Futurecheck “Mittelstand”

Project titel: Pilot testing of a toolbox for the evaluation of intangible assets in medium-sized businesses by corporate customer advisors.
Project status:  concluded
Project partner: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi), incowia GmbH, Banken, small and medium sized Enterprises (SME)
Project duration:  December 2006 – December 2007


SMEs are particularly vulnerable to capital bottlenecks. They can only raise equity capital to a limited extent, and borrowing is tied to stricter conditions in the course of Basel II. Credit commitments are often prevented by the fact that information on the sustainability of SMEs is often not transparent or comprehensible for banks. For knowledge-intensive SMEs in particular, innovation and success are often based on their intangible assets. In view of the stricter lending guidelines imposed by Basel II, there is a strong interest on both sides to integrate immaterial assets into lending decisions. According to a study by the Intellectual Capital Report Working Group, 89% of the financial experts surveyed say that SMEs are not transparent when it comes to the presentation of intangible assets. As a result, banks can hardly or insufficiently take these intangible assets into account in practice. However, information on intangible assets only becomes effective in the lending process if the addressees are able to evaluate them correctly.

Procedure and results

The project aimed to develop and test a software for assessing intangible assets for corporate client advisors of banks. This toolbox is designed to help corporate client advisors to take into account the intangible assets of SMEs in lending decisions. In order to develop the future check for SMEs, the most important intangible assets of SMEs were systematized and possible valuation methods were evaluated. The future check for SMEs was finally tested in 5 application cases together with SMEs and banks.

Managing directors of SMEs are supported by the “Zukunftscheck Mittelstand” to present their business model and the soft success factors in a structured way. The future check for SMEs helps the bank employee to include immaterial assets of a company in the company valuation and to evaluate them appropriately.

Further information

On 7 April 2008, the first experiences from the pilot project were presented at the conference “Future Check for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses” at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Berlin.

You can download the German  App “Future Check” for free. If you are interested in an English version (or another language), please contact us on info@akwissensbilanz.org!

Future Check – Download

Additional Material in German Language: