Jamie Taylor

Library of Best Practice

Immipreneurs of Austria (IoA)

Immipreneurs of Austria (IoA) is an initiative which aims to help enterpreneurs with a migrant or ethnic minority background to establish and run successful enterprises in Austria.  The purpose of this initiative is to offer skilled entrepreneurial immigrants the opportunity to build a new businesses in Austria.

To support these migrant entrepreneurs, ‘ImmiCo’ provides support and financing. In particular, this initiative offers the following supports to migrant entrepreneurs:

  • General consulting, advice and support;
  • Funding to cover working capital, capital assets and specific operating  expenses.

IoA limits the initial investment up to €50,000; however, with the achievement of agreed milestones the amount of total investment can be doubled to €100,000 over a period of two years. 

Type of Best Practice


Methodology used in the Best Practice

IoA have provides support to individuals with good business ideas, for which others have shown a limited interest.  IoA build relationship based on sound business model, supporting young entrepreneurs in early stage by providing;

  • financial support;
  • mentoring;
  • networking;
  • education opportunities;
  • support to develop a professional business model;
  • back office services or administrative support, and
  • sales consulting & support if required.

To qualify for support through this initiative, migrant entrepreneurs must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Migrant entrepreneur of 1st generation, having a developing country origin, 25 to 49 years of age;
  • Communication skills; i.e. ability to present your proposal to a panel in German or English;
  • Willingness and ability to work long hours without salary (profit is your dividend) to make business succeed;
  • One or two partners, (second partner preferably native) who want to do this with you;
  • Have a well thought business model which can generate a net profit of €25k p.a. for each of you and your partner(s) and having circa €100k in sales;
  • Marketable skills to make / deliver product / services, which are classified as requiring ‘free license’ (Freies Gewerbe) and NOW1;
  • Young business with a commercially ready idea which will support local economy;
  • The legal structure should be either a Limited Company (GmbH) or a Limited Partnership (KG).

In addition, in return for investment in this migrant enterprise, investors promise to support the venture provided that with agreed milestones are met and control mechanism are put in place.  Investors promise to have no active say in the day-to-day running of the business but they have a percentage ownership of the enterprise, plus some administrative fees.

The other important feature is theaccess to this initiative through the establishment of the Café ImmiCo, which brings together promising migrant entrepreneurs, mentors, and professionals to discuss over breakfast the challenges of starting a business and how to establish strategic partnerships and support structures. In addition, consultants are on site to cover strategy, innovation, marketing, social media and financial management.

Access to the Best Practice