One of the newest forms of internet marketing, pixel marketing strategy is a type of social marketing which is really taking off at a fast pace. As a social network marketing company I am seeing more companies start to use this concept of advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, My Space and twitter. Basically you will be creating a pixel that will show up on the side of your page whenever someone clicks on one of those buttons. This is basically a mini advertisement for your business or brand. There are many different types of pixel styles, colors and formats in pixel marketing, but in essence this is essentially a small advertisement that appears on the top corner of the screen when someone clicks on a link to a website.

Top 11 Pixels to Add to Your Website - Propellant Media

You can do this with any one of the thousands of social networks that exist today, MySpace being the largest and most talked about. Using a pixel for marketing strategy is very cost efficient, especially when compared to traditional forms of marketing and advertising. For example using a banner ad or paid search engine optimization you may have to spend thousands of dollars on placing these ads on hundreds of websites. The best thing about using a pixel is that you can simply place your ads wherever you choose, it does not matter if you’re using a mobile device or not.


It can also be used on Facebook and other social networking sites for generating traffic. In fact, many of the larger marketing companies are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel by focusing their marketing strategies on mobile devices. It is estimated that there are around 65 million people who have mobile phones, which makes mobile marketing an important part of a business’s overall marketing plan. Mobile marketing helps businesses get closer to their consumers, while still providing them with access to the information they need. So, if you have not started implementing a pixel for your business, it is time that you do so today.

The Whatsapp newsletter is history. Many companies are now wondering how to keep contacting their customers. Whatsapp has developed special business solutions for this. An overview.

“Your vehicle is being cleaned and will be ready for collection shortly.” Anyone who returns their car to the BMW headquarters in Munich for inspection and asks about the processing status can automatically receive this message on their smartphone. BMW is one of the users of the WhatsApp business solutions and offers a workshop service via messenger at its headquarters. Instead of sending the calls from around 200 customers to the call center every day, a Whatsapp bot now primarily answers.

This automation is a great relief and improvement, explains service manager Albert Rösch from the Munich branch: “We receive around 3,800 inquiries from customers per month, of which we answer around 3,000 automatically.” Rösch continues: “The callback requests have been canceled 60 percent decreased and the recommendation rate increased to 90 percent. “

The example from BMW shows the blueprint of WhatsApp use by companies, as the parent company Facebook envisions in the future. The still quite new Whatsapp Business service is available with special functions for companies – either as a messenger platform based on an API or as a separate Whatsapp business app for smartphones. The previous frequent and only tolerated use of WhatsApp as a newsletter channel, however, will end on December 7, 2019 – also for business applications.

The company explains it like this: Whatsapp is intended for end users to communicate with friends and relatives – not for mass emails or automated sending of messages. According to Whatsapp’s terms of use, newsletters were and are not allowed. From December 7th, this ban will be enforced with legal remedies, even if the company only becomes aware of the abuse of the service outside of its own platform – for example from the press. Whatsapp wants to maintain the communication character of the platform and protect users from what they already know from their email inboxes: advertising and spam. This means that the newsletter offers from service providers such as Messenger people, which up to now also put together large packages for WhatsApp broadcasting in messenger marketing for customers. Facebook Messenger will also end its newsletter in January 2020. From then on, only registered news sites will be allowed to send newsletters.

Even if companies complain about the discontinuation of the Whatsapp newsletter, the reality for users looks different, according to a current Yougov survey for Greven Medien: Only six percent thought a newsletter was important and would have subscribed to one. 58 percent were not interested in promotional information at all. With the exception of twelve percent of those surveyed who wanted news sites and blogs to offer, Whatsapp users want to engage in dialogues and not consume any content. Instead, a specific benefit, a service via Whatsapp, is important to them: from local restaurants (eleven percent), online shops (eleven percent), shops (eight percent) and travel providers (seven percent).

The rumor mill about the reasons for the newsletter is still simmering. Some suspect that Whatsapp could offer its own newsletter service in the future. On the other hand, however, the multiple emphasis on the dialogue function of the platform on the part of Facebook and the lack of user interest speak. If you want to continue to distribute newsletters via messenger, you have to encourage your WhatsApp subscribers to migrate to another platform: Apple offers a business chat with push messages and Telegram can also be an alternative. In the long term, however, the topic will appear less and less; it seems that neither providers nor users want to receive newsletters.

Companies use WhatsApp for this

In principle, Whatsapp does not allow companies to send marketing messages via their own service, and upselling within notifications is also not permitted . On the other hand, it is allowed to refer to ad spaces outside of Whatsapp in the channel in order to encourage customers to contact you. Then the sale or the sales process can be carried out via the conversation initiated by the customer. However, the trade guidelines must be observed , which contain some restrictions with regard to the products approved for sale via Whatsapp, such as medicines, tobacco or alcohol.

