Startups will provide opportunities for the unemployed

Reasons for unemployment: you have to pay attention to this

Starting a business without start-up capital: is it possible?

That you can start a business out of unemployment that costs you nothing is utopian. It may be true that, depending on the idea, you only have to make a few and small investments for the start-up, but especially at the beginning you have to expect very little and little income. At the same time, however, you also have to cover the running costs. For many, a point has already been reached here at which to throw the gun in the grain and turn away from the plans for independence. Therefore, we want to help you with useful tips and explain how you can still do it.

A good plan is essential for a successful start-up

A step into self-employment and starting a business is not easy and even a bit more difficult for unemployed founders. But if you approach it with a really good plan, you can do it too. Therefore, you should create a battle plan that essentially contains three steps:

  • A viable business plan
  • Securing the financing of your livelihood during the start-up phase
  • Applying for the necessary funding for your start-up project

You can get expert help for all three important steps. But first we want to go through all the steps with you and show you what to look out for, where to get help and which pitfalls are waiting for you.

10 ideas for self-employment

If you've always wanted to sell your own products, having your own online shop can be very profitable for you. Either you can build your own platform with the help of a website developer or you can use the possibilities offered by online marketplaces like Amazon. With providers like Amazon, you save yourself the hassle of storing and shipping your products. With your own shop you have a little more work to do, but you are also completely independent.

Idea 2: Open a restaurant, café or shop

Their own small café, their own boutique or their own restaurant - for many it is a dream to have their own shop at some point. If you want to fulfill such a dream, you should think carefully about the concept and the situation. Because especially in big cities there are many competitors who have similar plans. Here you need a unique selling proposition - something that the others don't have. In a restaurant or café, for example, it would be that you only offer vegan dishes.

As a blogger, you can also set up your own business and work full-time on your blog. However, since there are already a multitude of different blogs, you have to look for a niche topic or your blog has to be better than the competition. Once you've built up a good reach, there are different ways you can earn money with the blog. For example, you can place advertisements on your blog or cooperate with other companies.

If you are particularly creative and enjoy writing a lot, you can also become a freelance writer. Of course, it doesn't just have to be novels: cookbooks or non-fiction books also have to be written by someone who has an understanding of this area. So if you have some expertise in a subject area, the job as a writer may be just right for you.

If you have learned a trade, such as a painter and varnisher, you should definitely think about starting your own business. Because the handicraft industry has been able to look forward to an excellent order situation for several years. This is mainly due to the fact that fewer and fewer people are learning an apprenticeship occupation and the craftsmen are therefore completely understaffed. So if you open your own craft business, you can earn really good money with it.

In order to become self-employed as a childminder these days, you have to adhere to strict guidelines. So you need certain qualifications for which you have to attend certain courses. In addition, certain rooms must be available that are child-friendly. For example, this means that you need a relaxation room, a play room and also a kitchen in your facility in order to take care of the children in the best possible way. If all of that is given, you can go into business as a childminder.

If you like to work with photography, you can do it very well for yourself. Photographers are also constantly needed. A classic example would be at weddings, but photographers are also frequently needed at smaller local events. You can also earn a lot of money with your own photo studio, as many people still like to have family photos or a friend or couple photo shoot.

As a locksmith you can earn very good money. However, you have to be aware that most of the money is made with the 24-hour emergency service. At night, people have the least desire to get the spare key from friends or family and prefer to call the locksmith. So that means that you have to be available around the clock. If you have no problem with that, it can also be a very profitable business.

As a real estate agent, your task is to broker uninhabited real estate properties to potential tenants or buyers. Especially in times of housing shortage in big cities, it can be very profitable to work as a broker. You have a wide range of tasks, after all, you not only have to convey the objects, but also advise interested parties competently and manage the objects. Tasks for which you need commercial skills and empathy.

Idea 10: personal trainer

More and more people are concerned with healthy eating and fitness. If you know a lot about both, you can set up your own business as a personal trainer. In order to work as a personal trainer, you have to acquire certain licenses. The fitness trainer B license enables you to enter the profession of fitness trainer, the expansion to a higher level is the fitness trainer A license. In addition to this, you can also complete the nutritionist training if you want to look after your customers comprehensively and advise them on nutrition.

The first step: the business plan

Right at the beginning of this section we would like to point out that there is a point of contact for the creation of your business plan where you can get support and help. The employment agency has a so-called contact point for business start-ups. There are always remarks and comments that the quality of the advice there is not particularly good. You shouldn't let that deter you and definitely take advantage of this advice. You have to be aware that, as a business start-up, you have to overcome two important hurdles out of unemployment.

  1. Your business plan will determine whether your bank will finance your project.
  2. Your business plan will determine how the employment agency decides on funding for your business start-up.

