create more incentives for combining working with family life (binding skilled staff by
family-friendly corporate policy). Together with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and
the trade associations, the attention of SMEs is to be brought to this topic and approaches to
solutions indicated in the framework of the "Alliance for Families".
Types of employment
Apparently the biggest proportion when main job is concerned goes to the technicians and
associate professionals, who make 20% of the occupation. On the second spot are the craft
and related trade workers with 18.1%, mot surprisingly for Germany followed by the clerks13.0%. The self-employed persons in the country ad already mentioned represent 13.0% of
the people opposite the 87% employed in different companies and organizations.
Table 7.
Employment status
on an unlimited contract
on a fixed contract
on a temporary employment agency
on apprenticeship or other training
Other (spontaneous)
don't know
According to the European Working Conditions survey on working conditions 2000 a huge
number of employees have one paid job, those are 92.5%. Of course there are also people,
who work additionally- 2.7% of them do this regularly and 3.4% only occasionally. For their
part time work, the questioned mostly work between 1-5hours(39.6) and 11-20 hours(32.8%).
Physical risks factors
Risks are inevitable part of our lives, still some occupations are characterized with a higher
than normal risks. Here belong such occupations, involving radiation exposure or handling
dangerous substances.
Table 8.
dangerous 2000
All of the time
Almost all of the time
Around 3/4 of the time
Around half of the time
Around 1/4 of the time
Almost never
don't know
Fortunately really small percentage of the workers in Germany are exposed constantly to
radiation, and the majority of the labour force were never exposed to such.
The data also indicates that the information given for the risks is really sufficient – very well
informed were 44.3% and fairly well 37.2%. Further more 68% do not consider their work to
be jeopardizing their health, another 22.6% think that there is risk for their health or safety.
Contrary to the above data nearly 60% of the people asked in the Third European Working
Conditions survey on working conditions 2000 answered that the work affects their health.
Backache occupies the first spot of work related problems with 34.2%, followed by stress, of
course, 25.0% of the employees consider their work as stressful. On the third place are the
muscular pains in shoulders and neck-21.3%.The least complains are from heart disease and
trauma with 0.9% each.
Working Conditions
Due to the vast research done in the institutions of the EU, there is quite comprehensive
information for the kind of working conditions in the SMEs, the work arrangements and
According to the European Working Conditions survey on working conditions 2000, as could
be presumed the biggest percentage of the employees work between 30-44hours, combined
more than 67% of all people engaged in SME’s. Only 2.2% of the questioned worked 10 or
less hours per week. And the hard working ones who worked between 60 to 80 hours per
week were 5.3%.
The data provided by the survey conducted in 2000 reveals that a big majority of the
employees does not work on shifts, those are 80.3% and only 19,4% do. Moreover in 2000
56.3% of the workers worked the same number of hours each day, another 43.5% had flexible
working hours. As for the week 2/3 of the questioned worked the same number of days every
week. Also a large proportion of the people had fixed starting and finishing working times67.2%. It is said that work never ends, so more than 1/3rd of the employees stayed at least 2
hours more at work in the evenings, 61.1% had not work additional hours. The survey also
indicates that 82.2% of the questioned did not work at night, however 9.0% worked 1-5 hours
after 10 p.m., another 6.6% worked up to 10hours at night.
Weekends are usually not meant for work, but still in Germany almost half of the people work
on Saturdays-10.9% work a Saturday in a month and additional 13.6% work even 4-5
Saturdays in a month. On Sundays 77.7% of the employed have a day off, the unfortunate
ones were those 5.5% who had to work every Sunday in a month.
According to the same survey 70.4% of the people do not have long working days, 17.6%
worked at least one day per month more than 10 hours, 2.0% worked even between 11 to 20
days more than 10 hours daily.
The Germans mostly do not work part-time, as only 17% told to have a part-time occupation.
And in Germany work is done throughout the day, representing 95.5% of all questioned and
only 4.3% work at night.
Further conclusion can be made out of the European Working Conditions survey is that work
intensity is something usual for Germany, because more than half of the questioned work on a
high speed:
Table 9.
Job involves work at 2000
very high speed
All the time
Almost all of the time 15,0%
Around 3/4 of the time 7,7%
Around half of the time 11,1%
Around 1/4 of the time 14,0%
Almost never
don't know
Similar is the situation for the tight deadlines within work should be executed:
Table 10.
tight 2000
All the time
Almost all of the time 15,8%
Around 3/4 of the time 9,8%
Around half of the time 13,3%
Around 1/4 of the time 17,0%
Almost never
don't know
Quite a positive feature of the working environment in Germany’s SMEs is the fact that
democracy at the working place prevails. A large number of the people claim that discussion
is very often used, especially when rearrangements are in question. In 2000 71.1% were able
to discuss such changes and additional 69.5% had a ward in organizational changes.
Even at the beginnings of the 1990s, autonomy at the working place was something common.
More than half of the people in both East and West Germany were able to choose their
working methods or order of tasks. In 1991 53.7% in the West and 51.6% in the East
Germany were able to change the speed or rate of working.
Additional plus for working in Germany’s SMEs is that it seems to be fairly satisfactory, due
to the 60.5% fairly satisfied of their working conditions people. There are even 20.6% who
were very satisfied of the job that they have.
In fact 58% of the Germans claim that they would be able to do the same job, when they are
60 years old.
Table 11.
Work satisfaction 2000
Very satisfied
Fairly satisfied
Not very satisfied 10,6%
Not at all satisfied 1,8%
don't know
Data source: Third European Working Conditions survey on working conditions 2000
2.4 Social regulations (LRS)-social dialogue (consent)
Germany’s whole economic policy can be characterized as social orientated. Due to this fact,
there is clarity regarding the social regulations, especially those concerning the obligations of
the employer, the main of which are presented hereunder:
Duties of the employer
Registration of your co-workers with the health insurance company for pensions, health-(and
also care-) and unemployed insurance. Notice to the Trade Union (The occupation accident
You must pay regularly contributions. You withhold the half of the social insurance
contributions for your co-workers from the wage, the other half is added to it by you as an
employer. The employer pays completely the premium of the occupation cooperative. You
withhold the wage tax of your employees from their wage or salary and transfer it forward to
the tax office. You are also responsible for the correct calculation of these contributions. If
something is not correct, you are the first asked to the Financial Office!
The legally stipulated minimum vocation amounts 28 days (24 working days plus 4
Saturdays), per year; for teenagers until 18 years between 25 and 30 days-according to age.
Tariff contracts usually provide for longer vacation periods. Inquire by your responsible
employer association, whether there is a binding common tariff contract for your industry!
The notice of dismissal is valid also during the probation period, but you can terminate the
employment relationship without stating reasons. For those liable to compulsory military
service, civil-service and disabled, mothers-to-be and mothers until the course of four months
after the delivery, employees during vocational education and members of the employee
committee a certain termination protection exists. From the legal dismissal notices, it can be
deviated through work or tariff contract in legally stipulated frameworks. Bear in mind: the
notification period cannot be longer for the employee than for the employer.
Educational vacation
It is a paid work disengagement, so that through/and further education the work qualification
is improved, political education or personality evolvement can be taken part in. Educational
vacation is regulated through tariff contracts and the employee's exemption law. Some federal
states have legally anchored the claim on educational vacation .Those employed in workshops
for disabled do not normally fall under the regulations of the tariff contracts and the legal
regulations, since they are not recognized as an employee. However the claim to educational
vocation is in some regional laws anchored also for workshop-employees, as for example in
Hamburg and Lower Saxony.
Inquire about the current notification periods for employers and employees! By longer
activity duration, this period increases (three, six months to the end-of-quarter). In the
employment contract you should agree on, which notification periods are applicable to both
Those law provisions represent the sufficient and effective social base for employment,
which contributes to the stability and the security in the working relations in the country.
Further more, it should be pointed out that, those regulations do not exist only on paper, but
are indeed implemented in practice.
Nevertheless, involvement only on behalf of the government, would make it quite one-sited
case. That is why there exist further organizations, which contribute to the social dialogue and
stability. The Work Council is one of them:
Work councils
Work council is a committee, representing the employee interests and maintaining the codetermination opposite the employers in private companies. In public companies, a personnel
council can be chosen.
Legal bases
The rights of the Work council are regulated in the Business Constitution law and in the Codetermination law. Additionally, the Termination Protection law and the Labour court law
regulate further rights of the Work council. The right of the Personnel council regulates the
Personal representative law.
Normally a Work council in enterprises is established with at least five permanent, entitled to
vote employees, of whom three are selectable. This is applicable also to common business of
several undertakings.
Employers and Work council work together for the welfare of the employees and the
company under observation of the current tariff contracts and in cooperation with the
represented- and trade unions. Employees are in this sense workers, employees and trainees,
who are employed at the enterprise in the field service, with Tele work or indoor work
(provided this contributes mainly to the business success),
All employees of the company are entitled to vote, those who are 18 years old and at least
three months employed in the company.
Everybody, who has belonged to the company for at least six months, is entitled to vote, or
over this time period was involved in indoor work mainly for the company
Especially significant for the social dimension of the economy in Germany is the law
regulated Educational vacation
It is a paid work disengagement, so that through/and further education the work qualification
is improved, political education or personality evolvement can be taken part in. Educational
vacation is regulated through tariff contracts and the employee's exemption law. Some federal
states have legally anchored the claim on educational vacation .Those employed in workshops
for disabled do not normally fall under the regulations of the tariff contracts and the legal
regulations, since they are not recognized as an employee. However the claim to educational
vocation is in some regional laws anchored also for workshop-employees, as for example in
Hamburg and Lower Saxony.
3.Legal-financial and institutional framework
3.1Legal regulations(basic)
Legal forms:
 Sole proprietors: full control, full liability, a Sole business is founded automatically if
you establish a business alone
 Company of the civil right (GbR): simple partnership, minimum capital is not
stipulated, the partners are liable with there private fortune.
 Open commercial company (OHG): high prestige, but liability risk, only meant for
full-merchants, no minimum capital is required. For obligations, the partners are liable
not only with their public fortune, but with their private fortune as well
 Partnership Company (PartG): for Freiberufler/self employed: a new legal form for
self employed, which would like independently to work with partners
 Kommanditgesellschaft (KG): easier start capital: consists of the Complementary and
the Commanditists
 The Ltd (GmbH): Company with limited liability: The liability of the company
corresponds to the value of the share capital, that the partners achieved altogether, at
least 25.000 Euro, no liability with private fortunate
 One-Person-GmbH: own employee
 Ltd. & Co. KG: diverse possibilities: KG, where instead of a natural person, a
GmbH/Ltd is personally liable partner (Complementary)
 Small INC.: Alternative for middle-class persons
SMEs by legal forms,Germany, 2002
Partnerships(OHGunlimited company,KGlimited partnership)
Limited liabilities
Sole proprioterships
Other legal forms
Registrations and authorizations
Who ever establishes an individual business must consider a series of application formalities
and legal rules.
