| Making the Country Future-Proof with New Ideas

State Prize for Young Companies

In February 2020, Freiburg International Academy gGmbH (FIA) applied for the State Prize for Young Companies, awarded by the State Government and L-Bank, and in July 2020, it made it to the final round out of 619 applicants. FIA can now count itself among the top twelve young companies in Baden-Württemberg.

Freiburg im Breisgau – In February 2020, FIA applied for the State Prize for Young Companies, awarded by the State Government and L-Bank. The State Prize was already in its 13th year in 2020. It sought successful and proactive entrepreneurs in the state of Baden-Württemberg who are open to innovation. Because it is these entrepreneurs who "make the country future-proof with their new ideas," as stated by Minister President Winfried Kretschmann at the start of this year's State Prize application process. These entrepreneurs are meant to serve as role models for other aspiring entrepreneurs who are still in the planning phase of their courageous journey into self-employment.

When Professor Dr. med. Farhan – founder and medical director of FIA – came to Germany from the Arab region in 1996 for his medical studies, he experienced the challenging start in a foreign country firsthand. After completing his studies and gaining several years of professional experience as a specialist doctor, he decided to pursue a Master of Medical Education and founded FIA in 2014 with the aim of better integrating incoming international healthcare professionals (initially doctors, dentists, and pharmacists; now also nurses). "Today, we advise foreign professionals as much as possible while they are still abroad, taking care of visas, approvals, support, accommodation, and job searches," explains the 41-year-old neurosurgeon. In four federal states and at nine training and administrative locations, up to 1,000 professionals are qualified each year to work as recognized healthcare professionals in Germany. FIA offers comprehensive support and assists each participant in integrating into the German healthcare system.

In just a few years, the company has built a vast network with employment agencies, job centers, IQ state networks (Integration through Qualification), recognition authorities, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), embassies, licensing authorities, immigration offices, and several hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. Nearly 100 employees now find employment at FIA and contribute not only to the integration of international healthcare professionals in Germany but also help maintain and improve healthcare in the country. Especially during the pandemic and the resulting high demand for qualified healthcare professionals, FIA makes a significant contribution to optimizing the number of recognized medical specialists.

Through its social commitment, FIA sets an exemplary example for a modern and engaged society and has made it to the final round of the State Prize for Young Companies. Out of the 619 companies that applied for the State Prize in 2020, FIA is among the top twelve.

In the future, Freiburg International Academy gGmbH will continue to innovate. Plans include a long-term digitalization of course offerings, as well as career-enhancing courses to ensure professional qualification and integration, along with further training measures for foreign healthcare professionals in the field.


Text: FIA