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The Nucleus Approach


Nucleus and SME statistics

Statements of chambers and SMEs

Impact: What changed? Interview with Jordi Castan


Legal property of the Nucleus Approach



Types of Nuclei

Manual for the Nucleus

The start

9 criteria for the selection of a sector

How to kill a Nucleus

Chambers and Associations

Lobby and Public Private Dialogue

Benchmarking of chambers

to the Nuclei of Entrepreneurs
in Chambers and Associations

The counsellors of the chambers work "for" or "with" the entrepreneurs?

Yesid Aramburo, Cochabamba, Bolivia

News and Events

updated 04.05.11

02.04.11 - Jaffna, Sri Lanka
During the Nucleus Financial Forum 2011 in Jaffna district organised by the Nucleus Foundation hundreds of entrepreneurs met financial service providers and suppliers of other products and services. See more



Media Centre for National Security - Ministry of Defense

There are similar events in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mannar and Ampara.
See more on the renewed NF website

31.03.11 - SEQUA / AL INVEST: Two years after the project start 17 chambers in four countries have been creating 249 Nuclei with 3.359 participating entrepreneurs. See more details ...

15.01.11 - ESPIRE - Pakistan: Five textile associations in cooperation with the German bfz organise topic Nuclei for an ecologically sustainable textile production. See more on its website.
In 2009 the counsellors had been trained by Amina Yoosuf and Dave Maurice, Nucleus Foundation - Sri Lanka

28.08.09 - Sri Lanka: Nucleus Entrepreneur Exchange: sustainable peace building through economic and social integration


01.09.10 - SEQUA / AL INVEST-  Bolivia - Colombia - Ecuador - Peru informs: Special report on handicraft. (pdf)
Observation: whenever there are mentioned groups of SMEs are meant Handicraft Nuclei - apparently the translator did not know the expression. In the Spanish and Portuguese version the groups are correctly called "Núcleos".

30.07.10 - Cebu, Philippines: Amina Yoosuf and Dave Maurice, directors of the Nucleus Foundation, Sri Lanka, report about their training of chambers in the application of the Nucleus Approach - see more in the latest edition of the Nucleus Foundation Information Letter.

President Angela Paulin: This couldn’t have come at a more appropriate moment for CFIF. In this approach it is the members that decide what the activities they want to do are, counsellors will organize the activities for them... with previous approaches I felt like it’s “been there done that” but with Nucleus I feel a difference and can’t wait to get going... ideally all our staff members will be “counsellors”.

25.07.10 - FaQ: Does it make sense to request from the the Nucleus entrepreneurs the elaboration of a vision for  the development of their enterprises during the first meeting(s)?

22.07.10 - Nucleus Foundation, Sri Lanka: Nucleus gives back ...


20.06.10 - Nucleus Foundation, Sri Lanka: New video: No war zone - Nuclei as peace promoting instrument. The video about the below presented cricket event ...

20.11.09 - Karachi, Pakistan: Amina Yoosuf and Dave Maurice, directors of the Nucleus Foundation, Sri Lanka, trained Nucleus counsellors of five textile associations, supported by the bfz, Germany (pdf)


11.09.09 - France / Algeria: Cécile Perret: Nuclei of Small-Sized enterprises, Social Capital and Territorial Development in Algeria ...

10.08.09 - NF - Sri Lanka: Dave Maurice presents the Nucleus Approach as instrument for SME promotion at the LED conference in Colombo

06.05.09 - AL INVEST: Training of Nucleus counsellors and entrepreneurs in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador ...

27.07.08 - Bonn, Germany: SEQUA adopts the Nucleus Approach. Discussion with Rainer Müller-Glodde ...

05.05.08 - Munich: The Fundação Empreender / Foundation Entrepreneur, Brazil, and the HWK Munich sign an Agreement of Cooperation ...

03.05. - 10.05.08 - Munich:  Brazilian Environment Nuclei visit the IFAT ...

24.11.07 - Brazil: Melim, the first "Doctor Nucleus"

Santa Cruz, Bolivia - 06.05.09

Jordi Castan, Jairo Aldo da Silva, both Brazil, and Eduardo Pereira, Uruguay, are conducting the first training courses in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador with Nucleus counsellors and entrepreneurs.


Ricardo Castede, CAINCO: "The experience we made in Santa Cruz has been a success because we managed to reach all goals:

i) We have attracted interest from entrepreneurs and formed the first Nucleus (we plan to set up two other Nuclei during this month)

ii) We have managed that the board members took note of of this tool and its potential and

iii) the counsellors (a total of 19) from CAINCO and CADEX have been trained and, most importantly, have become convinced that the tool Nucleus works."

Training of counsellors with Jordi Castan

Bonn, Germany - 27.07.08

Discussion between SEQUA - Ralf Meier, Head of the Management of Programmes, Dr. Florian Lütticken, Coordinator of Programmes with the EU, Veronique Chavane, Project Director, reasonable also for the participation of SEQUA in the project AAPOP - GTZ Algeria - and Rainer Müller-Glodde: SEQUA adopts the Nucleus Approach.