Trade registration
Every commercial business (therefore every business, that is based on profit attainment
"permanently “) must be declared to the responsible Trade office (local Council offices,
community). A personal identification card as well as passport are necessary for this, special
authorizations and proof (for example Handwerkskarte) concessions etc. are also possible. To
the Trade Office don't need to be declared: Free occupations (for example doctors, architects,
tax advisors, lawyers, artists, authors) scientists, country- and forestry entrepreneurs.
With the trade registration, following authorities are, by rule, informed automatically about
-The tax office
-The Chamber of Crafts (with craft occupations)
-Trade Union
-The Industry- and Chamber of Commerce
-The Regional Statistics Office
- The Commercial Register court
Nevertheless, it is recommended to enter in contact with these authorities yourself, in order to
accelerate the application formalities, and, to be able to clarify appearing questions directly.
Table 12.
Legal forms
of the
GmbH &
Co. KG
Main capital
(for GmbH)
in EUR
Notary-, Courto- and publiting costs (Source: IHK Bonn).
Yes, if establisher is merchant in full legal sense
3.1.1Stability vs instability
Similar to the already mentioned situation regarding the stability in the social issue,
Germany’s stable and functioning legislative background. The whole economic environment
can be considered certainly stable and good for business participation and operations. As part
of the EU, Germany adopts and implements all of the common legislative frameworks. Here
are worth mentioning the Competition law, Labour law, the Commercial law,etc.
Some important legal regulations are:
Working time law:
Regulation of the regular working time with special provisions.
Workplace ordinance:
Equipment and maintenance of the workplaces. Regulation of area size, illumination,
temperature, sanitary areas, pause areas etc.
Occupation educational law:
General regulations about the occupational training.
Federal vacation law:
Legal regulation of the vacation.
Business constitution law:
Regulation of the participation right of the employee in operational decisions, business
Cottage industry law:
Activity of home workers, regulation of the formalities.
Youth work protection law:
Activity possibility of teenagers, silence and casual regulations, prohibitions for certain
Termination protection law:
Protection against socially unjustified terminations, notification periods.
Payment fort payment law:
It regulates claim, height and duration of the wage-/salary after-date payment during illness
and on holidays.
Mother protection law:
Work restrictions and termination protection for future mothers.
Ordinance over foreign IT-specialists:
Regulation on the work permit and the residence permission for highly qualified foreign
specialists in the information - and communication technology (Green Card).
Law about the equality of hindered people:
Equality and hindrance freedom for disabled people.
Part-time and deadline law:
Regulations about the flexibility of the working time.
Law on heavy disabled people:
Regulation of the activity duty of disabled, particular termination and vacation periods.
3.1.2 Clear and complicated character of legal regulation(cognitive dimension)
The overall statement is that Germany’s law system is definitely broad reaching, however
quite complicated and confusing. For normal persons it turns difficult and time consuming to
know, understand and comply with the enormous amount of legal provisions. Bureaucracy
and administration is another issue, shadowing the business environment in the country.
Especially from the point of view of the small and medium sized undertakings, those matters
consist many of their administrative worries. Big, multinational companies have huge legal
departments, which look at each problem thoroughly and make the best legal choices for their
employers, but that is not the case in for the SMEs. That is certainly a topic for further
consideration on behalf of to official authorities.
3.2 Financial regulation
Tax office
The tax office gives you a tax number. On a questionnaire, you must answer different
questions about future turnovers and profits. Proceed rather carefully by the calculation of
these estimated values, since at first the height of your income and trade tax depends from.
Before all keep in mind, that the costs can be above average high in the attempt phase in the
relationship to the achieved turnover. Calculate also the labour costs together with your
personal costs that you must regularly share with the tax office
There are no particular fiscal privileges for starting entrepreneur .A single exception: The so
called Ansparabschreibung is increased for future investments, in comparison to existing
 Income taxes: Each entrepreneur pays income taxes. It is adjusted to the personal
profit that you (after the deduction of all business costs) obtain through your business,
first year estimation is made on the basis of expected profit
 Personal tax: a type of income tax on legal persons
 Wage taxes: The wage tax of your employees
 Turnover tax: 16% fixed, exception books, food , magazines 7%
 Church tax: Independent members of the Protestant or Catholic Church must pay
church tax together with the income tax prepayments
Of course the tax matter is not simple in general, but the German tax system apparently is
even more complicated than others. An issue, which must be properly addressed in the future,
due to the fact that taxes, their height, clarity and understand ability are one of the core
factors influencing the choice for business making in one place or another.
Framework policies
With its tax policy, the German government has given decisive impulses to strengthen SMEs.
The reform measures adopted for the years 1998 to 2005 give SMEs some 15 billion euros in
tax relief in their respective year of establishment. SMEs were relieved in the rough amount
of 8 billion euros alone in 2001. Households will be relieved by more than 34 billion euros by
2005. This will particularly benefit domestic demand.
On a retroactive basis effective 1 January 2003, the lifting to 17,500 EUR of the turnover
threshold up to which enterprises are exempt from turnover tax. Furthermore, the
bookkeeping threshold of 260,000 EUR turnover was raised to 350,000 EUR and the profit
threshold from 25,000 to 30,000 EUR. This provides administrative relief, above all for
SMEs, since more enterprises are exempt from the need to keep and present elaborate and
cost-intensive balance sheets.
Pushing up the scheduling of the tax reform also provides tangible relief for SMEs since more
than 80% of them are structured as individual enterprises or partnerships and can thus directly
profit from a general lowering of income tax rates. The advance scheduling of the tax reform
creates positive impulses for private consumption and innovation while strengthening
economic potential. For in 2004 alone, individuals and enterprises received tax relief of 9.1
billion EUR and, including the second stage of tax relief, some 15 billion EUR.
There are no particular fiscal privileges for starting entrepreneur .A single exception: The so
called Ansparabschreibung is increased for future investments, in comparison to existing
businesses. Existence originators therefore are dependent on that, like all other taxpayers, at
first to use the existing tax laws optimally for their situation. Especially important in this
matter is the legal form of the business, formalities with the turnover tax and a probable form
of the ownership relations by the operationally used property (you should ask your tax
advisor). As an Independent, you have to deal with a whole row of taxes:
Income taxes (accordingly to your previous wage tax),
Each entrepreneur pays income taxes. It is adjusted to the personal profit that you (after the
deduction of all business costs) obtain through your business. In the first year of your
independence, the tax office estimates your statements on the bases of the expected profit..
From the already taxed income, a basic tax allowance remains tax free (in 2003:7.235 EUR
for Singles/14.471 EUR for married). Income, which is over the basic tax free allowance,
must be paid. The height of the tax rate depends on the amount of the income. An example:
For someone due to taxation on income of 9.251 EUR (single) resp. 18.503 EUR (married),
the income tax share amounts to 23 percent per person in the year 2003. An income of 55.007
EUR resp. 110.015 EUR (married) is taxed with 48, 5 percent in the year 2003 with a top tax
rate. Annually the tax office fixes certain sum that you must transfer as prepayment each
quarter. The tax explanation for the entire calendar year is concluded in the following year
and the tax liability is settled, minding the prepayments.
Turnover tax/Vorsteuer
You must add the turnover tax (Value Added Tax) to all accounted amounts. At present it is
fixed at 16 percent. For a series of products and services (i.e. food, books, magazines) that is 7
percent. You must regularly forward the sum of the sales taxes, which you have calculated on
your customers, to the tax office. But prior to that, you can withdraw the turnover taxes
(Vorsteuern), that you have paid in the same period i.e. to your suppliers, from this amount.
In order to comply with your new tax-liabilities, you now must:
· Store business records and all commercial receipts s, also these for the preparation of
your existence foundation for example travel costs and advice honoraria. Such pre-run costs
are already business costs and can work as tax-decreasing.
·Carefully record business processes and hand over tax explanations
-As small-tradesman or self employers (self employed) in form of a cash register book
and a revenue excess bill,
-As merchant in form of a proper double accounting and a balance at the end of the
-As merchant additionally in form of a merchandise entrance / exits of stock keeping
· Make tax prepayments and pay tax bill.
·Pay taxes to the tax office according to the height of the profit possibly after the first
(and according to profit of all following years)
3.2.1 Degree of uncertainty and stability
Risk and uncertainty have always accompanied the financial world. The situation is the same
when SMEs are in question. On the one hand usually the money amounts are not that
enormous, due to their size, but on the other, sometimes the liability is considerable.
A positive feature is the overall stability and predictability of the German market, which eases
the situation.
Regarding the degree of uncertainty, Germany’s SMEs try at least to insure themselves for
any unpredicted downturns.
The most important operational insurances for independent
Betriebs-Haftpflichtversicherung/Company's compulsory liability insurance
Damages to third party are covered by the business liability insurance. For engineers,
architects and brokers, there is particular occupation- as well as pecuniary damagescompulsory liability insurance
Betriebs-Unterbrechungsversicherung (BU-Versicherung)
Insurance against Business
Fires, machines, - EDP - and telephone cancellation, montage and transportation damages as
well as personnel cancellation can lame/affect the entire business. As long as no profits can be
obtained, the BU-Versicherung is received until the rebuilding of the business for the current
costs, like wages, salaries, rent and interests etc on.
Burglary insurance
Here, damages are refunded, that were due to damage of insured matters through theft,
destruction, after a break-in/burglary.
Fire insurance
Damages that were caused by fire, lightning hit, explosion or plane crash are regulated by the
fire insurance. This involves damages to the technical and commercial equipment, to
merchandise, to foreign property etc
Product liability insurance
A product liability insurance should be combined with the company liability .It comes into
force if third party suffers damage by faulty products. This is sensible for licensers, importers,
for manufacturers, suppliers.
Storm insurance
It pays for damages at buildings and movable matters that are situated on the insured property.
Environmental liability insurance
The environmental liability insurance is normally combined with the business liability. The
environmental liability protects from damages claims, if there is contaminated ground, water,
air by the business.
3.3.Institutional environment
3.3.1 SME-friendly vs unfriendly government policy
Definitely the German government has a friendly attitude towards the SMEs, especially when
considering the large number of promotion and fostering programs.
With its SME policy, the German government aims to strengthen the performance and
competitiveness of SMEs and offer them new growth and development possibilities. In
particular, the start-up process in Germany is to be given additional dynamic and the stability
and growth of existing companies supported. In this connection, the government observes the
limits set by the European Union's policy on government aids.
Entrepreneurial dynamic in Germany is fostered by, among other things, programs at schools
and universities that familiarise students with issues of entrepreneurship. The initiative to set
up university chairs for start-up studies, which has been undertaken by the German
government in co-operation with the Deutsche Ausgleichsbank, has grown to include the
participation of additional partners from the business sector and has resulted in the
establishment of 42 chairs. More chairs are in the process of being established. The EXIST
program has thus far furnished financial assistance to five regional networks which create and
operate models to motivate, train, and support start-up entrepreneurs from universities. More
than 350 innovative business start-ups have been launched by the EXIST regions. Some of
them are also receiving financial assistance from the EXIST-Seed program.
