Financing & funding

Loan or guarantee, venture or equity capital? What funding does the federal government provide, and what funding is provided by the respective federal state? Does one grant exclude the other? sheds light on the jungle of financing and funding. The advisors of the chambers of industry and commerce, banks and start-up centers offer further advice and support with applications.

You can find an initial overview of the financing and funding opportunities here: 

Loans and guarantees



The ERP start-up loan - StartGeld supports business start-ups and consolidation in part-time and full-time business up to 5 years after founding with up to 100.000 € credit to set up and run a company. What is special here is that KfW assumes 80% of the credit default risk from your bank. This is usually easier for you to get the loan.

The ERP start-up loan - universal
is for young entrepreneurs who have been in the market for less than 5 years. The loan is intended for purchases and running costs. A reduced interest rate, a repayment period of up to 10 years, as well as 2 repayment-free years characterize the loan. With this loan, KfW assumes 90% of the banking risk.

The ERP capital
for start-up is suitable if equity is available. It is a subordinated loan.


If you can manage your start-up with just a few thousand euros, you should use microfinance. Start-ups with lower capital requirements can finance their way into self-employment with microcredit.

According to the EU definition, commercial financing / loans with a small volume of € 100 up to a maximum of € 25.000 are referred to as microloans or microloans. In 2006 KfW Bank set up the Microfinance Fund Germany with the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Together with GLS Bank, the microfinance fund grants loans through so-called microfinance institutions. Some German development banks also offer microloans for start-ups and the self-employed.

Borrowing should be done gradually. Depending on your needs, an initial loan of a smaller amount can be applied for. If this loan has been repaid after six months without any problems, another loan can be taken out. The total volume of the loans is € 25.000.

Contact an accredited microfinance institution.



Business start-ups in Baden-Württemberg can receive low-interest (subsidized) external financing for projects through the L-Bank:

The Start-up funding for start-ups or companies that have been active in the market for a maximum of 5 years, as well as freelancers or founders or managing directors of a commercial company. The program is not suitable for larger companies with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover of 50 million euros.

Whether start-up capital to found or take over a company, modernization after the start-up phase, investment costs or additional loan collateral: If your total capital requirement is max. € 200.000 per entrepreneur, a total of max. € 800.000, this promotional loan with interest reduction incl. 80 percent guarantee by the guarantee bank for you.

The Start-up financing is aimed at start-ups or companies that have been active in the market for a maximum of 5 years, as well as freelancers or founders or managing directors of a commercial company in Baden-Württemberg. The program is not suitable for larger companies with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover of 50 million euros.

Whether start-up capital to set up or take over a company, modernization, investment costs or participation in a company: The funding consists of a promotional loan with interest reduction / repayment subsidy. The loan amount is between € 5.000 and € 5 million.


The L-Bank continues to offer various guarantee programs. The InnovFin 70 guarantee, the combined guarantee (in cooperation with MBG) and the individual guarantee. MBG Mittelstandsische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg is a publicly funded investment company. It invests in newly founded or existing companies with silent and open investments.



The state of Hesse supports the self-employed, freelancers and entrepreneurs with a wide variety of loans.
The Microloans (MicroCrowd), which can be applied for in the first 3 years after setting up a business and has a credit line from € 3.000 to € 35.000.

The Innovation loan Hessen for innovative companies (SMEs and mid-caps), which has a loan of € 100.000 to € 7,5 million.

The Loans from GuW Hessen Foundation and GuW Hessen Growth for business start-ups, consolidation, job creation and operating resources have a maximum amount of 1 million euros.


The measured values can be transferred to a PC via the Guarantee Bank Hessen BB H Loans up to a maximum of EUR 1,25 million can be acquired. Via the BoB - Guarantee without a bank - program of BB H, founders up to a maximum of 3 years can receive € 50.000 to € 450.000, with successors € 50.000 to € 650.000 and established companies € 50.000 to € 650.000 (of which max. € 300.000) lend. Loans from 1,25 million euros can be obtained through the state guarantees.

The MBG H Medium-sized investment company Hessen makes capital available to small and medium-sized companies in Hessen in the form of silent partnerships. The investment focus is on start-ups and young companies as well as companies that are established in their market and have interesting innovation and growth prospects. As a rule, MBG H Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Hessen participates with € 150.000 to € 1,5 million.



The low-interest ERP start-up loan RLP is aimed at start-ups, small and medium-sized companies in the first 5 financial years, freelancers and people who want to take over a company. Low-interest or low-interest financing of up to EUR 2 million and working capital financing of up to EUR 500.000 are possible. A flexible term (up to 20 years) with optional grace-free years can be agreed.


