Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Strengthening entrepreneurship and local economic development in East Germany


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its Local Economic and Employment Development Programme has been working with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) since 2005 on an analytical and practical project on strengthening entrepreneurship in East Germany as a critical lever for economic growth and employment creation. In their support to entrepreneurship activity federal, Länder and local governments and their partners are often looking for new ideas and information on what works and what does not work in order to adapt their strategies, programmes and delivery methods and make their approaches more effective. The project responds to this need by providing an opportunity for participants in East Germany to stand back and reflect on their overall options, needs and priorities and by facilitating an international exchange of information on innovations and best practices from a range of OECD Member countries.

The review includes, in addition to a global assessment of needs and opportunities for entrepre-neurship policy in East Germany as a whole, the examination of six local case study areas. The following areas have been proposed by the participating East German Länder ministries: the districts of Mittweida (Saxony); Altenburger Land (Thuringia) (case study areas 1 and 2); the districts of Uckermark (Brandenburg); Parchim (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) (case study areas 3 and 4); the university context in the City of Halle (Saxony-Anhalt); and the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin (case study areas 5 and 6).

The project is bringing to light:

  • New local approaches that could better exploit opportunities or overcome barriers to entrepreneurship. 
  • Methods to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of existing local policies and programmes. 
  • Methods to improve the co-ordination and delivery of local entrepreneurship instruments across different programmes and partners and to build more comprehensive and integrated policies.

Project outputs:

  • Project partners meetings which bring together the core OECD team, representatives of national ministries and representatives of East German Länder ministries to discuss the methodological approach and the thematic focus of the project;
  • Study visits to six selected regions by an international review panel led by the OECD secretariat;
  • Regional workshops with local stakeholders and representatives of national ministries and representatives of East German Länder ministries to discuss preliminary findings and draft policy recommendations and to make case study presentations of international learning models/best practices;
  • Discussion papers on selected case study areas covering (i) local environments for entrepreneurship, the effects of culture, framework conditions and government programmes and an identification of local opportunities and barriers to entrepreneurship; (ii) analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of selected existing entrepreneurship policies and programmes designed and delivered by local governments and local agencies, and an identification of further policy needs and options, including the identification of initiatives that could act as models for other areas; (iii) recommendations for adjustments to local entrepreneurship policies and programmes and implementation methods in the light of international best practices. 
  • A final report on the lessons of the work to date for East Germany as a whole will disseminate the results and the information in the final report to a wider audience of all regional and local authorities in East Germany and potentially to the partners in new member states.

For further information, please contact and 


Click here to access the Compendium of policy recommendations, international learning models and good practice in East Germany


Related Documents