There is definitely a need: according to the Assmann Foundation for Prevention, around two billion people around the world lack a sufficient supply of vitamins, trace elements and minerals. “People living in poor countries have the same right as us to meet their basic needs,” stated Jolien, explaining her motivation.
The tape measure is a vital tool in Jolien Maltzahn’s work. She used it to measure the upper arm circumference of children in Uganda. This measurement is an indicator of a person’s nutritional status. Professor Dr. Joachim Gardemann, a paediatrician, provided Jolien with remote support. He will continue to advise the entrepreneur in the future, as and when required. (Photo: Dzemila Muratovic)
“Where passion meets need, all that is often then required is a plan and perhaps financial support,” stated Sandra Fuchs, start-up coach at our university and at TAFH Münster GmbH. Jolien found out about the grant from this business expert. After initially submitting a concept paper to the jury of the “Münster gründet” network, Jolien gave a presentation on her business idea. Doubts started to creep in when she had still not heard anything one week later. But then, at last, confirmation arrived. “I literally jumped for joy when I got the news at home,” the 28-year old said, laughing.
What are the next steps? Being a recipient of the “Gründerstipendium NRW” business start-up grant, Jolien Maltzahn (left) now finds it easier to work towards becoming self-employed. She receives support from start-up coach Sandra Fuchs. (Photo: Dzemila Muratovic)
Jolien now receives a monthly grant of €1,000 for a period of six months. If she starts a business during the funding period, support will be provided for a further six months. She is also given coaching on key start-up topics such as business plans, and is part of a start-up network.
The nutritionist completed her degree recently, after submitting her Master’s thesis, which involved scientifically analysing the SimSimBalls project. With a grant to back her up, she is now able to concentrate fully on her business idea. “It makes everything so much easier,” explained the budding entrepreneur. Her dream is to enable as many people as possible to achieve a good nutritional status, whilst at the same time being able to support herself.
By Dzemila Muratovic
About the “Gründerstipendium NRW” business start-up grant:
Those able to demonstrate an innovative, feasible business idea with market potential may be eligible for a grant. Several local organisations make up the jury, which decides how funding is allocated. Any resident of North Rhine-Westphalia over the age of 18 may apply for a “Gründerstipendium NRW”. Applications may be submitted at any time; there is no specific deadline. The grant programme is financed by the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Economics.