Welcome to the

The Unternehmensschmiede is an amalgamation of the university and colleges of Bielefeld with the businesses and economical sponsors of the region. The Unternehmensschmiede accompanies university and college graduates as well as students on their way to become an independent business man or woman and / or to establish their own enterprise.

Three instruments were developed by the Unternehmensschmiede to support the start - ups of independent businesses: qualifying lectures and individual consultations, the profit center model as a project within the IIT GmbH. Workshops are offered to obtain the qualification needed to found and run an independent business; a "GO!" coach from the university can be consulted for the important initial business advice and the setting up of a business plan. In addition, arrangements are offered to meet people with similar goals and experiences at different "Stammtische"; this gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to exchange information and advice.

Since 1997, the start - up program from the Unternehmensschmiede of the University of Bielefeld has been sponsored by the land North Rhine-Westfalia, the Sparkasse Bielefeld, the Sparkasse Herford, the Professional Association of Industry and Trade, the WEGE GmbH, the Commercial Juniors of Bielefeld, as well as by the Employment Office Bielefeld and the Initiative for Employment. Through this network, the available financial capital and professional know - how, the support of business start - ups at the University of Bielefeld has been integrated professionally into the region.

 “Start-ups by students and university employees are a welcome form of knowledge and technology transfer from the university to the economy. By closely working together with the University of Bielefeld and the University of Applied Sciences, the Unternehmensschmiede is an excellent example of a university program of its kind.”

Gabriele Behler

Minister of Education, Academics and Research for North - Rhine Westfalia


"A main focus in the establishment of new enterprises project NRW 'GO!' are start-ups of university graduates and post graduates. For the most part, the enterprises of these entrepreneurs offer products and services that help bring about the modernization of the economy of North Rhine-Westfalia. Thus, the importance of the Incubator Project of the University of Bielefeld, becomes evident: in this project, good business ideas receive the necessary business- and economic oriented frame to be able to prove themselves successfully on the market."

 Ernst Schwanhold

Minister of Economics and Medium-sized Companies, Energy and Traffic of the Land North Rhine-Westfalia


"As a regional financial institution, the securing of the economic base of Bielefeld is especially important to us. The sponsoring of start-ups, in the frame of establishing an enterprise as well as a successful continuation of a business, is an important part of this. We are also sponsoring the "Bielefelder Unternehmensschmiede" to increase the attractiveness of Bielefeld as a university city."


Hans Meermann, Director, Sparkasse Bielefeld


"The number of innovative enterprises established by university graduates are vastly underrepresented in our region. This shows the high significance of the support of entrepreneurs at the Universities of Bielefeld. A well educated group of people is being extensively and practically informed by the "Bielefelder Unternehmensschmiede" of the chances and risks of establishing an enterprise; in addition, they are actively supported as they take their first steps into occupational independence. Through this, an important part is played by using the potential already existing in the region and supporting its economical and social development. As a regional financial institute, we support this innovative initiative.” 

Klaus R. Vorndamme, Director, Sparkasse Herford