The Bürgschaftsbank Rhineland-Palatinate supports small to medium-sized companies in Rhineland-Palatinate in financing, for example, business start-ups, follow-up financing, working capital financing, growth financing, etc. The Bürgschaftsbank Rheinland-Pfalz differentiates between different guarantees for different needs: Guarantee Classic, Guarantee Direct , Guarantee Express, Guarantee Premium, Agricultural Guarantee, AgrarExpress Guarantee. It also offers an MBG stake and a micromezanine stake.

Venture and Equity Capital

Venture capital is not a loan, but rather a form of development aid for a business idea. A so-called venture capitalist finances a young company and risks the company failing and losing the money invested. That is why venture capitalists choose their investments carefully.


The Coparion Fund Venture Capital, which is financed by KfW and the BMWi, supports young technology companies with above-average growth potential. However, it only finances from Series A. This means that you can already present initial successes such as a successful product launch, key customers or sustainable sales.

By becoming a member of the Deutsche Boerse Venture Network opens up a variety of financing options from around 1 million euros. You can use the network of the association to make contact with investors and address them specifically.

The High-tech start-up fund is the venture capital for young, promising technology companies. The start-up capital is made available with a combination of open participation and loans.

The Micromezanine Fund Germany is a financing option for companies that train, are founded out of unemployment or are run by people with a migration background. The maximum participation amount is € 50.000.


Joint financing with the federal high-tech start-up fund is the Seed fund BW. If the high-tech start-up fund makes a commitment with € 500.000, the Seedfonds BW provides a maximum of € 100.000 per financing round. The financing takes place in a combination of open participation and subordinated loans. The investors in Seedfonds BW are the state of Baden-Württemberg, L-Bank, LBBW Venture and MBG.

For young and innovative entrepreneurs, the VC Fund Baden-Württemberg Venture Capital from the seed to the start-up phase. In addition to the VC Fonds BW, the capital comes from MBG Baden-Württemberg. In addition to the state, private insurance companies also invest in the VC Fund Baden-Württemberg.

The success story of the VC Fund Baden-Württemberg should start with the Start-up BW Innovation Fund move on. This fund, which is still in the fundraising phase, is aimed at start-ups in the fields of information and communication technology, digital transformation, Industry 4.0 and Med Tech.

The state fund LEA venture partner was designed by L-Bank under the direction of the BW Ministry of Economics with a target volume of 50 million euros. The L-Bank is the anchor investor. The capital is also collected from the private sector. The fund is managed by the fund management company LEA Partners GmbH. The fund is aimed at innovative, high-tech start-ups.

The LEA Mittelstandpartner fund is also managed by this fund management company and has the same technology focus as the venture partner. This fund supports companies with equity financing after the early growth phase. Its volume is 200 million euros.


The Hessen Capital Fund provide capital mezzanine funds in the form of equity-like silent participations or as open participations in connection with the acquisition of shares, depending on the needs of founders and small and medium-sized companies. € 100.000 - € 1,5 million capital can be made available with a silent participation and up to € 800.000 with an open participation.

The Technology Fund Hessen (TFH III) are intended for medium-sized companies with a high level of innovation and excellent growth prospects. This means that these companies are also financed with open venture capital. The focus is on early-phase investments and innovation projects as well as the co-financing of succession plans. Experience has shown that up to 1 million euros are financed openly or in silence.

Futury Venture Fund
are a cooperation between experienced institutional and private investors and the state of Hesse. They offer young companies a basis for further developments. 500.000 € can usually be financed openly or in silence. The combined program can be used to borrow between € 100.000 and € 500.000. Three quarters of the loan is taken out with guarantee BB H and a quarter of the loan is taken out as a silent partnership with MBG H.


Young, high-growth, high-tech companies can finance themselves with venture capital from institutional or informal investors.
Investment and Structural Bank Rhineland-Palatinate, which entrepreneurs provide equity capital through various subsidiaries in the form of direct investments and / or typical silent partnerships.

The Business Angels Rhineland-Palatinate Association supports and advises young entrepreneurs, establishes important contacts through his business network and, if necessary, invests his own capital.

With the Rhineland-Palatinate Innovation Fund small, unlisted technology companies can receive venture capital in the form of open or silent participations on favorable terms.

funding programs


Joint federal-state task "Improvement of the regional economic structure" (GRW) is a nationwide but regionally differentiated funding program that controls the regional policy of the states, links it with the European structural fund ERDF and supplements its financial strength. This funding is limited to selected, structurally weak regions.

Commercial investments and investments in the municipal business-related infrastructure are funded by the GRW. Funding takes the form of a grant and is provided in equal parts by the federal and state governments. Only projects that are carried out in the designated funding areas are funded.

The EXIST start-up grant supports students, graduates and scientists from universities and non-university research institutes. In order to receive funding, the project should be an innovative, technology-oriented or knowledge-based one with significant unique selling points and good economic prospects.

The Start-up grant from the Federal Employment Agency Unemployed people who are entitled to unemployment benefit I can receive a start-up grant through the Employment Agency. This grant is a discretionary service of active employment promotion, to which there is no legal entitlement.