Examples of Whatsapp services can be found with big names like the Dutch airline KLM, which sends flight information and documents. The online marketplace Wish offers the possibility to track the order status. The travel portal sends booking confirmations and travel updates to customers. But also small companies like the Baden snack stand from Dampfnudel-Paule use Whatsapp to take orders and prepare them for collection.

Whatsapp Business: App, Web or API

Facebook offers Whatsapp Business in three versions: as a simple app for iOS and Android, as a web or desktop app for Mac and PC, and as a Whatsapp Business API. The first variants are aimed more at small companies, the API at medium-sized to larger companies, because it enables program-controlled and automated communication with the customer.

For small businesses: Whatsapp business app

The business app can be run parallel to the customer app with an existing account – taking into account the data protection restrictions in the address book. The company account is created directly in the app. The specified landline or mobile phone number is verified by SMS or voice call. The web or Mac / PC version is started via a QR code in the smartphone app. Smartphone and web / desktop version can be used in parallel, but the company account cannot be used by several people on different devices. A multi-user version is only available in the APIand with corresponding providers. The website integration of a button with which customers contact via Whatsapp works relatively easily using a shortlink according to this scheme:

For medium to large companies: Whatsapp Business API

The API can be used in two ways: On the one hand, to run and develop your own application on your own server using the API client provided by Whatsapp. Or pre-configured via Docker for operation on Amazon Web Services. Access to the API must be requested, because so far Facebook has manually activated access to the API, which is only publicly accessible to a limited extent. If access is granted, the company account can be set up via the Facebook Business Manager under “Accounts / Whatsapp”. For all other companies, the so-called solution providers are there, who usually offer ready-made SaaS applications for the API and can register company accounts.

To send notifications via the API, companies need to create message templates and submit them to Whatsapp for approval. Companies can only send notifications to customers using these dedicated templates; an airline could, for example, notify a changed departure gate or a flight delay. Free communication is only possible in direct conversations with the customer – within the framework of Whatsapp’s guidelines and terms of use.

There are no fixed costs associated with using the API, but there may be costs for sending messages. If a customer contacts the company, the conversation is free for the following 24 hours, after which 0.0733 euros per message are charged. The company can ask the customer to resume the previous day’s conversation and there will be no charge for an additional 24 hours. Template messages are always charged.

Provider for applications via the Whatsapp API

Anyone who chooses a service provider who is registered as a WhatsApp business solution provider for their messenger marketing can usually also use the connection to other messenger systems. The provider Messenger people integrates, for example, Whatsapp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Notify, Telegram and Viber. In the entry-level tariff, the messenger platform can be used from 99 euros per month, each additional employee account costs an additional 99 euros.

Use of the Whatsapp Business API via the platform of a solution provider, here Messengerpeople.  In addition to the chat, user data as well as ticket information and history are always in view.  (Image: Messenger People)

Use of the Whatsapp Business API via the platform of a solution provider, here Messenger people. In addition to the chat, user data as well as ticket information and history are always in view. (Image: Messenger People)

The platforms often bring automation functions such as chatbots, message templates and quick replies as well as connection options to external systems, but also offer user administration, ticket systems, smaller CRM functions and statistical evaluations. In addition to complete messaging platforms represent about Message Bird and Novomind Messaging also a pure API access is available that requires no monthly fee. Most services, however, incur four-digit setup fees. All of the providers mentioned ensure that they work in compliance with the GDPR and, in addition to generic order data processing contracts, also offer the conclusion of individual contracts.

GDPR and Whatsapp

Whatsapp Business takes into account the requirements of the GDPR. There are data processing conditions, but no direct contract for order data processing. Phil Salewski from the IT law firm in Munich assesses the deployment as GDPR-compliant if certain requirements are met. The most important points:

The two variants app (mobile, web or desktop) and API differ somewhat in terms of the requirements for proper use in terms of data protection law. Under no circumstances should the app have access to a smartphone address book with customer data whose owners have not consented to Whatsapp use. The simplest solution is a device with an empty address book in which the customers registered for the Whatsapp service are entered first.

In any case, the customer must give consent to communication. In the app, the customer must therefore actively contact the entrepreneur and give him his number. If the customer is to receive ongoing notifications, a double opt-in must be made, for example by saving the company’s number in their own phone book and sending a start message – and at any time has the option of canceling a service message subscription. Whatsapp also requires that every opt-in has a specific contextual reference, for example “receipt of a payment confirmation”.

The registration or the link to the Whatsapp service should contain a reference to the company’s privacy policy, which must be accepted when registering. For customers who communicate directly via the app, there should be a speaking link in the “URL” field in the app’s company information. (For example

To use the API, a data processing contract must be concluded with the respective processor, for example with Amazon Web Services or a SaaS service provider such as Messenger people.


Many companies want a medium that distributes marketing messages and newsletters with better open rates. At the moment there is much to suggest that this wish will not come true. Facebook is rigorous here, and even if other companies such as Viber or Telegram remain open to newsletter use.

And that should be reasonable. The better open rates are probably due to the fact that the Whatsapp chat is not yet as flooded with marketing as the classic email inbox. If the development of messengers continued in the same way as the use of e-mail, the services would soon be just as overloaded. Direct and fast communication with the customer will be the topic of the future for messengers. However, this requires a high degree of automation, greater professionalism and, above all, more speed than the maintenance of social media channels. Those who score here can gain a competitive advantage.

The LinkedIn career network offers a lot for B2B content marketing: Generate leads, announce events, discuss specialist topics and company news. And – soon – stories. It’s just the wrong place for crude self-promotion.

There are some good reasons for companies to be active on Linkedin with their B2B content marketing too. The platform has 14 million business users in German-speaking countries alone. There are 675 million members worldwide. With the right content, not only leads can be generated on the business platform. Companies can also announce events, recruit employees or communicate their products here. As with other networks, the company page on LinkedIn is something like the base camp for companies’ content strategies. The Hessian online shop Lampenwelt uses this page, for example, to present the company and its employees, to advertise job offers and to highlight sponsored content. All other content of the lighting specialist can also be found centrally there: the presentation of new brand partnerships, for example, or the in-house print magazine and insights into internal employee events. Companies can also share documents such as PowerPoint presentations or white papers in PDF format via the company website. This makes it easy to distribute case studies, instructions or longer specialist articles.

Companies with a particularly wide range of offers can also use so-called “focus pages”. These can be dedicated to a specific line of business or a product group of the company. BMW, for example, operates a focus page for the Mini and exclusively stages this product in images and videos. Google dedicates its own focus page to its advertising product “Google Ads” and publishes there, among other things, news about its advertising editor or partner program. While company pages bundle all information, focus pages address selected target groups more specifically. There are no direct costs for either the company or the focus pages, apart of course from the effort involved in creating and maintaining the content. Linkedin advises companies to plan an hour a day for this.

Profiling yourself with specialist articles

Anyone who expands their content marketing strategy for LinkedIn should link their company page with the profiles of their employees and their content: First of all, the employees should be found on the company page in the “People” section. As soon as the employees select their employer from a list provided by LinkedIn in their profile, they appear there automatically. In addition, they can refer to the company page in their profile details and thus ensure additional visibility and reach of the company. Employees are particularly effective as corporate influencers and, due to the multiplier effect, an essential success factor for content marketing on LinkedIn.

The publishing function is particularly interesting in this context. With it, users can publish content as articles that are too long and far-reaching for a normal posting. Expertise, experience reports and industry trends are suitable topics for this. Specialist content helps, for example, to position yourself as an authority in a field of knowledge. Experience reports, in turn, create trust and enable you to establish yourself as an experienced and reliable contact person for a topic. And anyone who reports on industry trends is perceived as an innovative pioneer of new developments. However, only people can publish articles, not companies. It is all the more important to involve your employees as brand ambassadors in the content marketing strategy.

Above all, activity pays off: every year, Linkedin publishes a list of members who have initiated the most successful discussions in German-speaking countries. Among them are entrepreneurs, founders, authors, lawyers and consultants. In addition to this list of the 25 “Top Voices”, the LinkedIn editorial team regularly compiles a list of the ten top influencers. Last year, for example, the founder and investor Frank Thelen, ex-soccer player Philipp Lahm and the former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche were among them. But not everyone has to be an influencer or opinion maker right away. Often it is enough to exchange ideas with other experts and advance industry topics to bring yourself or your company into play as a competent contact person. An environment that is well suited to are Linkedin groups. In addition to very sharp topics, cross-sector content such as leadership, recruiting or management can also be discussed there.

Establish groups and fill topics

Since companies cannot set up groups, employees have to do so. Employees can also join existing groups. In the Linkedin group “Online Marketing in Germany”, for example, more than 2,000 members discuss current industry topics. The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, on the other hand, operates its own group that revolves around work, job opportunities and company news at Pfizer. “From a marketing point of view, it is advisable to found groups,” says Ritchie Pettauer, independent content marketing consultant from Vienna. The reason: group founders are allowed to send a notification to all group members every seven days. “That keeps the activity high and can advance your own topics,” says Pettauer. For example, companies can use the notifications to bring up new topics or to recapitulate content. A company attracts additional attention when it adds and links its group to the company page as a “Featured Group”. Pfizer has also done this with his group, in which almost 20,000 experts are now exchanging ideas.

However, groups cannot be presented on the homepage of a company page, but only on the “About us” subpage. That is a small flaw. It is therefore important that the employees bring the groups into conversation with their postings, for example by referring to ongoing group discussions. In order for other LinkedIn users to share the content, companies should refrain from clumsy self-promotion. Instead, it is important to communicate authentically, promote interactions and offer added value to the community. In order to live up to this claim on LinkedIn, companies should continuously review their positioning and, if necessary, readjust it. Because the best content marketing strategy is ineffective if essential prerequisites are missing

SSI reveals weak points

The Social Selling Index (SSI) is an evaluation tool that helps users assess how well or how badly they are doing in their industry. The SSI is therefore not linked to specific sales, but describes the correct approach to a business by establishing contacts, networks and content marketing. The SSI is available to all accounts. The index shows a value between 0 and 100, is updated daily and consists of four components: professional branding, finding the right people, arousing interest and building relationships. Each component contributes a maximum of 25 points to the index value. In this way you can see at a glance in which areas there is room for improvement.

The first index component, brand building, plays an important role in purchasing decisions. Because if you are perceived as a brand or a professional, you are trusted by potential customers. According to Linkedin, 92 percent of B2B work-Buy buyers with sales professionals if they are known as thought leaders in the industry. As a second component, the index focuses on finding the right contacts – after all, it is of little use to present your content to the wrong target groups. To find these people, Linkedin offers a search function with many filters. With a paid membership, there are also advanced search filters. Companies can even use them to browse the profiles of third-level contacts, for example. “Arousing interest through insights” is the third factor in the index. This is about posting content that triggers reactions. The idea behind it: Anyone who posts real novelties and insights can position themselves as a trustworthy source of information and in return learn more quickly about important information from others.

SSI reveals weak points

The Social Selling Index (SSI) is an evaluation tool that helps users assess how well or how badly they are doing in their industry. The SSI is therefore not linked to specific sales, but describes the correct approach to a business by establishing contacts, networks and content marketing. The SSI is available to all accounts. The index shows a value between 0 and 100, is updated daily and consists of four components: professional branding, finding the right people, arousing interest and building relationships. Each component contributes a maximum of 25 points to the index value. In this way you can see at a glance in which areas there is room for improvement.

The first index component, brand building, plays an important role in purchasing decisions. Because if you are perceived as a brand or a professional, you are trusted by potential customers. According to Linkedin, 92 percent of B2B work-Buy buyers with sales professionals if they are known as thought leaders in the industry. As a second component, the index focuses on finding the right contacts – after all, it is of little use to present your content to the wrong target groups. To find these people, Linkedin offers a search function with many filters. With a paid membership, there are also advanced search filters. Companies can even use them to browse the profiles of third-level contacts, for example. “Arousing interest through insights” is the third factor in the index. This is about posting content that triggers reactions. The idea behind it: Anyone who posts real novelties and insights can position themselves as a trustworthy source of information and in return learn more quickly about important information from others.

There are two content formats that are of particular interest to content marketers: “Sponsored Content” and “Direct Sponsored Content”. The difference: Sponsored content is tied to the company website, but can address additional users in addition to the followers of the website. With the “Direct Sponsored Content” format, companies can share content directly in the feed without having to appear on the company website. Industry news, company news, case studies and striking statistics are suitable for both forms of sponsored content. Image ads, video ads and interactive carousel ads are available as advertising formats. And another tip: the landing page can be provided with a lead form for lead generation. If a user then clicks on an ad, a form appears which is already filled in with the details of the member from the LinkedIn profile – including the name, contact information, position, job title and location of the interested party. This means that the conversion goal is only a click away. Paid advertising placements are therefore very suitable for flanking organic content.

The next level: Linkedin stories

In the near future, another tool could give content marketing on Linkedin a new boost: Linkedin stories. Some selected LinkedIn employees are currently testing the feature internally. The possible uses are still unclear. But food photos are unlikely to be found in future stories. Content that contributes to the employer brand is more likely. Finally, Linkedin is also a recruiting platform. “The approach to LinkedIn stories will be different than to Snapchat or Instagram,” says Linda Grützmann, project manager for social media at Constructiv in Bremen. The digital agency also looks after numerous customers in content marketing and has had very good experiences with stories in other networks. “So far, a lot of content has been produced and consumed on LinkedIn, However, there is still comparatively little interaction and communication, ”says Grützmann. If LinkedIn stories now offer more reaction and interaction options in the future, customers and companies could exchange ideas better. From Grützmann’s point of view, this would be an important step in the right direction.

Ritchie Pettauer also sees this development as positive: “The new stories are a very interesting format for content marketing, as they are suitable for live reporting.” In addition, it is to be expected that there will be only a few users at the start – and thus little competition. From Pettauer’s point of view, the chance of being perceived as a first mover with his stories is therefore very good. In the medium term, he sees the potential of the new content format primarily in trying out topics and testing their potential for interaction. But until then, content marketers have to be patient, because a roll-out date is not yet known. It could be a few more months before a beta version of the new stories comes onto the market.


For content marketers, LinkedIn already offers effective formats to draw attention to providers and offers. Generating leads, announcing events, discussing specialist topics and company news: a lot is possible. Employees can also be easily integrated and used as reach multipliers for topics and content. But the interaction and presentation options can be expanded. The new story feature is intended to meet this need. A smart move by the platform, because the stories are not only suitable for addressing the target groups that are coming up and offering them a familiar environment. The new content format is also easy to plan and can ensure a lot of interactions. This means that the career network should remain an attractive address for B2B content

The Fintech Penta only recently received an 18.5 million investment, now the startup wants to offer its customers even more – and also be there for them during the corona crisis.

What does an açaí bowl have to do with business banking? Well, sometimes start-up ideas find their own way. This is also the case with Jessica Holzbach and Penta. Penta is a fintech startup that specializes in providing digital company accounts for small and medium-sized companies. For companies, banking and bookkeeping should be as simple as possible and, like other neo-banks, function according to the “one click” principle.

Before that came about, açaí bowls were actually needed first. Because they were the basis of Holzbach’s first founding idea. Together with two Canadians, she wanted to set up a startup in Lisbon that would offer healthy breakfast bowls. Because the first investors were in Germany, the three women also wanted to register their business there.

Open a business account from abroad – impossible

Decided, googled and determined: A business account is one of the first important steps in starting a business. Holzbach, who had their house bank in Germany, wanted to initiate the account opening. However, the founders had to realize: At the time, it wasn’t as easy as the trio had imagined opening an account from abroad. All three had to fly to Germany. Flights, accommodation – these are painful costs for a young startup. In addition, the founders not only had to travel to Germany, they couldn’t just open the account in Holzbach’s usual bank branch. They had to go to Frankfurt specially, the small bank in the village couldn’t handle the Canadian citizenship of the two co-founders.

The founders found the account opening process expensive and inefficient. Holzbach was stunned that it couldn’t be easier. When the Açaí Bowl startup finally came to nothing, she decided to tackle the banking problem. Holzbach, who is now Penta’s Chief Customer Officer, was there, but not alone. There are five people behind the Berlin fintech, which now serves over 17,000 business customers.

How did the 5 come together?

“Two of the founders are related, the others knew each other from university – and I was just the coincidence,” says Holzbach, explaining how the founding team came into being. When the co-founder joined the Penta team, the name already existed and a very simple landing page. Because the founders shared a vision, Holzbach joined Penta. The team thought: “Okay, if we have the same idea, we’ll try it together.” And since the day of the first meeting, the founders have never spent a day without each other.

Sounds very harmonious, and it probably was. Because all five had a different background and all had different skills, the division of tasks was then very easy. The decisions in the company could be made particularly quickly.

This is still the case today with fintech for business accounts. Holzbach explains the work of the now more than ninety-strong team: “It was important to us to build up a company with small, agile teams so that we don’t grow into a heavy tanker that only makes slow progress. Instead, we have created small speed boats that can quickly put ideas into practice. ”With success. In the meantime, Penta no longer “only” offers a digital account solution for companies. Instead, the Berlin startup managed to expand its portfolio fairly quickly. The mission always remained: The five founders want to make the life of other founders as easy as possible.

So what exactly does Penta offer?

A cooperation with Sumup makes it possible, for example, to provide companies with a simple cashless payment option. A cooperation with Iwoca enables Penta to offer its own corporate loans. Sample documents, checklists and even targeted advice on setting up a company complete the portfolio of banking service providers. The commitment to all-round service should not end there.

The corona crisis hits startups in particular

The corona crisis is currently troubling many startups. Orders suddenly disappear and expenses are no longer financed. Not to mention the conversion of work processes to home office and co. Penta herself was lucky. The fintech was able to complete the current financing round before the situation around the corona pandemic in Germany worsened. Penta was able to collect 18.5 million euros , financially the startup for business banking is on the safe side for the time being. The virus is still a concern of Penta’s founders.

According to a survey, many young professionals are not afraid of unemployment even in the Corona crisis.

Accordingly, only ten percent of young professionals fear not to find a job in the next few years. However, many are apparently short of money: Only 16 percent are satisfied with their financial situation. That was the result of a representative survey of 1,043 young professionals by the opinion research institute Yougov. The client was the financial services provider Tecis in Hamburg.

At the same time, only a good third (34 percent) said that a high salary was important to them. A balanced ratio of work and leisure time (48 percent) and nice colleagues (47 percent) are therefore more important. In the survey, young people who are just about to complete their training or who have a maximum of two years of professional experience count as young professionals.

A majority sees the future in rosier colors than their current situation. Almost three quarters believe that they will be better off in terms of work, finances, living conditions and with regard to family and friends in five years. “Young people continue to rate their career opportunities positively – despite the recession, short-time work and unclear developments,” said Tecis board member Sönke Missfeldt. The company is part of the Swiss Life insurance group.

Framework data for the survey

The data is based on an online survey by YouGov in which 1,043 people took part between July 28th and August 14th, 2020. They were asked about their medium-term perspectives, their current life situation (job / career, finances, living and family / friends) as well as their current attitude to Corona. In future, this report will appear annually and show long-term developments in a barometer.

Among other things, the following questions were asked:

Which of the following aspects are particularly important to you in your professional life?

  • high salary
  • independent working
  • Work-life balance (compatibility of work and private life)
  • social commitment
  • recognition
  • flat hierarchies
  • meaningful work
  • Training opportunities
  • Career opportunities
  • something else, namely:
  1. nice colleague
  2. I do not know
  3. varied activities

What are you currently most concerned about?

  • my financial situation
  • Fear of not finding a job
  • Fear of getting sick
  • general uncertainty about the future
  • Fear of not being able to cope with the course
  • Losing family members or friends
  • not having sufficient financial means in old age
  • something else, namely:
  1. I’m currently not worried about anything
  2. don’t know (dpa / rw)

The proportion of women in top jobs in large public companies has increased slightly. The organization “Women in the Supervisory Boards” (FidAR) determined this in a study.

A first permanent facade on the drive production – according to Tesla the heart of the factory – has already been erected, the piles for the press shop are in the ground, the dimensions of the planned paint shop and the assembly hall with entrance area are becoming clear. During an information trip led by a Tesla team over the 300 hectare site, a spokesman explained the status of the construction project.
About 250,000 cubic meters of sand were dredged on the site. A large part of it was temporarily stored in the Jänschwalde opencast mine in Lusatia. Thoralf Schirmer, spokesman for the energy company Leag, explained that it will later be used as recultivation material for the use of post-mining landscapes.

Environmental approval for Tesla factory is pending

Starting in summer 2021, up to 500,000 vehicles per year are to be produced in Grünheide (Oder-Spree), for which around 12,000 jobs are planned. The final environmental approval from the state of Brandenburg is still pending. Tesla is already building at its own risk via early approvals. The Brandenburg State Environment Agency recently gave the green light for the foundation and the shell construction with an early start.

Critics worry about drinking water supplies

Critics see, among other things, the public supply of drinking water because of the settlement in danger, but also criticize the clearing and the handling of animals on the site. The company now wants to reduce water consumption. Tesla claims that it needs 1.4 million cubic meters of water per year. “The water is there, it just has to come here,” said the company spokesman. That is technically solvable.

Objections will be discussed publicly on September 23

The citizens’ numerous objections to the planned construction of the “Gigafactory” will be discussed on September 23 at a public hearing in the town hall of Erkner (Oder-Spree). «We are very happy that this date exists. Simply because it gives us the opportunity to respond to the objections in a very fact-based manner (…) and also to take these concerns away from people, “said the Tesla spokesman.

Tesla is looking for workers

The US electric car manufacturer sees the rapid recruitment of workers as the greatest challenge. Tesla is confident there, said the spokesman. The company offers well-paid work and has good pay systems. The need for employees will grow with it, but first the market has to be there and the cars have to be sold

Whether the chemical company Bayer or Volkswagen – several German companies were or are confronted with expensive class actions in the USA. But that’s not the only liability risk for companies.

According to an analysis by Allianz, companies are confronted with increasing liability risks – particularly through class actions and recalls. In the USA in particular, the courts are awarding plaintiffs against companies with ever higher amounts of compensation. Accordingly, the average settlement sum of the 50 largest US court judgments from 2014 to 2018 has almost doubled from 28 to 54 million US dollars, write the liability experts of the Allianz industrial insurer AGCS in their study published on Wednesday.

A growing number of product recalls is particularly noticeable in Europe. Accordingly, there were 475 recalls in the EU in the auto industry alone in 2019, eleven percent more than in 2018 (428) – and the highest value in the past decade. According to the AGCS study, the increasing concentration in the industry is contributing to the increasing risks. The Japanese airbag manufacturer Tataka has achieved particular fame in this regard. According to AGCS, this supplied 19 car manufacturers. After reports of injuries and fatal accidents, an estimated 60 to 70 million cars were recalled from 2002 to 2015, according to the study.

Chances and dangers from Corona

According to AGCS, the corona pandemic could have two effects on product safety in the food industry – both positive and negative. On the one hand, higher hygiene standards could even reduce the risk of contamination. On the other hand, the uncertainties of the epidemic with new business processes, temporary closings, working from home, fewer official controls and irregularities in the supply chains could pose new threats to product safety, warn the insurer’s experts.

Allianz sees two very different phenomena as a further risk for companies: the protest movements around the globe and environmental regulations, including indoor air quality. In the latter respect, the pandemic could have direct effects, according to the study: the risk of legionella and mold growth was exacerbated by the temporary closure of commercial buildings, hotels, fitness studios and other facilities during the pandemic.

Good news for short-time workers: the state is increasing payments and allowing more additional earnings. And those who do well can get even more out of it. The most important tips and tricks.

Due to the Corona crisis, the number of short-time working in Germany is reaching unprecedented levels. According to calculations by the Ifo Institute, 7.3 million employees were on short-time work in May – and other companies have registered short-time work for June. The previous negative record after the financial crisis in 2009 is 1.44 million short-time workers .

In order to mitigate the financial consequences for affected employees, the Bundestag and Bundesrat have decided to increase the short-time allowance . Those who are on short-time work at least 50 percent receive more money: From the fourth month onwards, the state pays short-time workers 70 percent instead of 60 percent of the lost net wage, from the seventh month onwards it is 80 percent. Parents even receive 77 percent (instead of 67 percent) from the fourth month and 87 percent from the seventh month. In addition, the regulations on additional earnings were relaxed.

The improved regulations should be a blessing for many. However, there are also some tax issues that need to be considered. Here are the most important tips and tricks:

Tip 1: be prepared for additional tax payments

So that short-time workers do not experience any nasty surprises later when you submit your tax return, you should know how the payments affect your taxation. First of all, the good news: The short-time work allowance is paid tax-free, so no taxes are deducted directly from the sum itself . However, the short-time work allowance is included in the calculation of the tax that you have to pay on your remaining taxable income. In order to determine the tax rate for this, the tax office includes the short-time work allowance as a fictitious income.

This results in a higher tax rate due to the tax progression. Since this is not yet taken into account in the employer’s payroll (i.e. you pay less tax at first), this point can lead to an additional payment later in the tax return. Anyone who has received short-time work benefits of more than 410 euros per year is obliged to submit a tax return and enter the amount in Appendix N, as the United Wage Tax Aid Association (VLH) emphasizes.

Tip 2: change the tax class

Since the amount of the short-time allowance depends on the monthly net salary, a change of tax bracket can be worthwhile for couples. “It is best if the recipient of the money chooses the tax class with the highest monthly net income, ie III or at least IV”, advises Stiftung Warentest . In this way, you receive more short-time work benefits, while tax disadvantages due to the less favorable tax bracket are compensated for in your tax return anyway. Practical: Since the beginning of 2020, married people and life partners have even been able to change their tax class several times a year.

Tip 3: enter the child allowance

In order to receive the increased short-time work allowance for parents, a child allowance of at least 0.5 must be entered on the electronic income tax card. This is usually the case automatically. There are exceptions, however: parents for children over 18 who are still in vocational training continue to be entitled to the tax exemption up to their 25th birthday – but they must actively apply for it.

In addition, Stiftung Warentest would like to point out that even for married mothers and fathers with tax class V, the child allowance is not automatically taken into account, as this is entered in the partner with tax class III. Therefore, an Elstam printout with the partner’s wage tax deduction features is required as proof for the higher short-time work allowance.