Furthermore, as part of the JUNIOR school project launched by the Deutsches Institut der
Wirtschaft, students in school grades nine and above establish mini-companies operating
under market conditions while participants learn under school supervision the appropriate
responses to issues arising in self-employment. During the 2001/2002 school year, some 220
mini companies with 3,000 students from 12 German states participated in the project. And in
2001, the first business camp for mini companies was held, also to promote enterprise and
individual responsibility. There are also many other school initiatives in the individual
German states, as well as a brochure-binder developed by the Deutsche Ausgleichsbank with
practice-related school material on self-employment, which has already been sent to 14,000
Financial helps for innovative businesses
Innovations must be managed in Germany of the entrepreneurs themselves. ProblemWhoever wants to establish a business in the high tech area has a long and costly way in front
of him.
Money is required in order to develop a business concept, to examine the technical
possibilities and the market thoroughly and to do first development steps. Then to develop a
product or procedures up to the maturity the series .To try to adopted a product or a service
even closer to the market, for what additional research and development are frequently
necessary. To sell a product or a service. To cut loose again of his business sponsors/creditors
Technology orientated undertakings are supported particularly through financial assistance
help by the State, the Länder and the EU for research, development, innovation and market
opening up/exploitation like for example:
· ERP-Innovations program (BMWA)
·Support of research, development and innovation in KMU/Small- and medium -size
enterprises and external industry research facilities (BMWA)
·BTU- venture capital for small technology businesses , BTU- early phase program
·INSTI-KMU-Patent action (BMBF)
·Initiative TOP of the BMWA
3.3.2 “Bridging institutions”
Trade Unions
Trade Unions are representations of the interests of employees, who have joined together
voluntarily and permanently to preserve their common employee interests. In Germany they
should be independent from political parties, churches, state and employers, and ready and
capable of pressuring the interests of their members not only with fight measures.
Trade Unions have been established in the middle of the 19th century, in reaction to the
exploitation of the employees in the industrial revolution. They were created in order to even
out the inferiority of the employees when negotiating on working conditions. For that they
joined together and led labour battles against the entrepreneurs. Preferred mean of the labour
battle was and still is the strike. Between 1933 and 1945, the Unions first tried to come to
terms with the new leadership, in order to secure their survival, however then they were
smashed by the National socialists. Only after the victory of the allied powers over Germany,
a rebuilding of the Unions had been advanced under the personnel power. In the meantime,
the German Trade Unions have grown up too much into big clubs, whose task on the prime
line is to represent through them embodied unified members at salary negotiations. In the last
years, the unions had to endure high lost of members.
Under the signs of higher unemployment as well as on the basis of the frequently emerging
and also true threat on the side of the employer part, to transfer jobs abroad, traditional
pressure possibilities of the Unions run increasingly unsuccessful on regional and national
level or contribute even further to the new division of society of employed and
encouragement of unemployed. Still it is not recognizable that the unions or the concerned
interest groups themselves can push through a probable answer of this paradoxical situation in
foreseeable time
As strategically trend setting bases, are i.e. international minimum standards for working
conditions, to name such as fiscal burden of capital transfers and by presumption independent
citizen minimum income, which could end the fundamental social dependence and position
extortion of that part of the population described as an employed or unemployed .
Some unions have the legal status of registered associations and therefore are legal persons of
the private right. Provided they are no registered associations, they are nevertheless treated as
"right-capable" persons union, which however is a legal peculiarity.
4. Knowledge-skill supply and demand
4.1 Education/ training system and the SMEs (supply side)
Legislative framework
Continuing education in Germany is regulated by the state to a lesser degree than other areas
of education. The activities of the state in the field of continuing education are restricted to
laying down principles and to issuing regulations relating to organization and financing. Such
principles and regulations are enshrined in the legislation of the Federal Government and the
Länder. In addition to continuing education legislation, educational legislation at Land level
contains regulations on continuing education within the school system (e.g. the attainment of
school-leaving qualifications) and higher education legislation regulates the development of
academic continuing education. In 11 of the 16 Länder legislation allows employees to attend
continuing education courses (paid educational leave - Bildungsurlaub) for several working
days per year (usually five) with no loss in earnings, provided that certain conditions are
Regulations for the continuing education sector have been adopted at national level
in the following legislation in particular:
 the Social Security Code III (Sozialgesetzbuch III),
 Career Advancement Training Promotion Act
This means that those who take part in career advancement training programmes have a legal
right to state funding that is comparable with student funding in accordance with the Federal
Training Assistance Act.
 Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz),
Handicrafts Code (Handwerksordnung)
The importance of well trained employees for an efficient SME sector and for the economy,
as a whole cannot be overestimated. Together with the social partners, the German federal
government will therefore continue the process of modernizing vocational training. For the
year 2004, training regulations for five new and 26 modernized occupations are planned. For
2000 i.e. the public expenditures on education as percentage of the GDP were 4.53%.
A further important goal of the federal government is making education and training in the
"dual system" more attractive, especially for SMEs. Many training requirements have become
so demanding that they can often no longer be met by SMEs. In some cases SMEs are able to
train apprentices only in a network with other partners or if they send the trainees to
expensive inter-company training centers. This is a serious obstacle, particularly for SMEs.
The overall education attainment level is relatively satisfying, estimated in 2000 at 74.4%
according to the EUROSTAT. And a positive feature is that there is almost no difference
between females and male attainment, both around 74.7%.
In addition, vocational training is increasingly attracting high school graduates with
qualifications for further education at universities and technical institutes, with the result that
pupils with less primary schooling are losing out on opportunities.
In that row of thoughts the ratio of science and technology graduates in Germany is quite
high. In 2000 that ration was 8.2‰ from all people aged 20-29, 3.6‰ of which females.
To increase the number of enterprises that train apprentice, the federal government suspended
the regulations governing trainer qualifications for a period of five years. Since 1 August
2003, all appropriately skilled entrepreneurs are qualified to train apprentices. Furthermore,
the federal government is also going to make training more attractive for companies:
Training regulations are being modernized and simplified and oriented to companies'
operational possibilities, in particularly those of SMEs. Moreover, the regulations are
restricted to brief and readily understandable training contents that are limited to minimum
Examination rules have been streamlined, the examination concepts have been made more
uniform and simplified and the examination times have been considerably reduced.
More two-year training periods are being developed and the model of gradual training
programs (possible certification after two and three years) is being increasingly employed.
To accelerate the restructuring, the bodies are being reduced to arrive at an economically
sensible training system as soon as possible.
During this legislative period, the federal government will also be tackling the necessary
structural reform of the vocational training and vocational-training assistance laws. Core
elements of the reform are:
 the modernization of vocational initial and further training, especially the introduction of a
stretched final examination and the extension of the flexibility to develop and test new
training regulations,
 the internationalization of vocational training,
 the promotion of regional responsibility and co-operation and
 the acceleration of the procedure for issuing training regulations.
The Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour will additionally work to ensure that
the legal framework conditions are structured in a manner conducive to private-sector needs,
so that important incentives to create additional training slots are created, above all in the
SME sector, as the result of the removal of training obstacles.
In-company continuing training
It is recognised by 85% of all companies in Germany as a key activity in the context of
“lifelong learning”. 85% of all companies in Germany are aware of the importance of incompany continuing training as a contributory factor to the lifelong learning of their
For 53% in-company goals are to the fore. At the same time, the people responsible for
continuing training in the companies recognise the burden which results from the concept of
“lifelong learning”. 85% stress the increasingly frequent multiple burdens of work, family and
learning; 81% mention the unrelenting pressure on the workforce to learn something new,
56% observe increasing uncertainty in the individual about the opportunities for career
advancement and 54% assume there is a growing private financial burden.
These are the results of a study conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational
Training (BIBB) commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research in
conjunction with the second Europe-wide company survey of continuing training in
enterprises (CVTS-II). Within the framework of the study financed by the European
Commission, 10,000 companies were inter-viewed in Germany (Europe-wide around 90,000
in 25 countries) about their continuing training activities. In addition, 474 companies offering
continuing training in Germany were asked about the impact of structural change and
globalisation on their recruitment and qualification strategies, their contribution to the lifelong learning of their workforce and the increasing responsibility of the continuing training
participants to build on and maintain their knowledge
IT continuing training in Germany
The Federal Institute for Vocational Training, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry for
Education and Research (BMBF) and the social partners, has set up a continuing training
system for the information and communication sector. It lays down qualification standards
for 29 common specialist profiles. The new IT continuing training system was created jointly
with trade unions, associations and companies. Six new continuing training diplomas have
been approved.
The restructuring of IT continuing training creates a transparent system extending from
qualification as a “specialist“ down to certificates as operational and strategic “professionals“.
In future, it should be possible to combine practice-oriented qualification in a company with
academic training at a university. BMBF, together with the business associations and trade
unions involved, is to approach the federal states for their support. The IT continuing training
system will enable young IT specialists, who often switch to this sector from other
occupations, to refresh their knowledge, to specialise and to obtain high-grade diplomas on a
par with the bachelor or master. This means that Germany will be one of the first countries in
Europe to implement the agreement on the “European Credit Trans-fer System (ETCS)“
entered into in September 1999 in the “Bologna Declaration“ of the European Ministers of
Education. It stipulates, amongst other things, that in order to promote lifelong learning,
opportunities should be provided for the acknowledgement of qualifications obtained by
students outside the university system through credit transfer systems to the universities they
wish to attend. This approach is a direct response to the demand spanning several decades for
the equivalence of general and vocational education.
Furthermore, it smoothes the path for the transition from vocational training to higher
A research project on Electronic Business - Qualification Development in International
The German Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) is carrying out (2002- 2003) an
internationally comparing research project on the development of skills requirements in
commercial service occupations (Level 3 and 4) namely in Electronic Business and the
adaptation of standards and training provision. Characterized by high growth rates e-Business
increasingly influences and shapes the dynamic development and restructuring processes of
enterprises and fields of occupational activities. At the same time e-Business accelerates the
internationalisation of business dealings and the transnational oriented training of skilled
A first preparatory research project on ‘eCommerce - skills development and qualification
requirements’ in seven sectors in Germany has shown, that commercial service employees
have to acquire cross sector-competences which ought to be combined with sector- and job
specific competences.
In a new research project in collaboration with the Research Institute for Vocational
Education and Training in Crafts Sector (FBH) at the University of Cologne the BIBB is
looking at both the more specific requirements and suitable qualifying measures in eBusiness. Case studies on enterprise level shall be carried out in IT and trade (wholesale and
retail) in three countries in Western Europe, North America and East Asia.
The research objective is to identify the developments in the various countries and the
strategies, methods and concepts of enterprises (big business and SMEs) to cover the skills
requirements. The second focus is on the question whether the skills and competences in
question should be part of general, general vocational or vocational qualifications and when
and where they should be acquired (secondary education, initial training, further education, at
the work place …). In particular the project is looking at the following competences:
• Commercial/IT-hybrid competence
• Social and communicative net competence in internal, international and intercultural
• Process orientation in the context of internal entrepreneurship and project
• Media competence
Electronic Commerce
The German government is assisting 24 regional centres of expertise in e-commerce in which
SMEs are given a broad range of information, advice, and training for the better use of the
Internet. In addition, there are branch-specific centres of expertise for trade and tourism. A further
center for the liberal professions is now in preparation. With a number of initiatives, the federal
government is helping to make SMEs fit for the Internet age. The Multimedia start-up competition
will thus be a stimulus for turning innovative business ideas into reality in the promising
multimedia sector. The German Internet Prize seeks to encourage the creation of model examples
and already successfully tested best-practice examples of innovative Internet solutions taken by
SMEs, which can furnish orientation assistance to other interested parties.