Since its start in 1991, SEQUA's strategy had always been not to involve itself into partnership projects between German chambers and those of other countries, but to concentrate on financial aspects and reporting. Ralf Meier explained now that this policy is changing. SEQUA develops and adopts methodologies, strategies and instruments for the development of business chambers chambers and associations and offers them as support to partnership and other projects.

Due to the good experiences of HWK Munich - Fundação Empreender, Joinville, CACB - SEBRAE - KHK Essen, and bfz Hof, Germany in Brazil and Mozambique, of GTZ in Sri Lanka and Algeria, SEQUA decided now to adopt the Nucleus Approach and to apply it in different projects. Dr. Florian Lütticken mentioned project proposals for Central America and Santa Cruz, Bolivia, submitted to the EU. In projects planned in Vietnam and  Bangladesh the application of the methodology is considered in the context of the introduction of "sustainable production". The bfz is preparing a project in Pakistan and applies the Nucleus Approach in the south of Mozambique together with GTZ. In addition is in discussion a project in South Africa, eventually together with the CACB, Brazil.

Question: where are ongoing the most interesting developments concerning chambers and associations? Ralf Meier: Mongolia - now already with 14 regional chambers -, in southeast Europe and India is most thrilling.

Dr. Florian Lütticken,
Veronique Chavane, Ralf Meier

Munich - Joinville - 05.05.08

17 years after the start of the partnership project between the Chamber of Crafts and Small Industries for Munich and Upper Bavaria and chambers of commerce and entrepreneurs in the northeast of Santa Catarina, Brazil, HWK and FE confirmed their cooperation by signing a respective agreement.

Download of the agreement in German or in Portuguese

Heinrich Traublinger, President of the HWK, Uwe Stortz, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs of São Bento do Sul, who signed the agreement on behalf of Adriano Zimmermann, President of the FE, Lothar Semper, CEO of the HWK

Joinville - Munich - 03.05. - 10.05.08

For the third time since 1996 members of Environment Nuclei from the north-east of Santa Catarina visited the "International Trade Fair for Water - Sewage - Refuse - Recycling" - IFAT in Munich.

The participants were mainly environment specialists in larger companies and come from Brusque, São Francisco do Sul, Jaraguá do Sul, Itajai and Blumenau. Uwe Stortz, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs of Sao Bento do Sul, led the group.

Environment Nuclei have been formed in the region in the context of the partnership project between the Brazilian business chambers, the Fundação Empreender and the HWK for Munich and Upper Bavaria since the early 90s. There was and is a high suffering and pressure regarding the disposal of industrial waste and sewage.

Apart from the IFAT, the group visited a number of private and public institutions in the sector.

For the evaluation of the trip by the participants see the Portuguese version (pdf).

 Representatives of the HWK Munich and the Brazilian members of Environment Nuclei


The framework conditions for successful entrepreneurial activities depend highly on the quality and intensity  of the "Public Private Dialogue".

Simone Lehmann analyzes the case of the ACE Joinville, Brazil, in order to show in Vietnam how chambers and the public sector can cooperate in favour of the development of the local and regional economy.
More ...

Joinville - Brazil - 24.11.07

José Maria MELIM, Joinville, Brazil
- the first "Doctor Nucleus"

Dr. Melim graduated with the doctorate about the development of Social Capital among micro and small enterprises: the experiences of the Sector Nuclei of the "Program Entrepreneur" in Brazil. -
More ...



Videos from and about Nuclei

Frequently asked questions

More FaQ .............

Starting Nuclei: shall the counsellor begin with smaller and weaker enterprises?

Which sector is suited for the foundation of a Nucleus? Up-dated and extended checklist

How will the new chairperson lead the chamber?

Is it possible to change the chairperson’s leadership style?

Why the Counsellor does have to run 10 Nuclei?

What is the minimal and maximal number of participants per Nucleus?

Links to other Nucleus promoting / running institutions


 bfz - Hof (pt)

 SEQUA (dt)

 SEQUA (en)

  AL- Invest IV
Región Andiana
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador,

AL Invest IV


Empreender Brasil
CACB - Confederação de Associações Comerciais e Empresariais do Brasil (pt)

Empreender-Consultores Yahoo Grupo de Consultores brasileiros (pt)

Empreender International
(pt / en / es)

International Enterprising Yahoo Group of Empreender Internacional
(pt / en / es)

Programa Cooperar FIEPE - Recife bfz (pt)


ACIANA / ACIA de Nampula

SEQUA (dt)



ESPIRE - bfz (en)

  Sri Lanka

NF - Nucleus Foundation (en)

Nucleus Foundation


Red ProPymes (es)
(not updated for some time

Nuclei in business chambers and associations (examples)

  Brasil (pt)

ACE Blumenau

ACE Guarulhos

 ACE Jaraguá do Sul

 ACE Joinville

ACE Maringá

ACE São Bento do Sul

Other links

BDS Forum (en)

Action research / learning

World statistics updated in real time


International Empreender Newsletter / CACB, Brazil

...  no more News Letters in English?

Enterprise Foundation (NF)
Sri Lanka

Ed 39 - 01/2011

Ed 38 - 11/2010

Ed 37 - 09/2010

Ed 36 - 07/2010

Ed 35 - 05/2010

Ed 34 - 03/2010


AL Invest IV Inform

Ed 03 - 10/2009






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