Job prospects for refugees

Human rights violations, crises and conflicts are forcing more and more people to leave their homes and to seek shelter abroad. When they arrive in Germany, these people need new and humane solutions that go beyond a simple welcome.

Arriving means becoming part of a community. Arriving means creating connections and jointly exploring new perspectives. Arriving requires being ready to recognise and use the opportunities that exist for Germany.
This is where "ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland" comes into play. We are looking for start-ups willing to develop business models that help refugees become part of our society and economy by making use of their talents and skills, allowing them to take an active part in rebuilding their lives in a new country. 

Ever since its initiation in 2015, the project has been organized under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. 

The ANKOMMER programme of 2015/2016 involved an award ceremony with a price for three startups among the group of stipends. In 2016/2017, a bigger group of candidates is addressed as the new Special Impact Award is also presented to AndersGründer teams.

A joint initiative from KfW Stiftung and Social Impact gGmbH.

Ankommer. Perspektive Deutschland
Ankommer. Perspektive Deutschland

Message by Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel 2015

Message by Sigmar Gabriel Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy on the project "ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland" 2015

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to leave their home countries. They risk their lives fleeing from wars, civil strife, persecution, human rights violations, poverty and the violent destruction of their livelihoods. They come looking for an opportunity to build a new future in a foreign country. Additional efforts and substantial support are necessary to alleviate their plight and to manage the complex transition processes required. 

The large numbers of refugees arriving on our shores pose great social and economic challenges to Europe and Germany. These challenges cannot be addressed at the political or local level alone – the whole of society must work together. 

"ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland" is a project designed to help refugees integrate better into our society and economy. It supports innovative solutions and stimulates the creativity of social entrepreneurship with the aim of harnessing the skills of immigrants and creating new opportunities for them. Refugees thus stand a better chance of successful integration and are able to give fresh impetus to German society and businesses. By reinforcing our collective commitment and making them feel more welcome, refugees will become an integral part of our society. 

Refugees have changed the face of our country, potentially boosting its economic prospects. Germany may stand to benefit from its growing diversity. The project "ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland" supported by KfW Stiftung is a step on the way to achieving this aim. 

Sigmar Gabriel

Impact Collective

The third year 2017/2018

KfW Stiftung and Social Impact gGmbH are continuing their “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland” programme with ten new start-up teams.

The applications submitted and the experience with this year's “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland” grant holders showed again that social entrepreneurs are increasingly becoming an important part of Germany’s economic development and structure. Since 2015, many ideas and projects have been conceived and put into action that serve as a basis for further development and collaboration.

KfW Stiftung and Social Impact gGmbH have noted the following trends:

  • The restaurant and catering sector remains the most efficient way of integrating refugees into the economy.
  • Exchanging cultural values is essential to sustainable integration. 
  • Providing sheltered spaces facilitates the integration of refugee women, who are key to the integration of entire families.
  • Social start-ups are providing a comprehensive approach that lays the groundwork for economic integration.
  • Conflicts are no longer taboo.

The highlight of the 2018 “ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland” programme will be the Special Impact Award ceremony to be held in Frankfurt in October this year. As part of the Special Impact Award, which was created by KfW Stiftung and Social Impact gGmbH and awarded for the first time in 2017, a total of EUR 45,000 will be made available as start-up funding for:

  • A flagship project for the economic integration of refugees to be selected from among the new ANKOMMER teams who were awarded grants for 2017/2018.
  • A flagship project with exceptional social impact to be selected from among the future social entrepreneurs who are developing projects under the “AndersGründer” programme at the Social Impact Labs in Frankfurt and Duisburg with the support of KfW Stiftung.

For the third year running, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs will be the patron of the grant programme launched in 2015 to support social start-ups.


