Mission statement

As an agency for innovation and funding advice, we at Wirtschaftsförderung Mönchengladbach GmbH set the course for economic success, create and secure jobs and offer networks for exchange. We are proud of our international, diverse team and distance ourselves from any form of racism, exclusion and anti-democratic ideas. We expect our business partners to share these basic values.

WFMG serves as a link between business, administration and politics in Mönchengladbach. Shareholders of WFMG are EWMG-Entwicklungsgesellschaft der Stadt Mönchengladbach mbH (51%) and Mönchengladbach-based companies including the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Kreishandwerkerschaft (49%). The primary objective is to create jobs by attracting companies – for this purpose, WFMG sells municipal land and brokers suitable commercial properties – and to secure existing jobs. In addition, WFMG actively supports local companies and offers them a wide range of networks for industry-specific and cross-industry exchange. In the recent past, the work of WFMG has become increasingly diversified – as a result of space becoming scarcer, but also in response to megatrends such as digitization and sustainability.

In 2021, it therefore reformulated and refocused its corporate objectives. These now comprise the following six task areas:

1. Corporate services

We are the navigator for our customers through funding opportunities, digitization and innovation programs, property and location issues, matchmaking, and networking options.

Companies that want to secure or create jobs in Mönchengladbach, preferably in the knowledge economy, face a variety of challenges. We are the only player with a complete overview of the market and have the comprehensive know-how regarding location-specific funding opportunities, land availability, digitization and innovation measures, matchmaking as well as networking options.

Thanks to our experience and in-depth knowledge of the business location, we take on a navigator function through all of a company’s circumstances; we identify the customer’s individual needs and either develop custom-fit solutions for their challenges ourselves or refer them to the appropriate agency. Last but not least, we keep an eye on the real estate location as a whole: We have an overview of the market, know locations, brokers, multipliers and responsible contacts and support companies that are committed to creating or securing jobs in their search for expansion, new construction, relocation or existing space.

In doing so, our role is not merely that of a reactive consulting agency: Rather, we are developing into a driving force in the business location by demonstrating and marketing our consulting expertise with outreach, educational and interest-generating formats. In this way, we go far beyond the tasks of municipal services of general interest: We actively help to shape the business location, establish promising connections and help to ensure that jobs are created in promising fields.

2. Future-oriented industries & innovation

We promote high-potential sectors, projects with structural change relevance and create the necessary foundations for a future-proof business location in Mönchengladbach.

Locations compete with each other – regionally, nationally, even internationally. Mönchengladbach is to be profiled as an excellently networked, international and future-oriented business location. As part of the city’s overall strategy, the economic field of action should focus on high-value-added sectors and innovative restructuring for a future-proof economic structure that enables Mönchengladbach to develop positively in relation to suitable comparable locations. Our role as WFMG is closely embedded in this positioning and coordinated with companies in the city as our shareholders.

WFMG supports the achievement of objectives by promoting companies with high added value and supporting the transformation processes of local companies in terms of structural change. This objective is also reflected in the involvement in future area developments with a strong focus on sustainability. This involves developing suitable offers for various user groups that are considered to have great potential for Mönchengladbach as a location against the backdrop of energy and structural change as well as global megatrends. We represent and market the location as ambassadors wherever business relationships and networks in the aforementioned fields of action need to be established or maintained for local companies, R&D and joint projects and cooperations need to be entered into and lighthouse projects in focus industries need to be initiated and supported.

Aviation, the textile and clothing industry and the further development as a location for the logistics of the future are three key areas. We act as experts for the location and the topics we represent and, in return, bring external know-how about innovations, relevant new developments and megatrends back to the business location. In doing so, we act in line with the strengths of our location and in a regional or euregional context. In this context, the Rhineland Mining Region of the Future (ZRR) and the associated funding prospects as well as the necessary land development (= structural change needs land) play a decisive role in shaping development over decades.

3. Managing the skilled workers of tomorrow

We are committed to acting as a competent interface between the local economy and the skilled workers of tomorrow.

The looming shortage of skilled workers and deficits in digitization are increasingly becoming a problem for companies that want to position themselves for the future. With our skilled workers team – MGconnect, the foundation of the same name, the Bo-Fit, EFRE-Future Boards, MINT in MIND funding programs and the zdi Community Mönchengladbach initiative – we are committed to acting as a competent interface between the local economy and the skilled workers of tomorrow.

