How to earn it


Guardian of the Legacy.

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Succession. Magdalena Messner, 29, has been the administrator and majority shareholder of the Messner Mountain Museums since the beginning of the year. She wants to be perceived not only as the daughter of the famous mountaineer, but also as an entrepreneur with her own ideas.

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"Hi Simone, your plant needs potassium."

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Innovation. Almost a third of the annual harvests on our planet fall victim to plant diseases and pests. The consequences are fatal: famine, impoverished farmers on the one hand, expansion of cultivated areas and increased use of pesticides on the other. Simone and Robert Strey want to change that.

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Two of the same wood.

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Management buy-out. When Georg Emprechtinger joined the Austrian furniture manufacturer Team 7 in 1999, the company had a regional brand but also a sales problem. Today Emprechtinger sells its solid wood furniture worldwide. Turnover increased from 30 to 90 million euros. A success story that stood on knife edge several times.

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The colourful world of Sebastian S.

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Family business. The company name - Schwan-Stabilo - is familiar to everyone who has used a highlighter before. However, the majority of the company's turnover is generated with products under a foreign name. Sebastian Schwanhäußer does things a little differently - and not only has to convince the market, but also 42 partners.

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Some like it hot.

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Expansion strategy. In the early 1990s, the sauna and steam bath manufacturer Klafs went bankrupt. Then came Stefan Schöllhammer and turned the case into a hidden champion with a turnover of 100 million euros. Now an even greater entrepreneurial challenge awaits the co-owner and managing director. The core market - sauna - is declining in Germany. How can a company grow in shrinking markets?

Stefan Schöllhammer's paradise lies in China. 1.4 billion Chinese, a huge market. "Even small target groups are enough to be very successful," says the co-owner and managing director of market leader Klafs, who has been extremely successful in Germany for a long time. 1.7 million German citizens own a sauna in the basement. A considerable part comes from the Schwäbisch Haller premium manufacturer, who has built 225,000 saunas worldwide. However, new sales on the domestic market are now gradually declining.

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The company is always at the table.

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Hidden champion. How does it actually work to form a world market leader out of nothing? How does an entrepreneur organize growth from twelve to 750 employees? And how can this social structure then be handed over in a good way and completely into the hands of its successor? Helmut F. Schreiner has found his answers.

Flooded with sunlight and completely in white, the large attic studio of the single-family house is in Munich's bourgeois residential area. It serves as a conference room for the Family Office of Helmut F. Schreiner. This is where he manages his 50 private properties, thinks through new investments, analyses the potential of start-ups - and this is where the 78-year-old poets. "This has always given me pleasure, but I never had much time for it."

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Just the sea, the sun - and us.

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<font color="#ffff00">-=Alternative Energien=- sync:ßÇÈâÈâ Michael Köhler and his wife Heike (top right) are passionate sailors. But they were tired of being dependent on a diesel engine during calm periods. Their solution: an electric motor driven by solar cells. Today her company Solarwave is the most important supplier of solar yachts.

Whenever their time permitted, the Carinthian lawyer Michael Köhler and his wife Heike were on the move on the nearby Adriatic. They covered about 30000 nautical miles with monohulls, later about the same distance with sailing catamarans. But sometime in 2003 they had to admit to themselves: "We run far too many hours under engine. The wind is a rather unreliable partner. We have to call on the help of Rudolf Diesel far too often."

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Put that old iron away.

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Start-up. Horses have been shoed with horseshoes for more than 1000 years - in the age of high technology this alone is a little anachronistic. In fact, it even damages the health of the horses. A team of young founders - all of them no riders themselves - has now developed an alternative.

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