{Study} Seriousness of KfW start-up consultants in the test: a quarter ready for subsidy fraud?

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In the founder lexicon there was recently a test survey on the seriousness of KFW start-up consultants. 204 consultants were contacted with unfair inquiries. The results of the survey show enlightening the German consultant landscape. Whether one can really draw conclusions from this on the seriousness of the advisers, is questionable.

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Aggravated Conditions - Are Consultants Ready to Fraud?

Like Thorsten Montag in the Gründerlexikon, the KfW Advisory Board has tightened the regulations for the registered consultants. They must now regularly provide two current references and also carry out a corresponding number of consultations in order to retain their approval.

Therefore, the founderlexikon wanted to know how many consultants were willing to take unfair means to keep their admission and led the following test scenario:

The test

We have a total of 204 consultants per anonymously Email contacted. We stated that we wanted to become self-employed and stated that we did use KfW start-up coaching but did not want to take advice. Specifically, we suggested applying for KfW start-up coaching together with the advisor and then sharing it in half.

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Of the 204 consultants surveyed, 44 did not even bother to answer (22 percent). 6 consultants sent us general information material on KfW advice, but did not respond to our “request” (3 percent). 68 consultants (33 percent) rejected the approach we proposed. 32 consultants (16 percent) categorically rejected the request and distanced themselves from the proposal to commit fraud together. Thus, almost half of the consultants surveyed let us down. 21 consultants (10 percent) did not comment on the subsidy fraud, but did send us information and asked for a personal first interview or a telephone call. 33 consultants (16 percent) had no qualms about immediately inviting us to a phone call.

A quarter ready for subsidy fraud?

According to Sabine Hutter, this result reveals that more than a quarter of the German KfW advisors seem to be not reluctant to get the money quickly through such a subsidy fraud without having to work for it.

Because, according to Hutter, anyone who is fundamentally against such illegal actions will certainly announce this right away and not have to make phone calls first.

Other causes

Regarding the result, I would be more cautious with a conclusive conclusion: the fact that the consultants are ready for the first talk or telephone call despite the unfair inquiry does not necessarily have to be willing to subsidize fraud.

It could have a lot more other causes too, eg that eMail was not read to the end and standardized responses were sent. Or that the advisors are glad about every customer in view of the pressure from KfW and therefore believe that they can change their minds during the first meeting.

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Exciting survey, harsh result

A proof would be given if the consultants had made explicit statements on the subject or suggestions for further action. But it should have been possible for the first contact.

The test survey is not uninenteressant, but the result is formulated me too formally. How do you see it?

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  1. Klaus Schaumberger

    “The KfW adviser exchange has tightened the regulations for registered advisors. They now have to regularly prove two current references and also carry out a corresponding number of consultations in order to retain their approval. "

    a) Now let's be honest - which active start-up consultant manages to carry out the not rated 2 consultations per year? As a founder - within the framework of minimal quality guidelines - one can expect from KfW that these advisors no longer give advice. The goal of consultations is to improve the founders. How should a consultant guarantee this if he only deals with the matter once a year?

    b) That the number of consultations has been increased is not so correct! Founder consultants must have 2 rated consultations in the rolling 12 monthly period AND the proof that you predominantly (50% and more should be sufficient) are active in advisory functions for corporate consultancy. What is the number of consultations?

    And yes, to me this statement, which certainly appears morally correct in this form, is also too daring - too unscientific. And finally, the principle of innocence applies. Another prejudice is generated that the founder's dictionary does not resolve.


    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Schaumberger, thanks for the additional explanations. I understood the two references and the number of consultations as you have now explained in more detail. It makes sense that you also have to prove that you have 50 years of experience as a consultant.

      Otherwise, I agree with you: Of course, one consultant should conduct two consultations a year minimum. The fact that there must be such directives at all, but shows that there is obviously something in the arge.

      The fact that the conclusion of Gründerlexikon is also not in the form is synonymous, I had already run.

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