Offering training and advisory services to start-up entrepreneurs and SMEs is a central element of
Germany's SME policy. In this context, the German government particularly relies on the
chamber organizations and on other partners in the business community that supply corresponding
consulting and training measures, and it assists start-up entrepreneurs and SMEs in making use of
such offers. In the year 2000, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology allotted some
30 million euros in assisting consulting and training efforts. Roughly 200,000 start-up
entrepreneurs and small businesses were trained and advised. In addition, the Deutsche
Ausgleichsbank operates its own consulting centers at more than 40 locations in Germany's new
The round tables established by the Deutsche Ausgleichsbank and the chambers are assistance
measures that are used for companies experiencing crisis situations and that have proven to be of
great value. Such companies can receive assistance at more than 30 locations in Germany, also
with the aid of external experts.
Image Campaign "nexxt" - Initiative Business Successorship
To bring the topic of passing business ownership along to the next generation to the greater
attention of the public, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology launched the image
campaign "nexxt - Initiative Business Successorship" in May 2001; the campaign aims at
informing present owners and potential successors. In this connection, events have been held
throughout Germany together with many other partners from the business community; they have
concentrated on the topic of successorship. In cooperation with the chambers, the Deutsche
Ausgleichsbank is operating the project of an Internet firm bourse CHANGE/CHANCE.
Participating in this project nationwide are more than 700 network partners in chambers, savings
banks, and bank cooperatives. There are presently approximately 10,000 ads placed in the firm
4.2 Skill (knowledge) use practice in the SMEs (demand side)
In Germany there is further education of employees, which every undertaking has to make in
regular intervals, because that is legally stipulated. Herein belong for example further
education of employees, who are involved in the fields of security and hygiene
5.Lessons from the sector focused on case studies
Four enterprises from different industries were selected and questioned . Each questioning
was based on a questionnaire prepared prior to that and afterwards the report was evaluated.
The people asked were the executive managers and/or the managing directors of the
enterprises. The four case studies refer to enterprises from the IT branch, the construction
industry, the tourism sector and from the service sector.
Click Solutions
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy
Click solutions is a start UP enterprise with seat in the Hanseatic city Wismar
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour the number of business start-ups
in Germany rises even further. That is definitely positive characteristic, because exactly small
and middle enterprises have special share in Germany’s service sector. On average with every
newly established enterprise, four new jobs are created. Also the rapid development in the
Internet and biotechnology industries clarifies the importance, which new, innovative
enterprises have the economic strength and international competitiveness of Germany.
The financing is a particularly important chapter of a business start-up. Due to that, a start-up
enterprise should definitely first take an advice on this matter. For such inquiries available
are: Chambers, the KfW middle class bank as well as all banks and savings banks. The
enterprises should be well prepared for such a consulting discussion, so that the interlocutors
can exactly estimate and evaluate the prospects of the enterprise. Such a consultation for
small and middle enterprises can be financially promoted.
The promotion contains subsidies for business start up consultation, general consultation for
all problems of the management and the adjustment to new competitive conditions, energy
savings consultation and environmental protection consultation. But the respective enterprise
must get in contact with the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
The IT sector belongs both to the public and private service. This industry branch made in
2003, a total GDP of 429.98 billion EUR (in current prices)
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated
This in January 2000 through Holger Blüthmann established sole business has developed into
a successful Start-Up-Undertaking in the Hansestadt Wismar through the trust and the
increased expectations of the customers.Click Solutions Business Communication Ltd was
established on 28th May 2003 by two students of business computer science at Hochschule
Wismar-University of Technology, Business and Design- Holger Blüthmann and Stefan von
Stade. As Mr. Holger Blüthmann has seen his goal in the occupational independence since
already several years, only few months followed after study beginning to the trade registration
of sole business, in January 2000, taking advantage of the several fiscal such(i.e. the trade
registration entitles the reimbursement of the value added tax paid for operational reasons).
His first project followed shortly after registration, concerning formation of internet presence.
Afterwards further assignments followed in the sphere of business communication and IT.
From the extensive and multilayered cooperation with renown enterprises, closer business
relationship between a big client and Mr. Blüthmann and Mr. von Stade was developed. In
order to keep this relationship straight and consolidate, a decision was taken to establish a
common Ltd. They have decide for the most frequently chosen statute form. The most
important reason for that is: The Company is only liable as far as to the height of the fixed
capital against business partners.
The main capital of the Click Solution Business Communication Ltd corresponds to the
legally stipulated minimum main capital in height of 25.000 €. It is spread over the individual
partners like follows:
 Holger Blüthmann: 25 %
 Stefan von Stade: 25 %
 3rd Partners: 50
Mr. Blüthmann was nominated for a sole managing business partner. Later on the third
partner, had faced some financial shortages, which resulted in his business shares being
forfeited and entitled on equal bases to Mr. Blüthmann and Mr. von Stade in December 2003.
III. Activity and markets
Market situation
Click Solution does not fear competition, despite many similar companies operating on the
same market. Even though seated in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, really small part of its
clients comes from the region. Bigger projects and orders the Click Solutions Business
Communication Ltd. gets from national customers.
This region offers variety of advantages, among others low life retention costs, business
profits from different business foundation supports, the bargain rent in the recently erected
TFZ( Technology and Research Centre). Furthermore, Mr. Blüthmann, as a matriculated
student, can enjoy free educational and advice opportunities of the Hochschule WismarUniversity of Technology, Business and Design through the project INFEX spin-off
(Information for Business Establishment). and is a common undertaking of the projectexecutor Educational Development plan of the Economy (EDP) in cooperation with the
cooperation partner, that of ATI West Mecklenburg ( agency for technology transfer and
innovation support Ltd.) with the goal, strongly to support students before and during their
business proprietorship.
Mr. Blüthmann finds a big benefit for him and his company in the integration into a narrow
network with other businesses and external partners. For this reason the cluster/network
formation is striven respectively so far already available developed.
Just in the initial phase, shortly after the foundation, the click solutions business
communication Ltd have worked priory Sub-undertaking for the enterprise, which later will
be in the Ltd involved. The click solutions Business Communication even looks after some
external partnerships.The development of some programming tasks and the
procurement/creation of hardware elements are given by the click solution to external
partners, to whom a strong business relationship exists for a long time.
For this reason it is obvious that the click solutions holds on to these approved contacts and
always uses the same external partners.
For Mr. Bluethmann it is indispensable that the external partners are both trusting and the
transferred tasks rank among their absolute strengths. But the utilization of these business
relationships should not lead to the dependence on both sides
IV. Work organization, management
Mr. Holger Blüthmann exercises the function of the sole manager. Due to that he is the
decision-maker by all daily tasks. Among other things, however, he informs Mr. Stefan von
Stade regularly about striding ahead of individual projects and over organizational measures
and necessities which accompany the management of the Ltd.
By far-reaching decisions, immediate consultation is held. Through this safeguarding, Mr.
Blüthmann deals in the concerted sense of both partners.
Also those of Mr. Stefan von Stade exercised functions are indispensable for the business. Mr.
von Stade takes partially over his own projects. For their common business, he is responsible
for the demanding Quality management and in all Marketing questions.
Both partners count as Key-Account-Manager and personally stand for their respective
customer group as first contact person on request anytime.
click solutions Business
communication Ltd.
Holger Blüthmann
 Project leading
 Design and
Stefan von Stade
Quality management
 Project management
 Marketing
Work flow
The clear distribution of the tasks and areas of responsibility provides a reasoned order in the
business. Mr. Blüthmann complaints that the strategically planned work flow unfortunately is
often influenced by some outer disturbing factors, which are mostly organizational problems,
and unfortunately only rarely noticed in advance and therefore could be avoided only in the
rarest cases.
By the click solutions Business communication Ltd., flexible working times are practiced.
The necessary work workload is determined by the project work and the connected to which
fluctuating work intensity. Therefore it not only rarely occurs that Mr. Blüthmann and Mr.
von Stade must work also on the weekend or at holidays. A usual workweek for Mr. Holger
Blüthmann and for Mr. Stefan von Stade includes on average more than 40 hours.
Social resources
With the trade registration, the Click Solutions Business Communication Ltd. is a member of
the IHK in Schwerin. As "fosters of the economy", the IHK stands up for the entire economy
of the region, for the whole industries as well as for the individual businesses and for future
entrepreneurs. Mr. Blüthmann, however, up to now, could not derive any considerable
advantages, respectively, useful achievements for itself from this membership.
The West Mecklenburg’s forum for economy e.V.
It offers some advantages and opinions for the appropriate rate on the height of 100 €
annually membership insoles. Apart from the own presence at the individual entrepreneur
meetings, through this economic club it can create and maintain further, worthy contacts.
Furthermore, the Click Solutions Business Communication Ltd. is member of the
Creditreform e.V. The association of the Creditreform Club is the roof organization for the (at
present 134) German offices of the Creditreform Club. Creditreform occupies itself with
economic information, the derived from those marketing services as well as with debt
collecting services.
Holger Blüthmann
Born on 28th May 1981 in Rostock
Single, German citizenship
 IT-advisor and project leaders
 Web designer and software architect
Practical work experience
 Preparation and realization of IT-Concepts
 Information security and data protection in the Federal Technical Help organization
 Support at the introduction of Process-oriented management systems
 Design and programming of one application of the process cost bill
Stefan von Stade
born on 20th. May 1975 in Grevesmühlen
single, German citizenship
 IT-Advisor in the area of Internet communication and information security
 Web designer
Work experience
 Preparation and realization of IT-Concepts
 Preparation and introduction of security concepts
 \Data protection and information security in the public health insurance (GKV)
 Business process modelling
 Realization of Web projects
V. Knowledge used, development practice
As already mentioned, Mr. Blüthmann could use due to his status as a student various
educational measures of the INFEX-Projects at the Hochschule Wismar-University of
Technology,Business and Design. INFEX offers information and assistance to students and
graduates of the Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology,Business and Design, who
would like to establish a new enterprise. The project is promoted by the European Social fund
and the regional program ASP.
Click Solutions also profits through the close relationship to Hochschule Wismar-University
of Technology, Business and Design. Throughout his own study time, both Mr. Holger
Blüthmann as well as Mr. Stefan von Stade were able to built a good personal contact to
many professors of the Hochschule for Economy, Technology and Design, that they still keep.
Naturally such close relationship brings them essential advantages i.e access to scientific
projects and advices, innovations and etc.
Further education
Further education is no empty word but a steady process by the click solutions business
communication Ltd. On that occasion Mr. Blüthmann sees little sense into going in for "blind
further education." That means, Mr. Blüthmann and Mr.von Stade cannot imagine, without
any particular occasion or personal interests, visiting a x-whatever further education. Rather
by the given customer's requests the two partners recognize, which qualifications or abilities
must be additionally learned or extended.
