Foundation of the Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
Entrepreneurship for Everyone – E4E – is the mission of the newly established Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IGEI), which focuses on research and teaching about highly qualified entrepreneurs with voluntary migration background starting a business in the knowledge-intense digital economy.
The focus of the Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation
To foster entrepreneurship an emphasis has to be laid on leveraging the potential of minority groups. One group that has become increasingly important for the German economy and society are Migrant Entrepreneurs. It comes without saying that Migrant Entrepreneurs are a group as diverse as others: There are different generations of migrants, there is voluntarily migration and forced migration. Furthermore, in literature, different terms can be found like international students, expatriates and refugees among others. Subsequently, there are manifold reasons to start a company, with a blurred distinction between opportunity driven and those who start out of necessity. As in Germany little research has to be conducted on highly qualified entrepreneurs with voluntary migration background starting a business in the knowledge-intense digital economy, the IGEI aims to close this gap. Furthermore, special programs will be developed to spread entrepreneurship education and bridge theory and practice by running dedicated start-up classes to ultimately unlock Entrepreneurship for Everyone (E4E).
The state of Migrant Entrepreneurship in Germany
It can be stated, that without Migrant Entrepreneurship, Germany would have seen a decline in business formation over the past years (Bertelsmann, 2020). Already today, 26% of the businesses founded in Germany are run by people with migrant background, representing an increase of 5% compared of the average of past years, which can partially be explained by a higher founding tendency of migrants compared to locals (KFW, 2020). Significantly lower, yet high, is the distribution in the digital economy where the German Startup Association found out that 20% of the founders have a migration background, which can be traced back to the fact that founders with migration background face certain challenges when it comes to the foundation process and running the business in the digital economy (DSM, 2020). When having a closer look to the knowledge-intense digital economy it is noticeable, that compared to other states, especially in Germany’s start-up capital Berlin highly qualified and relatively young founders can be found (Bertelsmann, 2020). It seems evident, that the opportunity structure of a region plays a fundamental role in Migrant Entrepreneurship and recommendations for local politics need to be developed to enable a flourishing migrant entrepreneurship culture all over Germany.
Research on highly qualified Migrant Entrepreneurship in the start-up scene
In times of the lack of skilled labor, migrants do not only represent a desired group of qualified employees, but also bring diversity and grit for starting their own company. The challenges of founding and running a business as Migrant Entrepreneur in Berlin’s start-up scene are currently researched by Alexander Ruthemeier, Founding Director of the Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in his doctoral thesis at the Institute for Migration research and Intercultural Studies at the University of Osnabrück (Apl. Prof Dr. Oltmer). From the intense engagement with the topic and the practice-oriented approach of the Steinbeis University, the idea was born to establish an institute around the focus topic of highly qualified Migrant Entrepreneurship in the start-up scene. Given that many entrepreneurs in knowledge-intense industries have an academic background (Ruthemeier, 2021a), the research will not only be focused on graduates, young professionals and executives, but also international students in Germany – a group researched in the IGEI inauguration Whitepaper (Ruthemeier, 2021b)
Bridging theory and practice – the people behind IGEI
The Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation is an institute of Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation. Alexander Ruthemeier represents the IGEI as Founding Director. He has several years of experience in the European start-up scene with a focus on the Financial Service industry. From past experience he started conducting research on highly qualified first-generation and voluntarily migrants founding a start-up in Berlin’s start-up scene. Next to his engagement at IGEI, Mr. Ruthemeier serves as Managing Director of DeGiS, a non-profit organisation for international students in German, as Non-Executive Director of Expatrio, a digital platform for Expatriates.
Prof. Dr. Marc Drüner serves as academic director of IGEI where he overlooks the development of a research project to be rolled out over the next years. Furthermore, Prof. Drüner is Co-CEO of Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation and Professor for Marketing Strategy at Steinbeis University Berlin.
About Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IGEI) is an institute of Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation GmbH (SMI) which is a business school of the state accredited Steinbeis University Berlin GmbH. The IGEI focuses on research and teaching about and represents the first of its kind in Germany. The IGEI is led by Founding Director Alexander Ruthemeier and Academic Director Prof. Dr. Marc Drüner.
Contact Steinbeis Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Alexander Ruthemeier, Founding Director
Bertelsmann Stiftung (2020). Migrantenunternehmen in Deutschland zwischen 2005 und 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/de/publikationen/publikation/did/migrantenunternehmen-in-deutschland-zwischen-2005-und-2018-all (11.02.2021)
Deutscher Startup Monitor (2020). DSM 2020. Retrieved from: https://deutscherstartupmonitor.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/dsm_2020.pdf (12.02.2021)
KfW (2020). Gründungen durch Migranten. Retrieved from: https://www.kfw.de/KfW-Konzern/Newsroom/Pressematerial/Themen-kompakt/Gr%C3%BCndungen-durch-Migranten/ (12.02.2021)
Ruthemeier A. (2021a) Expatriate and Expat-Preneur Ecosystems: Innovation Spaces Away from Home. In: V. Nestle et al. (eds), Creating Innovation Spaces, Management for Professionals. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
Ruthemeier A. (2021b) Whitepaper, The Future of Studying in Germany for international students in the Lights of Covid-19. Retrieved from: https://www.steinbeis-igei.com/whitepaper-the-future-of-studying (13.04.2021)