KOMPASS - Compact help for solo self-employed persons

For many people, solo self-employment means professional autonomy, a high degree of creative freedom, and flexibility. Solo self-employed individuals master entrepreneurial challenges and shape the digital and ecological transformation in their fields of activity. The ESF Plus programme KOMPASS (Compact help for solo self-employed persons) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supports them in this - by providing financial support for tailor-made continuing education and training measures.

What is KOMPASS?

KOMPASS supports solo self-employed individuals in establishing a crisis-proof and sustainable business model. This is achieved through broad, low-threshold funding for individually selected continuing education and training measures. Solo self-employed individuals receive a financial grant of up to 4,500 euros. Funding is possible once within twelve months.

Who is KOMPASS for?

KOMPASS is aimed at full-time solo self-employed individuals residing and working in Germany who have been active on the market for at least two years and employ a maximum of one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee.

Which qualifications are supported?

Funding is available for measures with a minimum duration of 20 hours, which must be completed within six months. What is supported depends on the individual needs of the solo self-employed individuals. These can be business management skills, digital skills and methodological knowledge, or job-specific expertise. Solo self-employed individuals choose the appropriate provider and measures with the support of KOMPASS focal points.

Who can I contact if I am interested in funding?

Interested solo self-employed individuals can contact one of the nationwide KOMPASS focal points and receive advice on suitable measures for them in a free initial consultation. Further information on the programme and answers to frequently asked questions can be found in the document "FAQ for solo self-employed individuals" (currently only available in German).

What is the process of the programme?

  • Mandatory, free initial consultation (in-person or virtual) with a KOPMASS focal point
    Solo self-employed individuals have an initial consultation with their focal point (possibly also follow-up discussions). The focal point draws up a consultation protocol, checks the eligibility requirements, and recommends suitable continuing education and training measures.
  • Receipt of the qualification voucher
    The focal point reviews the documents and issues the qualification voucher.
  • Successful participation in the agreed measure with a certificate or confirmation of participation
    Solo self-employed individuals complete the measure successfully within six months after the issuance of the qualification voucher.
  • Application and reimbursement with the support of the KOMPASS focal point
    For partial reimbursement (up to 4,500 euros), solo self-employed individuals submit an application to the granting authority (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See). This authority reviews the application and reimburses the partial costs to the solo self-employed individuals.

Profile of the programme

Target group
  • Self-employed

solo self-employed/ freelancers

Implementation period

2022.10.14 - 2026.04.30

  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Funding priority

1: Promotion of sustainable and quality work, start-ups and entrepreneurship as well as adaptation to change

Additional Information

Web­page of pro­gramme


Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

Referat VIGru EF4 -
Europäischer Globalisierungsfonds
ESF Programmumsetzung

10117 Berlin