In their undertaking, further education must function as an integrated process. that the two
partners educate themselves mostly independently of each other by Internet searches and by
means of various technical literatures over innovations from the IT range. Besides the already
mentioned external information sources like for example miscellaneous internet sides,
compartment books and subject-specific magazines, also the activity of an academic trainee is
a meaningful way in order to reach current practical knowledge. Generally Mr. Blüthmann is
confident that the way apparently is "learning by doing“ is the most effective for employees.
Mr. Blüthmann estimates that is maximum 0,5 percent of the annual turnover are being spent
on further education measures. This is based on the fact that click solutions can use numerous
free knowledge sources for it. Besides information sides, this is also due to the near situated
college library in Wismar.
With the view of staying in tact with the newest IT-appliances and innovative technologies on
international level, Mr. Blüthmann and Mr von Stade visit the annually CeBIT taking place in
Hanover. With its more than 500 000 visitors and above 6.400 exhibitors in 2004, CeBIT
gives positive impulse to the industry. This year the fair witnessed steadily climbing in the
number the purchasers from the specialized stores including the middle class and the IT and
telecommunication management. A clear evidence of the strengthening of the economic
situation in the industry, backed by the 57% of the exhibitors, who agree with this statement.
VI. Strength am weakness of the firm
As already mentions, Mr. Blüthmann could use due to his status as a student various
educational measures of the INFEX-Projects at the Hochschule Wismar-University of
Technology, Business and Design. INFEX offers information and assistance to students and
graduates of the Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology, Business and Design, who
would like to establish a new enterprise. The project is promoted by the European Social fund
and the regional program ASP. Through this project, following goals should be realized at the
Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology, Business and Design:
 Development of inventiveness and creativity
 Reduction of establishing fear
Support of newly established undertakings from colleges
Point out occupation alternatives
Mediation of a realistic entrepreneur picture
Settlement of the scientific-technical offspring in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Information, motivation, qualification and company support of entrepreneurial spirit
and thinking
 Establishment of an originator atmosphere at the colleges
 Study-encroached information about enterprise's foundation
In weekly seminars he has received, accompanied his study, diverse economic knowledge, for
the establishment and leadership of a business
When in the summer 2003,the click solutions Business Communication Ltd. was being
on the search of representative office areas, it was a happy coincidence that exactly at this
time the TFZ Wismar (Technology and Research centre) was opened a. At an extremely
attractive location, directly at the old Holz harbour of the Hansestadt Wismar, a modern
building complex was erected, which offers office areas for interested businesses but also
other industrially usable surfaces. The TFZ Wismar is an expansion of the TGZ Schwerin
(technology and trade centre) which has its headquarters in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
provincial capital. The technology and trade centre with its locations in Schwerin, Wismar
and Malchow/Poel Island has the goal to support and accompany young technology-oriented
businesses by the first steps towards independence and in the first years of business operation.
Mr. Blüthmann and Mr.von Stade are in a favourable situation that their undertaking is
not very investment-intensive. To a predominant part, their original business provision
consisted of the utensils, which were anyway necessary for their study. That is the reason why
no considerable, larger new acquisitions had to be transacted in the first fiscal year.
Nevertheless in order to be on the newest level of the technology, the Equipment is
continually re armed. This is interconnected with by far lower costs, than if equipment had
been absolutely given up and that’s why in approximately two years a new EDP installation
would have been acquired.
In principle, the business is financed from the gained income. Therefore, further investment of
personal capital of the partners was not necessary in the first fiscal either. Of course all
editions are thoroughly thought through and are weighted out. Because financial
independence, towards banks or other suppliers, has a high priority for both entrepreneurs.
The funding of the business took place exclusively from savings and incomes from the
handled own entrepreneurial activity without demands of public means, credits or similar
allowances for the business establishment, both partners emphasize.
In the summer 2004, the purchase of a first business vehicle is planned. But also for this
commodity, a crucial criterion was the economic viability and effective utilization. The
funding of the new vehicle must be secured and by no means cannot endanger the company's
liquidity .In order to comply with all those prerequisites, a leasing funding was agreed upon.
The click solution Business Communications Ltd. knows how to use the advantages of
the E-Business for itself. Per internet, or CD catalogue prices and product quality could be
easier to investigate and compare. These mostly have an order function, over which orders are
conveyed via Internet to the supplier. So, both suppliers as well as customers can save to a
certain degree much time in the handling of the orders. Especially helpfully here are, the so
called "Business-to-Business,( B2B)-Trading platforms", that lead supply and demand to each
other per internet
Like most small and middle enterprises also Click solutions enterprise communication Ltd.
has also partial high open demand accounts due to bad payment moral of the customers. The
partners have been aware of this pervasive situation for a long time and by dispersion of their
work on a multiplicity of smaller projects, and regular rendering of invoice, they were able to
neutralize the risk of their own liquidity shortage. Another helping factor here is ,that to all
customers, apart from the business relationship, a good personal contact has been developed.
VII. Future perspectives
As a long-term goal, the click solution business communication Ltd would like to settle in
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. But also the parallel national development should be
Maybe the EU's Eastern Enlargement contributes also to the undertaking for an extension of
its own accomplishment spectrum and action area. Recently, the company "click solutions"
produced Chinese web pages for a customer for the first time. Through new export areas of its
customers, the click solutions business communication Ltd. from Wismar would also win new
activity sphere/field.
Beside the main business field, the IT sector, the click solutions business communication
Ltd.is also interested in the development of innovative software products. A new, lucrative
business branch, that entails potential for additional jobs, could grow from it in the future. A
new product is presently drafted in cooperation with the two diploma writing students and
another trainee.
In the company, every gradual development of abilities and accomplishment spectrum is
viewed as internal innovation. For example, the previous service area was supplemented with
another service in the last weeks. Through project experiences and real "learning by doing" as
well as the diploma work of Mr. Stefan von Stade on the topic "Information Security“both
entrepreneurs can become involved in the external data-protection in the future. This is a
service with high demand due to the mounting requests to businesses in handling with person
referential data. Mr. Holger Blüthmann and Mr. Stefan von Stade hope to be able to develop
new clientele through that
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy
The service sector has produced a gross value added of 429.98 billion EUR (in current prices)
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated
The RATHGEBER & PARTNERS Ltd. arose 1991 as spin-off of the institute for operation
Research of the University of the Armed Forces Hamburg. University Professor Dr. Tido
Böttcher, whose plan game LUDUS® was awarded with the German College Software price,
cooperates with the RATHGEBER & PARTNERS Ltd. for the development of plan games.
At the then time, the business still engaged itself with speculative businesses on the German
Futures Stock Exchange.
In 1996, Rathgeber & partners Ltd. took over the rights of the business plan game LUDUS.
Through that the construction of the business area software development began, and
HypoVereins Bank belonged to the first customers, which is the second-biggest private bank
in Germany.
Rathgeber & partners is a company with limited liability (GmbH) and has four owners. From
those only Dr. Kai Neumann and Dr. Thomas Schueler execute the manager activities in the
business. The size of the business is dependent on the current situation. Generally, Rathgeber
& partners is led by the two managers. The company also employs the so called free lasers,
self employed, who in fact contribute to the companies organization, making the work
organization remarkably flexible.
III. Activity and markets
Activities of Rathgeber & partners
The business works purely market-dependent, that is why there is not any solid daily business,
which must be taken care of. The business acquires new customer contacts through the
existing networks and co operations. Many of its present customers became aware of
Rathgeber & partners also through recommendation from other satisfied customers, and less
through own advertising measures. The company is striving to maintain these customer
contacts before responding to further prospects.
Rathgeber & partners is a virtual undertaking .This means that admittedly it is a real business,
with all the interconnected duties that of the legislators stipulates. It is registered in the
Company’s Register. It is only physically not visible, since it doesn't have any office areas,
for example. It is virtually based on the internal structures and the network. Since at the time
in the legislation there wasn’t anything in such form yet, due to that the business has
advantages and also disadvantages. The managing director of Rathgeber&partners hopes that
the legislator would extend the free space for these enterprises, diminishes and simplifies the
legal regulations in the industrial law and/or legal regulations for the taxation and balance of
the same.
The products offered by the company are basically seminars for their clients’ co-workers and
license for plan games, usually colleges, i.e. the required software for the simulation plan
A certificate certifies for all seminar participants the knowledge acquisition and the increase
in competence. What is a plan game?
Basically a plan game is also practice-orientated and dynamic case example. It puts the
individual people among
the team in the centre and fosters the co- thinking and consistent action. The customer's
business is integrated into the plan game as abstract form so to speak
Computer simulations
LUDUS is the version developed to a strategic management plan game of Schul-LUDUS - a
program package, that was awarded with the German College Software price 1990 as best
simulation model in the area of economics. The current version 4.3 leads forward this
successful development. The satisfactory working business management model in numerous
uses was extended among others to the direct trade between the simulated businesses and
targeting intervention possibilities of the game direction.
LUDUS simulates the decision processes on the uppermost leadership level of German
businesses. It shows the effect and allows the control of such decisions. Both the strategic
planning as well as the operative realization stands in the foreground on that occasion. In
Germany Rathgeber & partners is the No 2 in the college area with the simulation plan game
Memberships,public incentives and cooperation
As normal company Rathgeber&partners is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but with
a greater importance is the membership in the SAGSAGA, Swiss Austrian German
Simulation And Gaming Association - association for plan games in Germany, Austria and
Switzerland, e.V, a union of plan game experts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who
was established in 2001, in order to spread the plan game method.
Rathgeber & partners hopes to profit from public incentives. Through the increase of EU
projects, more customers come towards the business. The European Union approves
promotion money for Slovakia, for example. Thus it is possible for universities to acquire
licenses for LUDUS. Without these funds, they would not be in a position to it.
Furthermore Rathgeber & partner operates Networking within the export range. Thus cooperation with the company Carl Duisberg society (CDG) and their subsidiary companies
Carl Duisberg Centren (CDC) exists. Carl Duisberg society is responsible for international
training further and Carl Duisberg Centren for world-wide management training. With these
companies Rathgeber & partners entered in cooperation in Eastern Europe for the personnel
development, personnel use and personnel training education. At present, the main
geographical focuses lie at Russia and China, China still is momentary in the planning phase.
A license was given to Rathgeber & partners for Russia. Therefore, the simulation program
LUDUS will be marketed free of charge in Russia under another name – DELTA.
The inter connection through networks plays definitely a major role in the company’s
business, especially the connection with wide range of colleges, where the interconnection
between each other stands in the centre of Rathgeber & partners. The many contacts, that the
business has in the meantime, are so to speak the immaterial fortune of the undertaking
IV. Work organization, management
Shareholders' meeting
There are two managing directors. The managing directors attained a doctorate after their
study. The self-employed completed a business management or economic study.
The self-employed must show certain qualifications before they receive their first a customer.
They are educated by Rathgeber & partners extensively for it and are tested.
