Here to stay – our mission.

Our culture is shaped by all kinds of different people, with different cultures and traditions. This diversity enriches us on a daily basis and makes Germany a unique country of immigration. Nonetheless, diversity is hard to find in German leadership circles. But why?
All too often, it is the background of talented students and young professionals, rather than their capabilities, that influences their career prospects. That’s why Schotstek champions equal opportunities through its personal development programme and extensive network. Ultimately, this benefits all of us – business, science and, above all, society. Help us in our mission, e.g. by becoming a Schotstek supporter.

27%

More than a quarter of the German population is from an immigrant background.

50%

In Hamburg, more than 50% of primary school children are from an immigrant background.
German Chancellor

OLAF SCHOLZ

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, formerly the First Mayor of Hamburg, values the work of Schotstek. During his time as First Mayor, he also served as a Schotstek patron for three years.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, formerly the First Mayor of Hamburg, values the work of Schotstek. During his time as First Mayor, he also served as a Schotstek patron for three years.

Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor

48%

Virtually half of all people who are visibly from an immigration background – e.g. on account of their skin colour – feel discriminated.

13%

Only an eighth of researchers employed in Germany are from an immigrant background.

42%

Almost half of all school students from an immigrant background hold the university entrance qualification.

70%

More than two thirds of surveyed international students plan to stay in Germany after completing their degree.

Our success story:
We make the difference
with equal opportunities.

The top management levels of German organisations are anything but diverse. But whereas the discussion surrounding a mandatory quota of women in leading roles is well under way, the debate on cultural diversity in the professional area is only just beginning, even though Germany is a country of immigration. But why are there so few Managing Board members, artistic directors, state councillors and CEOs from an immigrant background? Because a successful career doesn’t just take talent and ambition, but also contacts; in this regard, there is not a level playing field for everyone. That’s why eight dedicated, Hamburg-based individuals – some from an immigrant background, some not – joined forces to launch a project in spring 2013: Schotstek. Akin to a sailor’s knot, which ties together two separate strands of rope, our organisation establishes an unparalleled connection, thereby creating something new from two separate things. In our case, we offer a unique scholarship programme that overcomes the hurdles facing students and young professionals from an immigrant background while also building a supportive community.

"Without Schotstek, I wouldn’t be a German and I wouldn’t be conducting brain cell research."

Susan Amirbeigiarab

Research Associate & PhD Candidate
The programme already takes effect at the degree stage, the aim being to ensure a level playing field for students, regardless of whether they are from an immigrant background, by the master’s stage at the latest. To reflect the fact that our society and the professional arena are evolving all the time, Schotstek is always evolving too. And what started out as a charitable labour of love, led by one of the founders Sigrid Berenberg, is now a non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) with seven partners and a Managing Director: Evgi Sadegie.
Chair of the Schotstek Management Board and Lawyer

Sigrid Berenberg

"Schotstek identifies, promotes and connects potential. Until all smart students from immigrant families get the opportunity to maximise their intellectual gifts and capabilities, equal opportunities will remain nothing more than a buzzword."

Brief profile

Sigrid studied law and practised as a lawyer before taking on leading positions in the fields of corporate communications and film education, organising cultural and other events. Her commitment to charitable causes goes all the way back to the 1970s with a neighbourhood association in the St. Pauli area of Hamburg, followed by a family planning centre, Kultwerk West and Schotstek. In 2022, she brought together a group of friends in Hamburg to launch a scholarship programme for ambitious students from an immigration background – Schotstek.

"Schotstek identifies, promotes and connects potential. Until all smart students from immigrant families get the opportunity to maximise their intellectual gifts and capabilities, equal opportunities will remain nothing more than a buzzword."

Sigrid Berenberg

Chair of the Schotstek
Management Board and Lawyer

We welcome your support!

Whether a donation, a sponsorship or an endowment: there are numerous ways to support our work financially, thereby providing young people with positive support throughout their education.

More information about Schotstek

Our Schotstek Advisory Board members.

Our Advisory Board members are instrumental in the success of Schotstek. They discuss, advise and share their experiences with our scholars. They open doors and contribute their valuable time to make Schotstek possible in the first place.

Any questions?

We are always happy to answer questions and can be contacted by email at all times.

Our programmes

Once Schotstek, always Schotstek: we offer bespoke support at every career stage – for entry-level professionals, juniors, doctoral candidates and alumni.