You should also note that a bank advisor reads your business plan with different eyes than a so-called case manager at the employment agency does. Your business plan must therefore clearly show that your project is realistic and that you are qualified as a founder. This is precisely why this advice should be taken advantage of. Because here the experts see exactly whether, for example, certain doubts about your suitability as a founder need to be eliminated in the business plan or whether you should emphasize personal characteristics even more.

The second step: apply for benefits to ensure your livelihood

The benefits you can apply for to secure your livelihood depend on whether you are currently receiving ALG I or ALG II (also known as Hartz IV). The contact person for you is the same in both cases, but the services that you can apply for are different for you.

ALG I: This is important to note

If you receive ALG I, you have the option of receiving what is known as the start-up grant. Perhaps you still know this "ICH-AG", which is well known in the parlance. At that time there was a combination of a business start-up grant and bridging allowance. From 2006, however, this was replaced by the “start-up grant”. Do not rely on advice that you are legally entitled to this grant. That is more or less only theoretical, because the only requirement for the start-up grant is your personal suitability for starting a business.

The amount of the benefit is made up of the amount of your ALG I, which you receive, and an additional 300 euros, which are intended for social security. You can take advantage of these services for nine months. If at the end of the nine months it becomes apparent that you are on the right track with your business start-up and on a successful path, you can apply for the 300 euros again for a period of three months.

You can only take advantage of this support if you are already unemployed. For example, if you know that you will be unemployed in the next month or two months, you cannot apply for this start-up grant. It is therefore imperative that you draw ALG I before you apply, even if it has only been for a month. In principle, however, you shouldn't take too much time with the application. If you want to become self-employed, you must be entitled to ALG I for at least 90 days. So please remember to submit your application well in advance of this deadline

ALG II: This is important to note

If you receive ALG II, you can also apply for a start-up grant. But there is no legal claim for you here. This means that a rejection can be given even if you are personally suitable for self-employment. It is then sufficient for the consortium to announce that it no longer has a budget for it.

When receiving ALG II, unlike ALG I, there is no time limit on weekly working hours. This is 15 hours. For you, this means that you can just get started with your business start-up and invest all the time in your project. With ALG I, you would lose your earnings if you prepare your business for more than 15 hours a week. You have to note that you have to report all income that you generate during this time, because your entitlement to benefits will then be reduced accordingly.

If you need additional funds for your start-up, as a recipient of ALG II you can only apply for the so-called entry fee. This is usually granted if there is a good chance that you will no longer have to pay ALG II in the long term. Incidentally, this entry fee is also available when you return to a job that is subject to social security contributions.

You have to be very aware of one point. If you want to start a business out of ALG II, then unfortunately it always depends on your clerk how long he tolerates or supports your efforts to set up a business. If the clerk is of the opinion that your efforts may not be promising in the long term, he can oblige you to take part in a measure of the employment agency at any time. As a rule, this would also mean the end of the support for promoting your planned independence for you. Some advisors will therefore certainly advise you to take certain coaching sessions or courses that you can get with the help of an activation and placement voucher (AVGS). This funding is intended to help job seekers to find a new job.

The third step: financing necessary investments?

When starting a business out of unemployment, financing the necessary investments is certainly one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. All state support programs for business start-ups are available to every unemployed person, but the reality is unfortunately not so rosy. You can find out which funding programs are available and which could be possible for you at any time on the website of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

What do you need to know about these funding programs?

  • As a rule, these funding opportunities are handled by the KfW Bank (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). However, the funding programs can only be applied for through your house bank, because the house bank principle applies here.
  • An important factor for the approval will certainly be your personal creditworthiness. If you receive ALG II, your chances are significantly lower. When receiving ALG I, it looks much better here.

As an alternative to the funding programs from KfW, there is also a financing option for you, which is primarily intended for smaller start-up projects. The “Mikrokreditfonds Deutschland” grants starter loans up to a value of 10,000 euros. This gives you the opportunity to combine this with other funding programs.

The following points are important for you with this alternative:

  • Approval of the financing option only with a positive personal credit rating
  • Security that you can repay the loan granted to you even if your business start-up fails

Reasons for unemployment: checklist

  • Draw up a concept for yourself before the business plan. Above all, you should show the possibilities how you want to achieve regular income. This will make it easier for you to draw up a business plan later.
  • Get all the information that can be important for starting your business. You can also take advantage of advisory services for business start-ups.
  • You should think about your type of business soon enough. Do you want to found a UG or GmbH or choose another form? A tax advisor can give you helpful tips here.
  • If it is possible, you shouldn't regulate everything about loans and create some financial freedom.
  • Clarify at an early stage how you want to design your health insurance later.