With the aim of making a measurable contribution to climate protection, women entrepreneurs in the skilled trades developed and tested market-ready, energy-efficient services together with IZT scientists. The project was carried out within the framework of the "National Climate Protection Initiative". The final event took place on 14 October 2016 in Berlin. The results of the project - 15 services - were clearly presented in a public brochure.

On the conception of the research project: The skilled crafts sector makes a significant contribution to the implementation of the German government's climate protection goals. However, the potential is far from exhausted. Especially with innovative services, new approaches to solutions - also in cooperation with other companies or at the interface to consumers - can be systematically developed. The overarching goal of the project was to raise this potential in a targeted manner with and for women entrepreneurs in the skilled crafts sector. The multipliers were associations and women entrepreneurs who are self-employed in the skilled crafts sector, who are master craftswomen or who have wives, partners, daughters or daughters-in-law who are typically fully involved in the decision-making processes of the company. Systematic service development should be used as a procedural model. Networking as well as active public relations work are the elements of permanence. The progress of the project was continuously evaluated with regard to the benefits for climate protection and efficiency.

Today, the promotion of climate protection and energy efficiency by the skilled trades is primarily linked to the sale and installation of energy-efficient equipment and processes. The best-known example is energy-efficient building refurbishment. Small and medium-sized craft enterprises provide (certified) energy (efficiency) services here by providing information and advice to households, commerce and industry. However, the possibilities of services in the skilled crafts sector for climate protection and energy efficiency go much further: the examples of "small-scale plant contracting" or heat supply (in cooperation with the energy industry) prove that innovations with services, consumer orientation and partnerships with third parties offer great potential for increasing the renovation rate. Innovative services based on information and communication technologies - discussed under the heading of "smart home" - can also make a significant contribution to energy efficiency and be disseminated in the market by the skilled crafts sector. Energy (efficiency) services - like products and processes - can be developed systematically. This is a central result of the German government's service research, known as "service engineering". According to Bullinger/Scheer, service engineering is the systematic development and design of services with the help of suitable models and tools. It helps to specify, define and structure the development process for services. The economic benefit is that services can now be designed systematically and holistically. According to Harms, the "Service Engineering" process model has been tried and tested in small and medium-sized enterprises.

The project deliberately focused on women entrepreneurs and master craftswomen. In about 85 percent of all craft enterprises, a female entrepreneur is the "soul of the enterprise" - and of the innovations. This was stated by Federal Minister Dr. Christine Bergmann on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the UHF in Berlin. Approximately 8,000 women entrepreneurs in the skilled trades have joined the organisation of Unternehmerfrauen im Handwerk (UFH) throughout Germany. According to a study by the Ludwig-Fröhler Institute, 30 per cent of the employees in the skilled crafts sector nationwide are women.

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