Professor Neumann, one of the managing directors, was working mostly for Rathgeber &
partners, before its appointment as a professor in Accounting and Controlling at the FH
Wismar. This was for him very much fun. But his personal strength is more in the contact
establishment (for example at fairs), with potential customers. Since in his opinion he will be
not able to lead contract negotiations with future customers optimally, it is better for him to
execute the managing activity only sideline
The virtual form of the enterprises gives some quite important advantages such as the lack of
fixed cost and disbursements and the working time dependence of demand.
As for the infrastructure Rathgeber & partners uses the newest EDP installations, the most
current information technologies and all preferences of the internet in the daily business. On
the financial side the company is quite independent and has never taken a credit.
The working time and - intensity is according to demand. If a project must be taken care of,
the managers as well as the free workers have much to do at every time. If no project is on the
agenda, they have nothing to do. The working time therefore is dependent on the processing
of the projects.
The work flow is variable and always depends on the execution of project.
Usually the customer turns to one of the two managers for organizing a seminar in their
enterprise. The manager looks for the self-employed, who has the suitable abilities and then
assigns him with the realization of this order. The self-employed receives the necessary
materials from the business. Certain refinement are discussed and clarified, what to pay
attention to. Then the self-employed person goes to the customer, holds the seminar and
charges Rathgeber & partners for this. Rathgeber & partner settles this demand and likewise
gives its customer a bill
Generally, good conditions for working prevail in the company
V. Knowledge used, development practice
Further education and innovation
Further education is inevitably main issue in this business, and as all business owners work as
full-time professors at colleges at present. the further educationa training, above all that of the
managing director, is secured by their principal occupation.
Self-employed persons, employed depending on demand by the company, are likewise all
business professionals as well as diploma economists. Since they execute the seminars, they
must be highly qualified as a trainer; also they must have very good business management’s
knowledge and also possess social abilities in contact with people The self-employed persons
receive continual educational training courses by Rathgeber & partners. These training
courses are seminars of several days and are accomplished once a year.
Rathgeber & partners has always tried to stand at the top of the progress, this refers mostly to
the didactics and soft as well as hardware. As soon as an innovation comes on the market,
which appears useful to the business, strives for and integrates that also into the planning
game. In that way, the enterprise uses innovations, which are new on the market
VI. Strength am weakness of the firm
Networks- Rathgeber & partner has access to information by the existing networks and
co-operation. Cross-linking among each other is in the centre of Rathgeber & partners. The
many contacts that enterprise meanwhile has, are so to say immaterial fortune. That
particularly shows up in the goal of Rathgeber & partners
 optimal use of synergies by the network work
Therefore the enterprise constantly asks itself the question: For whom can the existing
contacts be as well meaningful and through whom can Rathgeber & partner get further
customers? In the networks the enterprises use themselves thus mutually; each thinks for the
other and tries to help it to come forward.
Rathgeber & partner operates Networking within the export range. With some
companies the enterprise entered in a co-operation ,regarding personnel development,
personnel employment and personnel coach training in Eastern Europe. At present the main
place of work lies in Russia. In the future the enterprise would like to become active also in
Financial resources -Rathgeber & partners is a service enterprise, which does not
need any cost-intensive machines for working. Bank loans are not present. All necessary
investments were financed through own capital funds or from the internal cash flow. The
acquisition of the necessary computer equipment and the necessary presentation materials was
realized from without any outside financial support.
As soon as a useful innovation comes on the market Rathgeber & partner, try to integrate it
also into the planning games. However the enterprise does not try to develop its own
innovations, information and communication technologies only are used in the enterprise
VII. Future perspectives
The core element for the enterprise is LUDUS in the field of universities. This should be still
better represented internally and also externally. In Chemnitz the planning game is offered
even to pupils.However Rathgeber & partner regrets that these possibilities are not yet
sufficiently used. If the enterprise ,however, would handle this more professional, then so it
could develop its market position still further. The enterprise has great interest in an
expansion. In addition there is lack of time for an intensive and above all professional contact
care of the managing directors. That is why further improvements on that issue should be
made in the enterprise.
As already mentioned the company would like to establish further on the Chinese market.
Seehotels Binz-Therme Rügen
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy
The tourism is an important economic factor for Germany, contributing approximately 8 per
cent to the Gross Domestic Product, where only the Hotel industry contributes1.3%.
Especially it is important for regions, which are industrially weakly developed and lie in
bigger distance to industry and service centres. A great meaning for the protection of jobs has
the revenues from the tourism on that occasion, to the conservation and support of the
regional economic strength.
Despite the increasing higher valuation of the euro, which makes the tourist country Germany
more expensive at least for guests outside the Euro zone, the number of the overnight
accommodation of guests from the foreign country increased again noticeably in the year
2003 with +2,7 %. The increase of the overnight stay numbers of foreign guests is to be led
back above all on the development in the direct one(s) or close situated neighbour countries.
However, Germany is and remains the number 1 for the Germans at the most popular
destinations. With a market share of 58 percent by the vacation trips from one overnight stay
up, the domestic vacation is far before Italy and Spain with a market share of 13 percent
Tourism in Mecklenburg West Pomerania
The economic importance of the tourism is visible in the enterprises of this industry. 1.370
businesses supply with jobs 6.000 people. Their annual turnover amounts to approximately
156 million EUR.The promotion measures of the country amounted to approximately 160
million EUR from 1990 to 2003. Alone 200 mill EUR are planned for the erecting of yacht
harbours in Rostock and Boltenhagen
II. Main characteristics of the firm investigated
The business history of the "Seehotels Binz-Therme Rügen" began in the year 1994. At this
time, the property was approximately 35.000 square meters large, situated directly at the
beach of Binz, partially consisted of pine trees and dune landscape. In 1994 a drilling on this
property was accomplished in four different depths (300 m, 615 m, 950 m, and 1223 m).
Every drilling found a wellspring. . A Kommanditgesellschaft & Co GmbH (Ltd.) was
created. In 1996 began the construction work and on 01.08.1998 the hotel was officially
opened. The refinancing was secured by the credit institution Bank North LB and the
Then followed a Pre-Opening through "TREFF - hotels", the Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen,
was conceived by the TREFF group, built 1997/1998 and led in the Pre Opening until short
before the opening in July 1998, followed again by a period o operation by the owners, and
then "Radisson SAS". And eventually coming to the renewed operation by the owners starting
from February 2000 until today.
The sea-hotel Binz-Therme Rügen isa Limited Partnership& CO Ltd.(Kommanditgesellschaft
& Co GmbH) with seven limited partners and two complementary ones.
The financial provision consists of 30 % insoles and to 70 percent of foreign capital. This is
somewhat atypical since funds are usually formed in this scope. The enterprise consists of 95
permanently employed and 30 training ones. For the main season maximally 5 seasonal
workers are needed. The sea-hotel Binz-Therme Rügen offers secured jobs to its workers over
the whole year. Thus the fluctuation is to be kept low among the employees and be reduced
annually training of new workers reduced as well as avoided
III. Activity and markets
The hotel
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Rüge is characterised by a peaceful and near to a forest location at
the Ortsrand of Binz, with direct entrance to the marvellously wide sandy beach, where the
water rescuers of the DLRG Ortsgruppe of Binz provide for safe bathing pleasures. It offers
143 comfortably furnished hotel rooms and suites to his/its guests, equipped with
bath/shower, WC, hair drier, satellite-TV, hotel video, radio, even election telephone, desk
and seat corner. Diverse seminar and banquet possibilities offer the appropriate frameworks
for a pleasant as well as successful process of different events. Four convention, and
conference areas as well up to 140 square meters, all with daylight like also darken- offers
sufficiently place for all executable event's forms
The termal
With drillings at the beginning of the 90's was discovered a sea costal iodine brine hot spring
between Baltic Sea beach and sea-hotel Binz-Therme Rügen. This is in depths of 300 to 1.222
meters and is 4 to 34° Celsius warm. Analyses resulted in that, that this kind and composition
of the brine are unique at the Baltic Sea coast.
Market position
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen has a bed utilization of approximately 65 percent annually.
For the year 2003, the average utilization of the offered beds amounted to 36, 2 percent in
Germany and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 40, 9 percent. The hotel clearly lies over
this level, one of the reasons behind this success is the Thermal basin, which gave the hotel
the advantage of extended season from May till the end of October. Altogether, 10.000 beds
are available to the visitors in Binz of these; the Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen offers 600
accommodation possibilities to its guests. The country has stipulated that the bed capacity in
Rügen is not being increased further more. Since there is not any hotel with a similar offer,
the Seehotel has no main competitors on the Rügen Island. There is not any "fight" for
tourists. There is actually tolerance among each other. The hotels get along quite well
In addition, Seehotel Binz-Therme doesn’t belong to any network or hotel chain and operates
completely on its own.
Memberships, public incentives and co operations
Naturally Seehotel Binz-Therme is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as
DEHOGA- the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. This registered union is the
umbrella organization of the guest service sector in Germany. Behind the DEHOGA stands
together with the German guest service commerce, a growing service sector and a strong part
of economics with predominantly medium-size character.
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen, was promoted financially to 30 percent at the construction
of the object.
The Hotel have established business connections with Upstalsboom, one of North Germany’s
leading hotel groups, Neckermann- Reisen, ITS, Ameropa
IV. Work organization, management
The two managers are at the same time the Kommanditisten (limited partners) of the Limited
partnership and are responsible for the results of the company. For the strategic, tactical and
operative task designation, a hotel director was assigned. Both managers have for a main task
the preparation of the balances. Also the conclusion bookings and the profit distribution count
to the shareholders. They are as well responsible for the correspondence with the financing
credit institutes. The managers interpret the period-just Control system after "Uniform System
of Account" and discuss these if necessary with the hotel director. In addition they are
responsible for the reserve creation in the maintenance range. Still, the managers make the
decisions on structural changes or whether new investments should be transacted for the hotel
The hotel director is responsible for the strategic, tactical and operative area of the
undertaking. In addition counts the planning, the execution and control of those entire tasks
which result by a hotel operation. The hotel director completed a commercial education
before his present activity in the hotel and restaurant trade. At present, he studies in Wismar
College Economics with the main focuses marketing / sale and controlling. The hotel director
makes all decisions in reference to the marketing mix in the business. This involves among
others the distribution, the communication, the contracts and the products.
The second level in the management area is steered and coordinated by well trained
department mangers.
The work flow in the business is organized in a two -shift system. The distribution of the
shifts is fixed weekly in advance. In order to evaluate the past week, each week meetings with
the co-workers of each division take place.
Each week take place in the enterprise meetings, which last up to two hours. Each divisions
evaluates the past week and discusses the coming days. Each Monday meet additionally the
department managers of all ranges, in order to clarify lining up problems to compare
characteristic numbers or also to make important decisions. Whereby the co worker should be
also motivated to make considerations.
Chief executive officer
(Wolfgang Möser)
Chief executive officer
(Paul H. Ganssauge)
(M. Möser)
Food & Beverages
Sales & marketing
Department chief
Department chief
Department chief
Department chief
Department chief
with a
Trainees in different divisions
Organigramm Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen
October 2003
At the establishment of the enterprise, a business handbook was produced for the Seehotel BinzTherme Rügen. The handbook contains all standards and regulations for the heads of department
and employees in the business. These standards and regulations correspond to the business
philosophy and the model of the Seehotels Binz-Therme Rügen. The work routine is organized
in a cooperative guidance strategy by the management levels. The existing hierarchy is guarantor
for the existence of the hotel.
