BSS - Incubation process with need-orientated education

Home / Business support structures/Services / Acceleration/Incubation + Advisory + Education + Networking + Spaces and Infrastructures + Training/Coaching

Short description

The incubation process is an up to 9 months need-orientated education program for potential and/or young social start-ups as well as associations which combines thematic trainings with coaching/advisory sessions and provides further networking and coworking opportunities.

Within the incubation process participants can pass through 4 phases (profiling, development of a/their business model, go to market and implementation/foundation) which reflect different stages of development. For each stage of development there are several modules available that cover their special needs:

The stage of development can be accompanied by regular pitch sessions.

Target group

Non-enterprise entities


Existing enterprises - development phase

Existing enterprises - growth phase

Benefit for target group

Improving business knowledge

Using infrastructure possibilities

Getting in contact with other enterprises

Getting in contact with financing partners

Coaching/Education components

  • Long-term education.


  • Offer feedback opportunities (e. g. one-on-one).

  • Recognise special needs of SEs and react to them.

  • Offer educational opportunities with professionals.

  • Offer SEs to present themselves to network partners.


Expected outcome

Increasing the number of SEs

Improving the marketability/survivability of SEs

Improving business knowledge of SEs

Help to access to banks

Specific activities and resources required


  • Budget to cover external expertise.

Human resources

  • At least 2 persons (organiser & coach).

Other resources

  • Enthusiasm, experience with SEs, communication skills, network of multipliers & experts.

Implementation steps

  • Ideas competition/scouting.

  • Selection of participants (e. g. pitch).

  • Classification of participants &

    o Match with appropriate training topics.

    o    Determine relevant mentoring sessions.

    o    Bring together with partners/projects.

  • Regular feedback (and pitch) sessions.

  • The Pilot-Incubation Process:


Key factors for success

  • Highly motivated participants that seek to found a social start-up.

  • Existing social start-ups with the aim to get marketable soon.

  • Involvement of and cooperation with local stakeholders.


  • Close communication with pilot participants, especially clear communication of program requirements including the willingness to participate in events and feedback loops; central contact persons for the pilot participants during the whole process.

  • Awareness-raising for and dissemination of the topic SE through a visualisation of the development of participating ideas; a platform/communication manager can be helpful.

Stage of implementation

Pilot (Implemented once, first experiences)

Implementation area

Saxony-Anhalt (Germany)

Necessary modifications for rural regions

  • Program elements (e. g. training) should be available online.

  • There should be one contact point for all supporting actions.

  • Networking events should be reachable for all participants.

Other tools suitable for combination

Mutual learning process through regular feedback loops

Any questions? Feel free to ask us!

Further information


Merseburg Innovation and Technology Centre


Kathrin Schaper-Thoma