Schleswig-Holstein: Real diversity
We are much more than just a business location: Schleswig-Holstein not only impresses with its unique geographical location as a transport hub in the middle of Europe and with a globally successful SME sector, with strong future-oriented industries and an active science and research infrastructure. After work, entrepreneurs, founders and employees also find ideal conditions here for their very own feel-good balance of work and life: Two seas, endless horizons and unspoiled natural landscapes are just as typical here as urban centres and leisure activities that leave nothing to be desired - from culture and culinary delights to sports and wellness. Simply put, this state has it all.
Welcome to the true North.
Hub of the North
It doesn't get any more central than this: right in the heart of Europe, located directly on the most important north-south transportation axis to Scandinavia, and with direct access to the North and Baltic Seas, Schleswig-Holstein is an important transport hub to Northern and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. Its proximity to Hamburg also provides fast access to German and global markets via all transport routes.
The numbers are also quite impressive: Goods worth over 21 billion Euros were transported abroad via Schleswig-Holstein in 2018. As Germany's largest Baltic Sea port, Lübeck recorded a handling volume of 16 million tonnes in 2017, while 2.1 million passengers embarked and disembarked at the cruise and ferry port of Kiel and 30,009 ships transported a total of 87.5 million tonnes of cargo on the Kiel Canal in 2018.
Our climate: business-friendly
Schleswig-Holstein is a state of small and medium-sized businesses. And they are flourishing: Germany's second-lowest trade tax, favourable wage costs and moderate real estate and land prices, combined with a modern funding infrastructure, ensure a business-friendly climate and many positive developments: For example, a total of 118 companies have been newly established in 2019, creating 3,408 jobs.
Our character: strong and flexible
In Schleswig-Holstein, 99 percent of the companies are small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 250 employees. This quota is significantly above the national average and forms a healthy basis for flexibility and security: because an SME-based economy is not only particularly innovative, but also less susceptible to economic fluctuations.
Many of the medium-sized companies in the true North specialise in lucrative niches, are internationally successful and are often true "hidden champions". Since the important industries of the future find exceptionally good conditions here, they are also particularly well represented, including medical technology, maritime commerce and the food industry, information and communication technology, mechanical engineering, renewable energies and the health industry.
Our development: sustainably positive
The upward trend of the Schleswig-Holstein economy continues. Compared to the previous year, the gross domestic product in Schleswig-Holstein increased to around 97 billion Euros in 2019. In 2013, around 4,300 additional jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell for the third year in a row. The long-term trend also remains positive: since 2005, the unemployment rate has fallen by more than 40 per cent and is at 6.3 per cent in 2018. And the country's budget situation has also improved significantly: tax revenues are rising, and in 2013 a budget surplus was achieved for the first time since 1962.
Schleswig-Holstein: Workforce for tomorrow
Schleswig-Holstein is one of the few regions in Western Europe whose population is growing steadily. The proportion of young people is significantly higher than the national average. And they find the best educational opportunities here: nine state and three private universities offer the sought-after workers of tomorrow a wide range of courses with internationally recognised degrees.
Business, education and funding institutions work closely together in an efficient network and create the best conditions for companies with a need for well-trained skilled personnel. The partners of the skilled labour initiative (FI.SH) "Future in the North" support Schleswig-Holstein companies in securing their skilled labour and thus maintain Schleswig-Holstein's competitiveness. In the future, companies will find the skilled workers they need at short notice.
Schleswig-Holstein: Active knowledge location
Companies based in Schleswig-Holstein benefit from a top-class research infrastructure, active knowledge transfer and knowledge dissemination at the highest level. With nine state and three private universities, two administrative colleges and numerous renowned research institutions, the conditions here are ideal for knowledge-based and promising industries - from health care and medical technology to communications technology and renewable energies.
Universities in Schleswig-Holstein
- Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel
- Flensburg University of Applied Sciences
- University of Lübeck
- Kiel University of Applied Sciences
- Flensburg European University
- Lübeck University of Applied SciencesWedel
- Wedel University of Applied Sciences
- Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design
- West Coast University of Applied Sciences
Research centres in Schleswig-Holstein
Eight leading organisations for applied research in Europe operate research centres in Schleswig-Holstein:
- Fraunhofer IST
- Research Centre Borstel
- Fraunhofer EMB
- Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht
- Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)