V. Knowledge used, development practice
Personnel and Further education
One of the basic characteristics of the hotel is its permanent employed stuff, which is
remarkable achievement for such type of business. In addition to the 95 permanent
employees, 5-6 seasonal workers can be hired. Furthermore, the hotel pays not only fixed
salaries, but also keeps work accounts of the overtime engagement of each employee and pays
overtime allowances. Another feature o the hotel organization is the high number of
professional trainees, which is 28 in total.
The personnel are trained in regular intervals within the range of security. Thus possible
dangers and risks are to be avoided. Also, the communication ability of the employee should
develop. This is reached through training. Selected co-workers (dependent on the activity
area) visit fairs that are important to their work task. The offered further education and
training are executed voluntarily from the business. It concerns internal training courses
during the work time, in which a co-worker trains one or more co-workers. The external
training is organised through particular training companies and takes place outside the
working times.
VI. Strength and weakness of the firm
Due to the thermal brine the hotel can offer to its guests something unique in the area
of recovery and relaxation. This reason, why the hotel registers so high bed of utilization.
The various offers lure each year a great number of visitor to the hotel.
One of the main strengths of the hotel is the extended season, which puts it a step
ahead of the other hotels in the region. It has completely different main season than the
"normal" hotels on ruegen to also.
Furthermore, the thermal basin will always constitute one of the most valuable
advantages of the hotel. Not only due to the season extension, but because of all new wellness
procedures and other similar programs, that the hotel can come up with and develop.
In addition, for an industry such as tourism and hotel management, the personnel is a
crucial asset. Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen has the advantage of permanent employees, who are
highly qualified and familiar with the hotel. Moreover, permanent employment raises the level of
security and the employees’ satisfaction.
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Ruegen was classified by the German hotel and restaurant
federation and received four stars. Now the guests indulge themselves in a first class **** hotel.
The hotel welcomes beside guests from all Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany
also guests from Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, France, Japan and Russia. Their average
share per year is below 5%. On the other hand the share of foreign guests in the total number of
the overnight accomodation in Germany amounted in 2003 to 12,3%.
It would be disputable here whether it is weakness of the enterprise that it does not
belong to any hotel chain and/or is not integrated to any network. Thus e.g. a advertising
expenses could lowered and it would be possible to reach more potential clients, using the
large market of the network.
VII. Future perspectives
The hotel is open for new trends and adapts to the desires of its guests. A swimming pool is
not any more enough for the guest today, something particular must be offered to him. He
would like to relax in the vacation, to do something for his body and its spirit. In order to keep
on track with the current developments, the Seehotel changed the cure enterprise into a
Wellness-Hotel. The enterprise invested and purposely changed its individual ranges,(Not
only the name was therefore altered).Still there must be permanently invested, so that the
hotel also in the future is on the trends and justifies for the claims of its guests.
Enterpirse frrom the Construction industry: Krassow Bau
I. Location of the sector selected in the national, regional economy
The share of the whole sector in the GDP in current prices for 2002 is 4.4%, or 54.01 Mio
euro. Nevertheless throughout the recent years the whole sector is experiencing considerable
The construction industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had to accept again bitter
breakings also in the last year. An improvement of the situation is not in view for 2005.
Construction industry and building industry federation expect in 2004 a recession in sales of
approximately five per cent. So that a capacity reduction of up to seven percent goes along.
With 372 insolvencies in the main construction business in the last year and a turnover
decline compared to 2002 in height of 272 million Euros, the crisis for the construction
continued. Companies of all sizes were affected, whereby the sector high constructing
registered deep cuts with a turnover of minus182 million.
But Thorsten Fichtler would not be Thorsten Fichtler, if he had not already looked around for
new challenges already before the end of the building boom. The decentralized regenerative
power production in his view, on the one hand should make Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
an energy exporter on the basis of the energy feed law and on the other hand help the farmers
,as producers of the necessary biomass, to separate from ruinous European Union-wide
competition in the agriculture.
The production of biomass first for generation of electricity and later for fuel production
could contribute to a cause for change in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which will be
good for all involved ones.
For the conversion of this concept in the year 2000 the energy park Krassow GmbH was
already created. Within the European Union project "10 per cent regenerative supplied region
Luebow/Krassow" is planned, developed a new decentralized force heat coupling with the
biomass straw and a local heat net and examined scientifically.
World conference for renewable energies June 2004 in Bonn
The Federal Government will make available up to 500 million euro additionally at credits for
investments in development of renewable energies and improved energy efficiency in
developing countries, announced Chansler Schroeder. The money should be made available
over the federally-owned KfW-Bank group from 2005 to 2010 as reduced-interest loans for
different projects.
II. Main characteristics of the firms investigated
Mr. Thorsten Fichtler has been among the most successful entrepreneurs from the region
Northwest Mecklenburg for years. What the entrepreneur created in his past career is
exemplary and admirable.
In 1990, he dared the jump into the independence. At this time, he was still student of
mechanical engineering in energy and processing technology at the College of Wismar and
established the company HKF in Krassow.
The following three construction companies form the cornerstone of the company system of
Krassow: HKF House technology Ltd, Zurow Construction Ltd (ZUBA) and Metal
Reconstruction GbR (M+S).
Seat of the enterprises is the technology and trade area Krassow. It ha over 3,000 square
meter production and workshop surface, 10,000 square meter fastened exterior surface, 850
square meter office surface, meeting area for conferences, family celebrations and vacation
III. Activity and markets of the firm
The range of activity of the company is within the classical construction, which are part of
the old industry.
The individual business areas of the company association, specifically in the area metal
processing and construction industry, are active in the North German area as a matter of
priority, in the region Hamburg until Lübeck.
Within the range steel structure Krassow repaired already numerous special preparations to
Krassow building. In the area steel building, Krassow construction placed already numerous
special preparations.
Into the heating engineering industry, the present situation of main construction business
becomes clear. The supplier market is more than satisfied. According to estimation of Mr.
Fichtler, even an over saturation of 30-40 percent prevails.
Mr. Fichtler is in the happy situation that the area heating construction is not the single
business branch of his group and can therefore further-employ the co-workers of the heating
construction in other area in case of lack of orders.
Into his new business field in the area of the renewable energies, Mr. Fichtler invests a large
part of his time. Here, it is worth to open up a new market. And since the number of
comparable competitors is clear, good chances exist to take a forerunner position. The bio
industry offers versatile development possibilities and therefore Thorsten Fichtler would like
to develop further and expand its enterprise in this area.
The company is a member of the Chamber of Crafts in Schwerin and the Entrepreneurial
Association Northern Germany
Fiscal Promotion
For the area metal construction, Krassow construction could profit from the investment
premium. Since April 2004, there is another fiscal rearrangement, which involves a
multiplicity of the construction enterprises.
Starting from 1 April 2004 the value added tax on building works and supplies is again
regulated .The authorization/warrant of the European Council was given and published in the
Official Journal of the European union in time. It applies to: Businesses, that execute also
constructional services and forward building orders to subcontractors, must exhaust the value
added tax on the achievements of their subcontractors in the future to the financial
administration itself, therefore they become the debtor of the VAT.
The individual companies of the Krassow's company group are partially active as Sub
contractors for Hamburg enterprises. This is a pervasive situation for Mecklenburg's
companies from the construction industry. Larger ones, well established enterprises from the
"old Lands of the Federal Republic" often are in advantage by the assignment of public and
private bid invitations. Those favoured enterprises pass on mostly partial works to small
enterprises for a fraction of the price.
Co operations play an important part in the company‘s business among others are Hochschule
Wismar-University of Technology, Business and Design, a roof company and with a regional
business for cryogenics, that helps with the installation of sun - / heat collectors for building.
IV. Work organization, management
Krassow’s company group
HKF Heizungsbau
Tourist centre „Am R.I.T.Z.“
HKF Haustechnik GmbH
Zurow Bau GmbH
Metallbau & Sanierung GbR
Delfis Strandbauten und
Energypark Krassow GmbH
Companies’ Function range:
Reception, technology and transportation, project evaluation,
Wage and finance bookkeeping, camps,
Work flow
For the general work routine constant control of executing building works and supplies is
important. This takes place locally on the building site via the respective construction
supervisor. In the commercial area, another co-worker takes over the project evaluation and
the Controlling.
Controllers and construction supervisor inform themselves consequently over the completion
and economic viability of the construction
Personal development of Mr. Thorsten Fichtler
Thorsten Fichtler was at first full-time horn peat on the shipyard and until 1986 on the LPG as
a locksmith active, after completion of his education. From 1986 to 1987 he retrieved the
Abitur and studied from 1987 to 1991 at the Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology,
Business and Design mechanical engineering and energy engineering and concluded the study
as an engineering graduate in mechanical engineering
In the age of 16 years, Thorsten Fichtler built his first garden bungalow in the standard size of
25 m². While his contemporaries dealt with quite different things, he discovered his
enthusiasm for construction. The quality and the rapid execution of the work were spoken
around of, so that soon further orders followed. Already 1979, the first order came for the
construction of an one-family house. After three homes within 3 years, he erected himself in
1982 already his own house. The training as locksmith, apart from the existing gift until 1979
at first on the then Mathias-Theesen-Werft, at present-AKER MTW shipyard Wismar, formed
the basic stick for this first craft’s success.
The 2nd Managing director Mrs. Zühlke
Mrs. Anne Zühlke exercises the function of the manager. She makes all decisions together
with Mr. Thorsten Fichtler which entail business-wide effects.
For this reason Mrs. Zühlke actually doesn't have any fixed working hours. She works
accordingly to the accruing tasks, normally more than 40 hours per week. She can take
flexible working times for herself if claimed. Often, this looks so that she takes also work
beside the activities in the office with home and finishes there. Because together with the
planned organizational function, she takes over many additional works. Internally, she is the
first conversation partner to the company management for all co-workers.
The biggest incentive is the containment of her job and the protection of the jobs of her
employee. Mrs. Zuehlke is rightfully proud of everything that she have reached with her coworkers so far.
She accepts gladly again and again new challenges in the working life and aims at a further
increase of the efficiency of the work and process performances.
For her work, she receives a fixed manager salary. However, she is excluded from the grant of
accomplishment payment, as all other co-workers in the business are.
Also for her/its/their own capability, the typical physical and psychic office illnesses like for
example put: Move trouble and chronic headaches a threat there. But she/it is present not yet
concerned at it. Nevertheless, she completed disability insurance from sensible reasons. If
woman should be able to pursue Zühlke no more her/its/their occupation, caused by a chronic
illness or an accident, once, so she/it gets references from this insurance.
V. Knowledge use, development practice
Further education
For its co-workers Mr. Thorsten Fichtler often uses the training programs of the Chamber of
Crafts and the IHK of Schwerin. However, these trainings often are very cost-intensive. Often
special craftsman programs take places outward. Therefore all cost in connection with
measures for further education are carried by the enterprise. The training further and
information meetings lie both within and out of the usual working time Finance
For the general financing of his enterprises Mr. Fichtler uses the classical bank financing. His
bank adapts generally to the national financing programs of the KfW bank and sets thereby
approximately equal strict conditions.