Impact Collective

The second Generation 2016/2017

The new grant holders of the “ANKOMMER.Perspektive Deutschland” scheme were selected in November. Fifteen teams were picked from among some 100 applications. From “Ateliersiebenuhr” to “Willkommen in der Pflege” they included a wide range of exciting start-up initiatives.
Based on the experience of the first round, the ANKOMMER scheme takes stock of the economic integration of refugees: 

  • Catering, hospitality and skilled trades are the top industries in terms of swift and durable integration. 
  • Migrants and refugees are actively engaged in developing solutions. 

The ANKOMMER projects illustrate the growing significance of social entrepreneurs for developing solutions to the challenges our society faces today.

Impact Collective

The Sequel

190 submissions and 14 outstanding teams have convinced: ANKOMMER "Perspektive Deutschland" goes on. The qualification programme in the Social Impact Labs will now be continued for three years.

Another new feature of the second round is the prospect of winning the “Special Impact Award” introduced for the first time in 2017 by KfW Stiftung and Social Impact GmbH. 

Social entrepreneurs who win the prize will be awarded EUR 45,000 in total. Potential candidates for the award include the 2016/2017 ANKOMMER grant teams and the “AndersGründer” social entrepreneurs in the Social Impact Labs in Frankfurt and Duisburg supported by KfW Stiftung.

In 2017, ANKOMMER. Perspektive Deutschland was shortlisted for the European Excellence Awards in Public Affairs.

ANKOMMER awards 2016

ANKOMMER. Opening up prospects in Germany: 3 + 1 awards for flagship projects

On 9 June, the Berlin Branch of KfW held its breath: The German Minister for Economic Affairs and patron of the project, Sigmar Gabriel, presented awards to the winning teams. After selecting 14 grant holders instead of 12 as originally planned, the programme had another surprise in store: The jury of experts not only revealed the three teams for the announced awards of EUR 20,000 in start-up money but also offered a special jury prize.

EUR 20,000 in start-up money went to:

“Stitch by Stitch“, which is setting up a tailor shop in Frankfurt with female refugees as seamstresses.

“CodeDoor“, which teaches refugees in Gießen, Frankfurt and Berlin how to write software programmes and also involves some leading industry experts.

“Refugee Law Clinic“, which provides training at Leipzig University for students to become translators as well as legal advisers in labour law for refugees.

The special jury prize amounting to EUR 10,000 went to “Sharehaus Refugio“ for its all-encompassing model of integration in Berlin which unites living, working and social interaction in a special way.

The first grant holders 2015/2016

ANKOMMER – Advancing to the next round

Starting in mid-October, the winners of the grant were successively selected from the 190 entries submitted. After three intense weeks of compiling the shortlist, coaching and final presentations the ANKOMMER teams that will be trained at the Social Impact Labs in Berlin, Duisburg, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Leipzig were read to go. Given the outstanding quality of the applications received and the range of sectors they touched on, a whole 14 teams were selected instead of 12 as originally planned. 

On 11 November 2015, three of the ANKOMMER teams held a press talk at the Social Impact Lab in Frankfurt.

Videos: The grant holders, The Pitches

Programme Management

Sonja Alt

Photo credits:

01. Image: Source: KfW Stiftung, Author / Photographer: Abbi Wensyel Photography
02. Image: Source: KfW Stiftung, Author / Photographer: Abbi Wensyel Photography
03. Image: Source: KfW Stiftung, Author / Photographer: Jens Steingässer
04. Image: Source: Social Impact Frankfurt, Author / Photographer: Christian Klant
05. Image: Bild nicht auf alter Website.
06. Image: Source: Social Impact gGmbH, Author / Photographer: Farid Bidardel
07. Image: Source: Social Impact gGmbH, Author / Photographer: Farid Bidardel
08. Image: Source: Social Impact Frankfurt, Author / Photographer: Christian Klant
09. Image: Source: Social Impact gGmbH, Author / Photographer: Carolin Eißler
10. Image: Source: KfW Stiftung; Author / Photographer: Abbi Wensyel Photography