Self-employment

Many dancers have become self-employed as choreographers, dance teachers or in the field of sports and health.
As a point of departure, the situation in ALG1 unemployment is practically ideal to become self-employed, since one can receive a grant to found a business that adds up to 15 months onto the one-year ALG1 benefits. But even independent of this programme, numerous possibilities for support exist for those beginning self-employment. Then the rule is: you have to take on a lot of responsibility for yourself. In any case, self-employment should be prepared for carefully.

1. Counseling:
Here you can clarify if you are the right type of person for self-employment and what resources you need. National counseling: www.existenzgruender.de
In every city there are also regional new business centers or start centers; counseling is sometimes free. After a business is founded, the support programme „Gründercoaching Deutschland“ applies and covers 50% of the costs.
Hotline for new business founders from the Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie
Tel.: 0180 5 615 002 (0.14 EUR/min. for landlines and 0.42 EUR/min. from mobile networks)
For those who want to become self-employed in the creative sector: the federal government started the “Initiative Kultur und Kreativwirtschaft“ (Initiative for Culture and Creative Industries) in the fall of 2007. Its main objective is to lay the path for future success in the field.
Competency centers in the regions where economic experts can give support to self-employed creative people are the main elements of this initiative.
Main telephone: 030 – 346465300
E-mail: kreativ@rkw.de
Homepage: www.rkw.de/kreativ

2. The new business grant from the Agentur für Arbeit
A qualified location (IHK, among others) must evaluate the planned new business and attest to its sustainability.
The new business grant is awarded in two phases.
For nine months, the grant is awarded at the level of the last unemployment benefit to secure the means of subsistence and 300 EUR for social security. For an additional six months, 300 EUR can be granted for social security if intense business activity and full-time business activities are demonstrated.
The length of qualification for unemployment benefits is reduced (in the first nine months of support) by the number of days that a new business grant was paid out. The application must be made in the Agentur für Arbeit that is responsible for your residence before self-employment begins.

Further information at: www.arbeitsagentur.de