Starting a Business StartUps and Failure: Founding Culture in Germany

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Failure to start a business is still considered a stigma, an expression of personal failure. Although entrepreneurs in FuckUp-Nights now report about their failures, we prefer to see winners. Failure is entrepreneurial normality.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Founder Between FuckUp-Nights and Anonymous Bankruptcy

While a few years ago failed founders met as anonymous insolvencies, failure is now more or less glorified in FuckUp Nights - apparently at least, because behind closed doors it is still: "He can't do it, they say."

With a business start to failure, in Germany is still no fun and who falls, must reckon with much malice. But failure is entrepreneurial normality, it just belongs to it, as well as getting up and going on afterwards.

Get up again after failures and carry on

Because it is an expression of the risk borne by the entrepreneur. The trick is to get up again after failures and continue. That's what it takes to cultivate. We need a culture of failure - and regrouping as part of normality. Glorifying this as glamorous in FuckUp-Nights is just as exaggerated as the malice or hiding-oneself.

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Anyone who starts his own business has to expect that he will fail, that's how easy it is. But this basic understanding of entrepreneurial thinking is lacking in Germany; on the contrary, whoever falls is still punished. No wonder then that failure is a taboo and should be avoided at all costs - even if it leaves innovations behind. Paradoxically enough, this can lead to the worst case occurring: failure as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Spiessrutenlauf at the foundation

It is precisely this way of thinking that makes it difficult in Germany to become independent at all. Actually, that is still mild, because in fact it resembles a gauntlet: First, there are the bureaucratic hurdles from social insurance to tax law. But even more difficult is the lack of founding culture in Germany.

Because if you want to take the step, you often have to feel like a nerd: "What, you want to give up a secure job for an insecure existence?" or "The competition is too big, you can never do it!" are just two of many prejudices that many founders from the circle of family, friends and acquaintances echo as soon as they hesitantly come out with their plan.

Germany is hostile to foundations

And also bank advisers wave in the financing of innovative ideas like with the hint that just can not sell what you do not know. How stupid!

Even if the impression quickly arises, such experiences could be purely subjective sensitivities, especially as hardly anyone likes to talk about it: the current one Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a study that annually investigates the founding conditions in 42 countries worldwide, comes to the same conclusion: The founding culture in Germany is anything but optimal.

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Infrastructure good, but ...

Although Germany offers a very good public funding infrastructure, there are ample office and commercial space as well as transport and communication facilities, the protection of intellectual property by patents is guaranteed and founders can access numerous consulting offers and suppliers.

But on the other hand, Germany scores significantly lower than other countries in many circumstances in international comparison. In this country, founders are slowed down by higher market entry barriers and worse financing conditions.

... anger at regulation and pessimism

Above all, the experts questioned by GEM criticize the government's excessive regulatory anger, the poor basic education and finally the negative social attitude.

But what good infrastructure and all state support efforts bring, if the general mood to become self-employed is rather bad? The simple answer: little. And the study shows the same: 46,5 percent of the 18 to 64 year-olds surveyed would let the step into self-employment completely - for fear, it could go wrong.

Only the very young to 24 are a bit braver. But apart from those, the differences to countries like England, the Netherlands, Australia or above all the USA, where 79 percent could not be stopped by fears of reasons, are huge.

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Setting up abroad - Estonia or Switzerland?

It therefore raises the question of whether you do not start as a German abroad. In recent times keeps doing Estonia as a founding paradise speak of themselves, whereby the tax advantages only reckon as eResident if you do not live in Germany.

Another exciting country for business start-ups, which is closer to us linguistically, is Switzerland. She's referring to Company and investment but hardly anyone has on the screen. The Agency for company foundation in Switzerland would like to change this with an extensive information offer.

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  1. Thorsten

    Yes, the founding culture in Germany is really a must.
    I speak from my own experience.

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