Full speed ahead to your dream job

A startup called Linguedo teaches German to nurses from Italy in a short time – and then finds them a job.

Linguedo teaches language skills and finds people jobs in nursing.
Linguedo teaches language skills and finds people jobs in nursing. Linguedo

Germany. “It can’t be done any faster.” This is the kind of sentence that Matthias Gilch doesn’t like to accept. When his girlfriend had to learn German to enrol at university, he got fed up with the course’s entrenched teaching methods. The economist, who also studied psychology as a subsidiary subject, spoke with experts, researched new ways of learning – and developed his own method.

The idea for Linguedo

The language project then encountered a different experience: during a trip to Rome, Gilch heard how difficult the situation was for young Italians on the national labour market. And even if they found a job, it was often poorly paid. This was particularly true of nursing staff. At the same time, experts forecast that Germany will be short of about 200,000 nurses by 2025. This gave Gilch and Linguedo’s co-founder Kai Hübner an idea: “Let’s teach German to nurses from Italy in a short time, using our innovative system, and find them a job in a hospital in Germany.”

Linguedo’s founders: Matthias Gilch (l.) and Kai Hübner.
Linguedo’s founders: Matthias Gilch (l.) and Kai Hübner. Linguedo

Success

Linguedo offers a complete job-placement package. The startup presents its programme to nursing staff in Italy and informs them about life in Germany, organizes a multi-stage selection procedure, and concludes contracts with German hospitals that are looking for nursing staff. After nine to twelve months of preparation, the new employees are ready to go. The programme is free of charge for them if they actually take the job offered. 40 young women and men from Italy have already found a job via Linguedo, 44 more are in the preparation phase. In future, the founders want to extend their service to other countries.

Nurses from Italy on a guided tour of a German hospital.
Nurses from Italy on a guided tour of a German hospital. Linguedo

The supporters

Linguedo took part in a startup programme offered by the Social Impact Lab in Frankfurt – an important time, says Hübner. “Several times they showed us ways to get out of situations when we had the feeling we had come up against a brick wall.” There were also contacts with investors and inspiring conversations with other founders. Last but not least, Linguedo found staff at the Social Impact Lab. Today, the startup has six permanent employees; 12 language teachers and interpreters work freelance for Linguedo.

Social startups: business ideas for a better world

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