There is no slowing down for Berlin's economic boom: The gross domestic product of the German capital is growing faster than that of any other German state, while unemployment is going down and the number of new companies formed is going up. The boom is backed not least by the IBB Investitionsbank Berlin, the development bank of the German capital. This year marks the IBB's ten-year anniversary.
Billions for Berlin and Local Companies
Financial sponsorship by the IBB is as diverse as Berlin's richly faceted corporate culture. Loans and grants by the development bank are made available primarily to companies in Berlin's five leading industrial sectors. These include the creative industries, transport and logistics, optics, energy engineering, and the healthcare industry. IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, a private equity partnership subsidiary of IBB, helps start-up companies to get up and running. At the moment, it sponsors 75 newly established companies. Aside from the private business sector, the State of Berlin itself benefits from the IBB's financial subsidies. Taken together, the state and the private sector in the capital received subsidies totalling 1.1 billion euros and loans in a total value of 1.7 billion euros over the past ten years.
Boosting Housing Construction in Berlin
According to Rolf Friedhofen, CEO of IBB, the development bank also sees itself as service provider for the State of Berlin. Its sphere of activities therefore extends to housing construction as well. The demand for housing will increase apace with the steady inflow of new residents in the coming years. As it is, affordable flats have became a rare commodity. Berlin's Senate, the city government, has now earmarked 320 million euros to promote the creation of affordable housing. The funds, which are managed and distributed by the IBB, are supposed to facilitate the construction of 25,000 flats in downtown locations of Berlin between now and 2020.
While the IBB celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year, its existence as institute for business development dates back far longer. In fact, the IBB emerged from its predecessor Wohnungsbau-Kreditanstalt which sponsored the development of housing as early as the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1990s, a department of Landesbank Berlin, the state bank of Berlin, was responsible for business development. When the Landesbank was restructured in the wake of the city's banking scandal in 2001, the IBB became a financial institute in its own right.