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City Up Trade  start-up financing for your business in Bremen - Quelle: WFB

"City UpTrade – start-up financing for your business in Bremen"

New concepts for the city centre

The German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMWSB) has tasked the German Federal Institute for Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Research (BBSR) with implementing the federal "Sustainable city centres and centres" (ZIZ) programme.

One of the initiatives in this programme is Bremeninvest's "City UpTrade – Start-up financing for your business in Bremen" project which aims to attract business to the city and support them with economic development. The aim is to attract new businesses in the retail, gastronomy, service and artisanal sectors, to ensure the city centre remains varied and vibrant, with the purpose of offering a high-quality experience and making it a magnet for future relocation.

Important note

The funding contingent for funding in 2025 has already been exhausted.

What will financial support be available for?

Financial support will be available for the rent (excluding utilities) for your commercial space. The support will be in the form of a rent subsidy of €250/m², up to a maximum subsidy of €50,000.

What are the basic requirements for receiving financial support?

  • You have a national or international trading concept (retail trade, gastronomy, service, artisanal craft)
  • You want to set up a new establishment in Bremen's core city centre (see area of validity)
  • The new establishment will be set up within the funding period from 30.06.2023 to 30.06.2025
  • The retail space in which you would like to set up your business is at ground floor level or is accessible from the ground floor
  • You intend to rent the space for at least 24 months
  • A rental agreement has not been concluded at the time you apply for funding or during the application process

How do I apply?

If you have a new, or existing trading concept and have found suitable premises in Bremen city centre, you can apply directly to us with your business idea.

Fill in the Application form and send it to innenstadt@wfb-bremen.de with "City UpTrade funding – Start-up financing for your business in Bremen" as the email subject.

If you're still looking for suitable premises, please do contact us: we will help you find the right space for your business.

Who will receive the funding?

We, Bremeninvest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH), will rent the premises on your behalf for the duration of the funding period. These are premises that you will have found either for yourself or which we shall help you find in advance. The subsidy for the rent (excluding utilities) will be paid monthly, directly to the landlord. The length of the funding period depends on the size of your commercial space. The maximum amount is €50,000. At the end of the funding period, Bremeninvest will withdraw from the rental agreement and you will become the sole main tenant.

What process is used to decide whether my trading concept will receive financial aid?

Your business concept will be evaluated according to a range of funding criteria which have been devised and agreed by a committee. We will examine your application and decide whether your business concept is a suitable recipient for financial support, on the basis of the funding criteria and the basic requirements listed above (which are mandatory).

Depending on the purpose of the funding, your trading concept must meet at least 50% (4 out of 8) criteria to be considered eligible for financial support:

Criteria relating to the trading concept

  • Economic stability: the trading concept is commercially viable and economically secure.
  • Innovation and novelty: the trading concept involves a new, innovative approach or a very creative business idea.
  • Diversity of products/services: the trading concept is based on product/service diversity e.g. a broad product range.
  • Ecological/social sustainability: the trading concept implements an ecological or socially responsible approach.

Criteria relating to the effect/added value for the location:

  • Increased footfall: the trading concept appeals to the public and increases visitor footfall.
  • Reinforcing the goods/services on offer: the trading concept reinforces the range of goods/services on offer in the city centre by complementing similar, existing businesses by providing greater diversity.
  • Adding to the range of goods/services on offer: the trading concept's offering makes a positive addition to the trading landscape in the city centre by bringing in new and diverse products that are not yet available in the city centre in that particular form.
  • Improving the quality of time spent in the city centre: the trading concept will improve the quality of the time visitors spend in the city centre.

Downloads and forms - how can I participate?

Read the Funding conditions again and then start completing the Application form.

Please open the Application form in Acrobat Reader and save it (right mouse button/Save as). Then send us the completed form by email (subject: City UpTrade funding – Start-up financing for your business in Bremen):


Alternatively, post us the completed documents:

WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH
Ms. Take und Ms. Göppert
Förderung City UpTrade
Ansgaritorstraße 11
28195 Bremen

If you have questions, or are interested in applying for "City UpTrade" funding, please contact:

Malte Weyhausen

Project Manager Europe & Turkey

+49 (0)421 9600-338


Map core area city center Bremen
Area of validity – the heart of Bremen city centre © WFB