The focus is primarily on small and medium-sized enterprises. Always in cooperation with partners such as the Employment Agency, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the School and Sports Department of the City of Mönchengladbach and the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, we optimize the relationship between students, teachers and the local economy. We make young people fit for working life at an early stage and enable them to make a targeted choice between studying and training. We match students who are ready for training with companies willing to train them and get them excited – always not from the ivory tower, but in practice – especially about STEM professions and digitization. To this end, we develop innovative formats and courses and provide digital platforms we have developed ourselves. We give students with a desire to study an orientation in the multitude of study offers and show them career prospects in Mönchengladbach after having finished studying.

We and our partners, including institutions, educational institutions and small and medium-sized businesses, have been successfully working on the transition from school to work in Mönchengladbach for more than 20 years, thus helping to ensure that companies at the site will continue to be supplied with sufficient young talent in terms of both quality and quantity.

4. Digital infrastructure

We coordinate the expansion of pure fiber-optic technology and of cellular telephony in Mönchengladbach and implement digital infrastructure and transformation projects for the benefit of companies and citizens.

Modern telecommunications infrastructure is an important location factor for companies and citizens. Our goal is to promote pure fiber-optic technology in Mönchengladbach in line with the city’s gigabit strategy. We are consistently implementing this: Almost all contiguous business parks have now been equipped with the latest fiber-optic technology. Previously underserved districts have been upgraded accordingly, and in new residential areas, too, this is proving to be the only viable solution for the future.

For entrepreneurs, citizens and developers alike, we bundle information, prepare it independently of providers and guide them through the complex picture of supply situations. Via a specially initiated platform, we provide an overview of the current supply situation and enable demand reports, because sufficient demand is still the decisive factor for expansion projects.

Through the person of the municipal gigabit coordinator, we are equally the point of contact for telecommunications companies, citizens, project developers, entrepreneurs and tradespeople, as well as municipal institutions in matters of gigabit expansion. But we also implement digital infrastructure projects for the benefit of companies and citizens in other areas of the digital infrastructure, such as the city’s own WLAN “MG-WiFi” and mobile communications, and contribute our expertise to the city-wide development toward a “smart city”.

5. Inner city and retail development

With our expertise, we play a pioneering role in the sustainable development of downtown locations and stationary retail.

Not least as a result of the Corona pandemic, inner cities and the retail trade are undergoing profound change. Mönchengladbach is by no means alone in facing the phenomenon of an irreversible downward spiral of city centers as a result of increasing vacancies, growing online trade and a lack of development prospects. However, the situation on the ground is further complicated by the phenomenon of two centers (Gladbach and Rheydt) that has been experienced for decades.

For this reason, we are deliberately devoting ourselves separately to the complex of tasks of inner city development and retail. We see it as a playground for innovative ideas, temporary uses, hybrid concepts that combine the advantages of stationary and digital retail, smart logistics and traffic approaches, and new ways of developing sustainable neighborhoods. This is always linked to the goal of enhancing the quality of life in city centers.

Consequently, over the past decade we have established a nationally recognized pioneering and expert role in this area, which is reflected in a number of projects, some of which are scientifically supported. In cooperation with other city stakeholders, we are working hard to make this expertise available to Mönchengladbach’s city center locations and to actively help ensure that citizens and entrepreneurs not only enjoy living in Mönchengladbach, but also recognize the added value for themselves and their city in actively visiting the city centers as places for leisure, communication and shopping.

Our innovative, digital relocation database enables us to independently record space offers and relocation requests for the city center free of charge and to match suitable contacts with each other via our networks.

6. Start-up support

We offer all-round support for people interested in founding a company as well as start-ups with innovative, promising and preferably digital business models.

We serve as the first point of contact for founders and those interested in founding a company with innovative, preferably digital business models in Mönchengladbach – whether in the search for premises or funding opportunities, in terms of networking with other local stakeholders, especially SMEs, or in terms of visibility and marketing.

Together with network partners such as the digitalization and start-up initiative nextMG e.V., the IHK Mittlerer Niederrhein and others, we curate the local and regional start-up ecosystem. However, we also actively contribute to its qualitative and quantitative development. Both with regard to the general framework conditions, for example through the establishment of a “Founders’ Factory” to promote entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial know-how; as well as in particular, in the form of individual products and offers that attract nationwide attention, such as the “Startup.Starterkit.MG” scholarship program. We always guarantee personal, individual support for promising, innovative start-up projects.

Unsere Expertise und unser Engagement stellen wir als Juror für das Gründungsstipendium NRW ebenso zu Verfügung wie als federführende Kraft der jährlichen „Gründungswoche Niederrhein“, die wir als regionales Oberzentrum koordinieren. Übergeordnetes Ziel unserer Aktivitäten ist – neben dem Aufbau eines Startup-freundlichen Umfelds und Mindsets am Standort – die Ansiedlung erfolgsversprechender, skalierbarer und mit positiven Arbeitsplatzeffekten verbundener junger Unternehmen.