Setting a course for the future

28th of March 2023 Article by Katja Scholz
Setting a course for the future

The German association BIV organised a conference for young entrepreneurs, Katja Scholz reports.

Setting the course for the future of association work – this was the aim when 50 entrepreneurs from the contract cleaning trade met in Berlin for two days at the launch of the conference of young entrepreneurs. Organised by the Federal Association of Contract Cleaners (BIV),  the event was attended by proprietors and managing directors up to the age of 45.

“With this conference, which was the prelude to a whole series of events, we wanted to offer committed young entrepreneurs the opportunity to find out about guild and association work, and to build up a network of contacts.  At the same time, it was important for us to discover what motivates them and what they would regard as important for any future voluntary involvement,” said Wolfgang Molitor, BIV managing director. “I sense among young people an enthusiasm for volunteering as well as an interest in working for the associations.”

A political discussion evening with members of the German Bundestag was also included in the programme. The young entrepreneurs were able to exchange views in confidence with politicians from three parties and from various committees.  The political discussion, moderated by BIV board member Tanja ?uji?-Koch and Wolfgang Molitor, concentrated mainly on the themes of free collective bargaining, training and the future of work."

Just as, for example, company succession planning must be addressed in good time, the same also applies to the work of the associations. I was especially pleased to note the keenness of young entrepreneurs to represent the interests of their own trade and their ability to express this to the politicians,” continued Molitor. “Doing voluntary work is important for young entrepreneurs but this has to fit in with family and leisure time and the need for a healthy work-life balance.”

Magdalena Collenbusch, director of Weisbender Building Services, was one of the participants at the young entrepreneurs’ conference and is still enthusing about it. “I found the exchange of views with other young entrepreneurs and the networking opportunities particularly valuable, since the average age profile within the guilds is usually very high. The political discussion enabled the conference to cover more diverse themes and introduced new perspectives.”

As far as her trade colleague Marc-A Eickholz, director of the Niederberger Management Group was concerned, the conference achieved its objectives. “I noticed that colleagues from other companies have to cope with similar or even the same challenges in their day-to-day work as I am faced with. These conversations and the network of contacts from the conference were very valuable for me, along with the information session about the work of the associations and the opportunities for getting involved.”

The BIV wanted this inaugural event to focus clearly on providing an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to get to know each other and to network. They achieved that - the borders of the various states within Germany virtually dissolved during the conference. This is an important point, since involvement has to begin within the regional associations of the guilds and cannot be imposed by the federal association.

“We have provided the platform – the real work now has to begin in the regional associations,” said Wolfgang Molitor. Planning is already underway for the next conference which will take place in Berlin at the end of this year under the title ‘Next Generation’.

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