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Third party research

Do you have a (research) question in mind? Are you planning to conduct a study? Are you in need of our expertise?

The IfM Bonn will be happy to assist and to co-operate with you. Our service starts with the development of a research concept, continues with the (empirical) analysis and the writing of a report and ends with the public dissemination of the results. In every project phase, we co-ordinate work with you to achieve tailored results.

The research activities of the IfM Bonn include a wide range of different topics related to Mittelstand and SMEs. Our researchers have outstanding expertise in the fields of entrepreneurship, employment in SMEs, digitisation and family business. The institute's strength lies in the interdisciplinary composition of our team of researchers, which includes economists, business economists, psychologists, sociologists and mathematicians. We adopt qualitative as well as quantitative methods - often in combination (mixed-methods design).

We are looking forward to working with you. For further information, please contact schroeder(at)

Completed third party funded projects (selection)

External publicationAnalysing the bureaucratic burden in Germany – How can a noticeable reduc-tion in bureaucracy be achieved?

This study analyses the current bureaucratic burden on companies from a holistic, process-oriented (model) perspective – the so-called regulatory cycle. On the basis of a quantitative enterprise survey, an international comparison and a literature analysis, a phase-oriented, holistic action plan for …


External publicationBureaucracy costs of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering industries

The study examines the specific bureaucratic costs that arise in the everyday operations of three selected companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector.


IfM-MaterialienThe EU's support measures for sustainable financing - implications for the Mittelstand

The EU Commission seeks to mobilize private funds for the sustainability transformation of the European economy through several regulatory measures. This study investigates the impact of this regulatory development on the German Mittelstand, i.e., owner-managed companies.


External publicationProtection against discrimination and the promotion of diversity in the workplace

This study analyses the implementation of diversity and antisdiscrimination measures in companies, administrations and third sector organisations 15 years after introduction of the AGG and the establishment of the „Charta der Vielfalt.


External publicationAusländische Staatsangehörige als Gründer in NRW zwischen 2003 und 2018

The report shows that start-ups founded by immigrants have contributed significantly to NRW's economy between 2003 and 2018.


External publicationPrivate Equity in the Mittelstand - Analysis of the Development of Private Equity Financed Companies

The aim of the study is to analyze the development of equity-financed companies in comparision to companies without private equity financing. Overall, the equity-financed companies developed very positively and outperformed the randomly selected peer group of companies without equity financing.


External publicationDigital B2B-Platforms - Status quo and Perspectives for the Industry in Germany

Compared to digital C2C platforms, B2B market segments are smaller and more specific. Therefore, network effects have a weaker impact on B2B platform mar-kets, which means that monopolisation tendencies are also lower.


External publicationCrises of SMEs: challenges, developments, and resilience of women- and migrant-led companies

This study examines the process of a business crisis of small companies of all sectors of the economy in the Frankfurt/Main (Germany) area. Particular emphasis is laid on the challenges faced by migrant- and women-led companies.


External publicationProductivity of small and medium sized enterprises in Germany

The study examines the labor productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).