Especially severely, the decreasing payment morals meet the construction industry nationwide. As well as public also private clients frequently don't pay within the arranged periods.
Moreover, money is more frequently kept back above all in the home construction, on the
basis of actual or alleged lacks. Because this procedure ends frequently in an out- court
settlement of both parties, the entrepreneur must abstain a part of the money - in times of a
hard competition, usually the calculated profit. A bad payment moral and sluggish purchase
invoices are occasionally reasons for the rising number of the company bankruptcies and
nation wide insolvencies.
The number of the business insolvencies rose on approximately 37.500 in 2002 according to
BDIU. Every 20 minutes an enterprise goes bankrupt and about each minute a person loses
his job, because its employer bankrupts, is said by the federation. Due to that a total economic
damage of 50 billion euro was generated, according to the association's data 650.000 jobs are
threatened through the enterprise collapses.
VI. Strengths and weakness of the firm
Meanwhile, for outstanding innovative achievements Mr. Thorsten Fichtler has received twice
the technology price of the handicraft Mecklenburg Vorpommerns
Renewable energy
Considering the difficulties that the construction industry has been facing Krassow Bau sees
it’s future in the field of renewable, solar energy and solar cooling installations.
Meanwhile, Mr.Fichtler obtains about 20 percent of the total turnover of his companies
through regenerative energies." An area with future and value creation", as he says. Its focus
is thereby on the energy management. Example biomass: The different plants must fit in such
a way, so that a maximum energy can be won.
Based on the defaults of the White Paper of the European Union commission for the doubling
of the portion of renewable energies of the gross inland energy consumption of the European
Union until 2010 will be oriented towards exemplary projects for 100 percent supply of
renewable energies in cities, regions or islands in the campaign for the break-through of
renewable energies (Campaign for takeoffs - CTO).
The solar initiative Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (SIMV) e.V. is the project developer,
co-ordinator and director/conductor of the management. At present in the construction
situated solar centre Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania / Dorf Mecklenburg is guarantor for
the successful construction of the 100%-Region.
Energy from biomass
An important role during the conversion of the project ideas for biomass use such as
fermentation gas production, remainder wood usage-, straw and vegetable oil potentials, plays
the energy park Krassow with the company HKF heating engineering GmbH Krassow.
Solar cooling installations
Solar cooling installation, which sounds paradoxical in the first moment, is another future
undertaking already in planning. For Thorsten Fichtler, however, it is no contradiction to
generate cold also without electricity. The manager of the business HKF house technology
Ltd. seeks again and again new solutions to the utilization of regenerative energies. His most
recent project, the cooling installation, belongs to a "solar-self-sufficient supply system“ that
the middle-class business develops in cooperation with the college of Wismar, and patented.
Simpler said: In the installation, water is withdrawn from heat in an evaporation process. So
areas can be cooled down through this. It's best compared with the principle of a refrigerator.
Only instead of electricity, the system is driven by sun collectors no the roof - from the heat
originates cold.
The payment morals in Germany fall down. Companies and private people take more and
more time for paying open bills. According to a study of a Frankfurt’s Economy information
service the average delay of payment rose in the past two years of approximately eight days to
more than 15 days.
Especially severely, the decreasing payment morals meet the construction industry
nationwide. As well as public also private clients frequently don't pay within the arranged
periods. Moreover, money is more frequently kept back above all in the home construction,
on the basis of actual or alleged lacks. Because this procedure ends frequently in an out- court
settlement of both parties, the entrepreneur must abstain a part of the money - in times of a
hard competition, usually the calculated profit.
A bad payment moral and sluggish purchase invoices are occasionally reasons for the rising
number of the company bankruptcies and nation wide insolvencies.
Construction industry registers altogether sinking revenues, which also the individual
enterprises feel.
VII. Future perspectives
The enterprise has the best chances to survive the slow down in the construction industry, due
to its renewable resources and future oriented technologies. Further more, the enterprise
purposely looks for new innovations, another good reason for secure future.
6. Conclusions
An enterpirse form the IT branch
Click solutions Communications Ltd offers to all its customers form the entire Germany
increasingly larger and more complex projects within the service ranges communication, IT
and information. The enterprise consists of two persons, whereby one of the two exercises the
managing director activity. A clear distribution of the tasks and the scopes of responsibility
exist, which gives the impression of carefully thought order.
To the strengths of the enterprise belong above all that the managing director is able to make
use of the different educational measures of the INFEX project in the Hochschule WismarUniversity of Technology, Business and Design. INFEX offers information and company of
students and graduates of the Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology, Business and
Design, who wants to establish new business.
The financing of the enterprise was exclusively from savings and revenues from the business
activity without recourse to of public means, credits or similar aids for business start-up, both
partners stress. Thus the enterprise is financially completely independent of third parties.
Click solutions Ltd uses the advantages of the e-Business. Through Internet or CD catalogues
product quality and prices can be easily investigated and compared .Usually orders are
conveyed via Internet to the supplier. Due to that both offerers and customers in the can save
much time in processing orders. Suppliers can update their information for their part articles
and prices in Internet at any time.
Only the bad payment moral of their customers can be named as a weakness of the company.
That is not the direct fault of the enterprise, however by special measures can still be
prevented and/or limited, e.g. by pre-payments of the customers. In order for the enterprise to
retain certain liquidity.
The future of the enterprise lies beside the main business field, the IT range, also in the
development of innovative program products. From that, new profitable of deals could
appear, which bring with them selves potential further jobs. At present in co-operation with
two Diplomanten and a trainee a new product is being formed . In the enterprise each gradual
advancement of abilities and power spectrum is regarded as internal innovation.
An enterprise from the service sector
Rathgeber & partner offers various planning games to its customers. These planning
games are accomplished in the form of board planning games or computer simulations.
Planning games represent strategic management plays, which simulate the decision-making
processes on the highest leadership level of German enterprises. The regarded enterprise can
represent an industry or a trading venture
Main characteristic and outstanding strength of the enterprise are that the company is
in fact a virtual enterprise. It is registered in the Commercial register, with all the rights and
obligations resulting from it. But it is physically not visible, i.e. Rathgeber & partner do not
have office space. "Virtual" refers to the internal structures and cross-linking. Meanwhile, the
contacts , that the enterprise was able to establish, are so to say its immaterial fortune.
Internationally the enterprise is active in Russia. With some companies the enterprise
entered in co-operation, regarding the personnel development, the personnel employment and
the personnel coach training in Eastern Europe.
On the financial side, the enterprises does not take any additional financial help from
However, Rathgeber & partner do not try or intent to develop own innovations, and
they only make use of already made IT products.
Their core element within the school range is the plan game LUDUS. And on this field
they are supposed to develop further both on the internal and external markets.
There are still possibilities that were not used by the enterprise. If the company
professionally handles those opportunities, it can further extend its market positions.
An enterprise form the tourism sector
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Rüge offers 143 comfortably furnished hotel rooms. Diverse
seminar and banquet possibilities offer the appropriate frameworks for a pleasant as well as
successful process of different events.
To the absolute strengths of the hotel belongs the thermal basin. Mostly due to that the
hotel has succeeded in extending its season. Now on contrary to the normal season end of
June-end September, the hotel welcomes its guest from the beginning of May till October.
The Seehotel Binz-Therme Ruegen was classified by the German hotel and restaurant
federation and received four stars. Now the guests indulge themselves in a first class ****
However the hotel still is visited mostly by national guest, while the number of foreign
visitors is still quite low compared with the nation-wide average of 12.3%.
In the future the enterprise wants to create its own innovations, which base should be
the Thermal brine. The existing Thermal brine will be used for the processing of own
products, which are at the moment still under planning. Currently water is from 300 m depth
is used for preparation of coffee and tea. For this reason the enterprise considers to sell water
as own brand or to use the existing distributors in Germany. The development and the selling
of own Cosmetic products and/or its own Cosmetic series are likewise in planning.
An enterprise from the constriction industry
The Krassow Group under the direction of Mr. Thorsten Fichtler and Mrs. Anne
Zuehlke is a classical building contractor with development in innovative divisions. Their
enterprise is still successful in a time when many traditional crafts enterprises must close.
That is an evidence of successful governing, qualified management with special commitment
and high readiness for new divisions and entering on new markets. In particular their pricecrowned efforts on the range of the renewable energies are an investment into the future and
for the Krassow group it will also offer broader operating field.
To the strengths of the enterprise belongs the implementation of their own
innovations. Here worth mentioning is the renewable energy, which contributes 20% of the
company’s revenues. The focus lies on the energy management. For example biomass, the
different plants must fit in a such way, that the maximum of energy could be gained.
Additional advantage is of the use of biomass energy for production of electricity and
heat, which from environmental point of view is really an attractive energy supply.
Solar cooling installations- produces cold without the use of electricity. The managing
director of Krassow group looks again and again for new sources of energy, and this is the
latest solution.
A disadvantage of the company is the bad payment attitude in the construction branch,
which are considered one of the reasons for the concerning number of insolvencies.
The enterprise has the best chances to survive the slow down in the construction
industry, due to its renewable resources and future oriented technologies. Further more, the
enterprise purposely looks for new innovations, another good reason for secure future
List of abbreviations
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (Federal Ministry for
Economics and Labour
Deutscher Hotel- und Gaststättenverband
Eingetragener Verein (registered union)
European Union
European Union of fifteen member states till 1.05.2004
Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts
Gross Domestic Product
Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Hypertext Markup Language
Industrie- und Handelskammer(Industry and Commerce Chamber)
Information technology
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
Limited liability company
Offene Handelsgesellschaft
Research and development
Small and medium enterprises
Technologie- und Forschungszentrum (Technology and Research
Value added tax
world wide web
EU 15
German Federal Ministry for Environmental- , Nature protection and recriation security
„erneuerbare Energien - Innovationen für die Zukunft“
German Federal Ministry for Economics and Labour
German Federal Ministry for Economics and Labour: „Starthilfe“
German Hotel- und Gaststätte union
EUROSTAT Yearbook 2003
Federal Statistical Office Germany
German Initiative for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises "pro mittelstand “
Germany’s growth performance in the 1990’s,
Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, May 2002
Hochschule Wismar-University of Technology,Business and Design
IfM Bonn "SMEs in Germany - Facts and Figures 2004"
Industy- und Commerce Chamber
Industy- und Commerce Chamber of Schwerin: „Leitbild“
National Employment Action Plan Federal Republic of Germany, European Commission, April 1998
Net-Lexikon: „Betriebsrat“
Net-Lexikon: „Gewerkschaften“
Policy responses to regional unemployment: Lessons from Germany, Spain and Italy,
Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, December 2001
Programme content and ESF policy aims in Germany
Rathgeber & Partner GmbH
Seehotel Binz-Therme Rügen
Statistisches Landesamt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Targetsim AG
TERTIA Edusoft GmbH
Third European Working Conditions survey on working conditions 2000, 2003
Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
University Jena: „Studie – Management heute“
Universityt Potsdam „Bedeutung des Mittelstandes“