With the Innovation program for business models and pioneering solutions (IGP) the Federal Ministry of Economics increases its focus on promoting non-technical innovations close to the market. New technology can play a major role in projects, but it is not a basic requirement. Rather, a novelty of problem solving is important. The first call for funding at the end of 2019 addressed digital and data-driven business models and pioneering solutions. The second call for funding (2020) focuses on innovations in the cultural and creative industries. The third call is expected to target innovations with a high "social impact". The program is designed as a pilot funding program. Approx. 4 million euros are available for a period of 25 years. The funding will take the form of a non-repayable grant in the form of a share financing.


Since many founders lack the necessary financing, especially in the early start-up phase, many business ideas are not realized. The country poses with the
Funding for start-up BW Pre-Seed 14 million euros available. In addition to financial support, the start-ups are supported by partners in the program in creating business models and setting up their companies. This funding program is supported by the L-Bank. You can find more detailed information on this funding offer on the L-Bank website.

The Start-up BW Pre-Seed program was launched in response to the corona pandemic Start-up BW Pro-Tect expanded. The aim of the funding program is to bridge short-term liquidity bottlenecks. It enables start-ups affected by the crisis that have already completed the first round of financing to apply again for a repayable grant of up to € 200.000.

The Young Investors Funding Program is aimed at young academic staff from universities, non-university research institutions and academies who want to become self-employed with the production and sale of innovative products or business models. The development of products, processes or services that are based on software developed by you or on your technological know-how is funded.


Joint federal-state task "Improvement of the regional economic structure" (GRW) is a nationwide but regionally differentiated funding program that controls the regional policy of the federal states, links it with the European Structural Funds ERDF and supplements its financial strength. This funding is available to selected, structurally weak regions limited.

Commercial investments and investments in the municipal business-related infrastructure are funded by the GRW. Funding takes the form of a grant and is provided in equal parts by the federal and state governments. Only projects that are carried out in the designated funding areas are funded.

Funding areas in Hesse are Werra Meißner (C funding area), LK Waldeck-Frankenberg, LK Gießen, Vogelbergkreis and parts of the LK Hersfeld-Rotenburg.

There are additional funding opportunities for companies with innovative products and services. Small and medium-sized companies that work together on research and development projects or cooperate with universities can benefit from the LOEWE funding line receive appropriate funding.


Various grants that do not have to be repaid:

The Promotion bonus II is aimed at master craftsmen who want to become self-employed. Funding is granted on the basis of a master craftsman's examination or an equivalent advanced training examination. You can find more information on the website of the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture Rhineland-Palatinate and from your competent chamber of crafts.

Promotion of business start-ups for business start-ups in Rhineland-Palatinate:
This funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs is intended for start-ups before they are founded. The costs for consulting companies are subsidized by the program.

The Startup innovative funding program for innovative, Non-technology-oriented start-ups are aimed at people with business ideas who will use new technologies, but will not develop them further. A one-time grant can be financed by shares. The funding amount is between € 10.000 and € 100.000. The start-up project to be funded is selected through a competition.


With the aim of receiving financial support for projects, products, the implementation of business ideas and much more, founders or companies advertise their business idea on crowdfunding platforms on the Internet. Donors choose from all projects which one or which they would like to support.

After the required capital has been raised, the crowdfunding platforms usually charge the recipients of the money. Founders, but also expanding companies, can use crowdfunding to find donors for starting their own business or for another financing project.

There are four types of crowdfunding:

It is best to use it for charitable projects Donation-based crowdfunding. This corresponds to the online fundraising of many non-profit organizations and associations. However, some platforms also offer to collect donations for projects that have a common good.

About Reward-based crowdfunding Above all, social, cultural, artistic or ecological projects can be financed. To get the necessary capital for a start-up project, this can be a simple, quick fix. The donors do not receive any money in return, but an ideal “thank you” (reward). This can be, for example, the mention on the website or the sending of goods.

This is ideal for innovative companies Equity-based crowdfunding at. This crowdfunding is aimed at donors who want to participate in the success of the company. It's like buying or selling common stock on the stock market or raising venture capital. Usually these are silent partnerships, profit participation rights or participatory subordinated loans. The investor expects a share in the economic development of the company.

An alternative to bank loan is crowdlending. Loans are mediated between borrowers and private lenders. Above all, this is an alternative for people whose loan application at a bank has been rejected as no collateral is required.


Go to
Starter center of the IHK Rhein-Neckar
Phone: + 49 (0) 6221 9017-688

IHK / HWK starter centers in Rhineland-Palatinate
Phone: + 49 (0) 621 5904-0

IHK for Rheinhessen
Foundation and promotion

Phone: + 49 (0) 6131 262-0

IHK Darmstadt Rhein Main Neckar TEl.: +49 (0) 6151 871-0