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Microfinancing and Crowdfunding for Business Founders

Steinbeis experts provide consulting services for state bank MikroCrowd program

Since May, startup companies in Baden-Wuerttemberg may be eligible for support under a new funding program called MikroCrowd, which is offered through the state bank (L-Bank). MikroCrowd is a combination of microfinancing and crowdfunding. The program is aimed at small startups which need up to 10,000 euros of funding. They can receive low-interest, bullet loans. Interest payments are monthly. When startups apply for the loan they receive professional consultation from the L-Bank and the startup advisors of the ifex consulting network. This includes consultants from Business Startup, the Steinbeis Consulting Center that provides support to people thinking of starting a business under the EXI Startup Bonus program.

The funds provided through the MikroCrowd initiative can be used to cover expenditures incurred while setting up the company or ongoing costs. The program offers two options. Option 1, the so-called Mikro- Crowd, offers funding at the beginning via a platform called Startnext. Startups register their project on the platform at the same time as submitting an application on the partner page of L-Bank. Once the funding they have attracted hits a threshold of 50% of overall capital requirements and they pass checks carried out by L-Bank, the rest of their funding is provided as a loan. Depending on the amount of funding and the number of crowdfunding contributors, there is also an expenses allowance. Option 2 is microfinancing. Under this option at least 20% of total capital requirements must be provided through personal capital. L-Bank then provides the rest of the funding as a loan.

The financing offered under the program offers a variety of benefits. Funding donors also make a commitment to buy the product or service. This makes it easier to estimate cash flows and actual market interest. The funding threshold provides a degree of certainty – for the business founder and the bank. The maximum level of funding is 50%. But, more than anything, crowdfunding platforms offer access to a wide audience via social media and the partner network.


For further information on the MikroCrowd program and how to submit applications, go to www.mikrocrowd.de. For an overview of EXI Startup Bonus advisors, who also provide advice to MikroCrowd program applicants, go to http://steinbeis-exi.de/beraterpool.

Ralf Lauterwasser
Steinbeis Consulting Center Business Startup (Stuttgart)