Tip 4: top up with a mini job

Collecting short-time work benefits and keeping the full money from a part-time job is now easier. Up until now, additional earnings were restricted to systemically important areas, which will no longer apply with Social Protection Package II. According to the federal government, the following applies from May 1 to December 31, 2020: “Anyone who takes up employment during short-time work can earn up to the full amount of their previous monthly income. The earnings earned are not offset against short-time work benefits.”

A scientific experiment on unconditional basic income is starting in Germany. How does the project differ from previous ones – and what insights can it bring?

The concept of an unconditional basic income is hotly debated. Proponents praise it as a humane alternative to Hartz IV that makes us all freer and happier. Critics see it as an invaluable social utopia for idlers. An attempt is now being made in Germany to put the discussion between these two ideological poles on an objective basis.

The non-profit association “Mein Grundeinkommen” is starting a pilot project together with the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and scientists from the Max Planck Institute and the University of Cologne, which aims to investigate the specific effects of such a basic income. It is not the first basic income experiment – but a special one. Because it is the first long-term scientific study of this kind for Germany . How the field test works and what findings it can bring:

How is the experiment set up?

Starting in spring 2021, 120 participants should receive a monthly basic income of 1200 euros – regardless of what else they earn or own. The money is paid out for three years. At the same time, a control group of 1,380 people is formed who do not receive the money, but who are examined in the same way as those receiving basic income. In this way it can be determined which changes are really due to the basic income.

The test participants of both groups will be selected from all persons who apply to participate on the project website . In order to keep the sample as representative as possible, the researchers hope to have one million applicants by November. The project is financed by donations.

What exactly is being investigated?

Participants in the study are regularly interviewed to find out how the basic income is changing their lives. It’s about the professional situation, but also questions of general satisfaction and health aspects. For example: do people work more, less or differently? To what extent do existential fears, stress and the risk of burnout decrease? What do people do with the additional financial security and what does it do with them? Some participants even want to evaluate hair samples.

How does the project differ from other basic income experiments?

The idea of ​​an unconditional basic income has been and is being tried out in various countries. In a long-term experiment in Kenya, for example, thousands of people have been receiving a basic income equivalent to 20 euros a month for several years. However, the findings are often difficult to transfer. “Previous global experiments are largely useless for the current debate in Germany,” says DIW researcher Jürgen Schupp who was involved in the study .

The closest thing to us was another highly regarded experiment in Finland . The Finnish government paid an unconditional basic income of 560 euros per month for two years. The 2000 participants were all unemployed, however, as the Finns were primarily interested in the effects of the labor market. As these were not satisfactory, the project was discontinued. Participants from as many social classes as possible should now take part in the German experiment.

The topic is not entirely new in this country either. The Berlin association Mein Grundeinkommen, which has now initiated the pilot project, has been raffling off donation-financed basic incomes of 1,000 euros per month for a year for several years. ( Here winners report on their experiences. ) However, this experiment is not scientifically accompanied, so that no reliable statements can be made.

What findings can be expected?

In the Finnish experiment, the labor market effects were small, but the researchers found a number of other positive effects. The recipients of the basic income were “more satisfied with their lives and suffered less from psychological stress,  depression , sadness and loneliness,” as the final report states. They also had more confidence in their fellow human beings and social institutions.

Many winners of the Mein Grundeinkommen lottery in Germany also report increased life satisfaction due to the additional security. In a non-representative survey of these winners, a majority said they were more courageous and curious. Most of them felt less pressure to perform, but more drive.

In the upcoming experiment, DIW researcher Schupp expects that some “who work solely for the money” will actually give up their jobs, he told the “Spiegel” . But he also knows from social science surveys that many would not turn their lives upside down if they received an unexpected cash gift of 10,000 euros. “Around half answered that they would not change anything and would not touch the money at all, but would put it in their reserves. I would not be surprised if a similarly high proportion of our basic income recipients would keep it that way.”

What are the limits of the study?

The study can provide interesting insights into what is changing for the individual. However, it cannot capture the overall social impact of an unconditional basic income – for example on prices, wages and taxes. Because if the basic income were to be introduced for everyone, most of the other social benefits would probably also have to cease to be able to finance it.

Therefore, two follow-up studies are already being planned: one deals with a cheaper basic income light, the other with a concept for financing. From 2022, it will be investigated how strong the positive effects from study 1 are if people do not receive an additional 1200 euros, but their salary is only increased up to this amount (1200 euros minimum income instead of basic income on top).

Finally, the third part of the study aims to examine what happens when the basic income is offset against all other income with a simulated tax of 50 percent. “At the end of the three studies, statements can be made as to whether the basic income has an effect and whether this effect arises from the additional money or from increased psychological security,” says the written project presentation .