Tapping the potential of green start-ups as drivers for a green economy
  • © Rolf Schulten
  • © Rolf Schulten
  • © Rolf Schulten

Strengthening green start-ups as drivers of transformation

Green start-ups are the engine of transformation: The project, which is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), aims to contribute to making green start-ups in Germany more visible and to improving networking within the green start-up scene by means of suitable communication and networking measures as well as by providing information tailored to the target group. The aim is to strengthen green start-ups in their role in the development towards a green economy.

Better visibility and networking serve to tap the potential of green start-ups as a driver of transformation towards a green economy and thus contribute to energy system transformation, the Climate Action Plan 2050 and other sustainability policy objectives.

As the Green Economy Start-up Monitor of the Borderstep Institute shows, around 190,000 companies were founded in the Green Economy sector in Germany between 2006 and 2014. These young companies have created over 1.2 million new jobs to date.

Although the green economy start-up field has become one of the largest and most important start-up fields in Germany and is of outstanding importance for the transformation towards a sustainable economy, its relevance has hardly been noticed so far. In order to give adequate political recognition to the importance of green start-ups, the green start-up scene must step out of the shadow of the digitisation and IT start-up scene and become visible to politicians and start-up support actors on its own.

A further central challenge for the development of green start-ups is that the green economy start-up scene has so far hardly been networked at all – neither with each other nor with investors. The venture capitalists (investors) and start-up support actors are neither well organised nor really visible when it comes to the topic of the green economy. So there is a lack of a lively and well-connected green start-up scene in Germany.

More visibility, more effectiveness

The lack of awareness of the importance of green start-ups in environmental and economic policy and the inadequate networking of green start-ups and start-up support actors have so far limited the role that green start-ups could play ecologically and economically as a transformation engine for Germany as a business location. A highly visible and networked green start-up scene would lead to more and above all more effective green start-ups. And these are urgently needed for environmental and sustainability policy projects such as the energy turnaround, the Climate Protection Plan 2050, the rapid diffusion of electromobility or the use of digitisation for a resource-saving and climate-friendly economy.

The project is carried out jointly with the apl. professorship for innovation management and sustainability at the University of Oldenburg and is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU).

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