Economic development strengthens the dialogue between politics, administration and business and is committed to good framework conditions. It promotes young entrepreneurship and supports projects that strengthen the future viability of the location and make it visible in the national and international environment.
Economic development attaches great importance to sustainable urban development. It is committed to ensuring that the economy is given greater consideration and involvement in order to achieve the sustainability goals of the City of Zurich.
Dialogue between politics and business
Economic Development maintains regular exchange between economic actors in Zurich and municipal politics and administration. Thanks to the direct contacts, the city knows the challenges and needs of the economy and can take them into account appropriately in urban projects and processes. At the same time, it can inform the economy about planned projects of the city
The Economic Development Agency regularly organises meetings and debates between the City Council or a delegation of the City Council with various industries on current challenges and topics.
Several times a year, the Economic Development Agency organises contact lunches at which representatives of an industry can exchange ideas with the entire city council and members of the administration as part of a standing lunch.
RFA (Regulatory Impact Assessment) and SME Focal Point
On the basis of the "Ordinance on the Improvement of the Framework Conditions for SMEs" and the anchoring of the XRF (regulatory impact assessment) in the municipal code, the City Council examines its business for its compatibility with SMEs. With the SME contact point , there is a corresponding information portal for economic development.
Economic framework conditions and impulses
In cooperation with the Department of Society & Space , the Economic Development Agency contributes the economic perspective to urban committees and strategy processes within the framework of urban development (including circular economy, net zero, environmental strategy, mobility and urban spaces 2050) and represents in cooperation with the Department of External Relations urban interests at national and international level. It thus creates good framework conditions and provides impetus for the diverse and sustainable development of Zurich as a business location.
The Economic Development Agency manages the office of the event body, which is made up of representatives of the departments of urban development, culture, sports office and city police. The main tasks of the body are the examination of the content and finding solutions to controversial applications as well as the consideration of an overall perspective on the event landscape in the city.
Business delegation of the city council
The Economic Development Agency is responsible for the management of the business delegation of the city council and its staff. The business delegation prepares important economic policy activities and strategic decisions for the attention of the city council and coordinates the economic policy communication of the city. Among other things, she is responsible for coordinating economic measures to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Film Commission Zurich
Originating from a pilot project of economic development with the local film industry, the Film Commission association supports filmmakers during filming in the city of Zurich. Filmcom provides information on local conditions and logistics services and arranges contacts with the local film industry and the authorities.
Made in Zurich Initiative
Together with partners from the private sector, Stadtentwicklung Zürich has founded the Made in Zürich Initiative association. The Made in Zurich initiative promotes production in the city of Zurich, gives urban producers of all sizes and colours a platform and creates an official designation of origin with "Made in Zurich".
Startups and entrepreneurship
The economic development agency supports start-ups and entrepreneurship via numerous partner organizations, which were co-initiated and built up by the city. The Economic Development Agency represents the City of Zurich in the strategic management bodies of these organizations.
The Bluelion Foundation supports entrepreneurs in the early stages of setting up their start-up with targeted coaching and programmes. Bluelion focuses on the ICT, digital health, cleantech and fintech sectors as well as on those interested in founding a company with professional experience (non-academic environment). As part of the development of Zurich as a life science and health location, the Digital Health Initiative offers a platform for the joint exchange and promotion of innovative solutions.
Genossenschaft Startzentrum Zürich
The Genossenschaft Startzentrum Zürich is the competence centre for start-ups and start-ups in the Canton of Zurich. It offers consultations, organises events and workshops and runs an online platform with a digital guide to starting a company.
Association «GO! Goal independently»
The association «GO! Ziel selbständig» advises young entrepreneurs and supports company start-ups and business development with microcredits up to a maximum of CHF 40,000.
The Wirtschaftsförderung is a member of the Förderverein glatec. It operates an incubator at Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf to facilitate and support start-ups and innovation processes in the field of materials science and environmental sciences.
Offers and information for companies, founders and start-ups
Links for finding locations and premises
- homegate.ch: Switzerland's leading real estate marketplace .
- Ron Orp: Find studio, office and coworking via Ron Orp in Zurich.
- Municipal objects: Rental of urban objects (offices, commercial space, warehouses and parking spaces, catering areas).
- Werkstadt Zürich (SBB): The Werkstadt in Zurich-Altstetten offers targeted options for the settlement of urban crafts, food production, clean-tech laboratories and companies in the creative industry.
- Kochareal: From 2026, people will live, work and stroll in Zurich's Koch district . Some commercial leasing is already underway.
- Space exchange: The space exchange Dynamo rents rooms in several buildings in the city of Zurich at favorable conditions. Some of the rooms are rented exclusively to teenagers and young adults up to the age of 28.
- Project Interim: Projekt Interim specialises in temporary use and vacancy management. It helps owners to avoid or bridge vacancies and at the same time creates affordable, temporary living or working opportunities.
- Search for building land: Urban and cantonal geodata at the click of a mouse.
- District architects : The district architects of the city of Zurich advise and support the building application.
Further cantonal information
- Cantonal Office for Economy and Labour
- Cantonal Directorate of Health
- Canton of Zurich: Information about construction
Links for obtaining permits
- Permits from the Department of Security of the City of Zurich
- Permits from the Building Construction Department of the City of Zurich
Information for newcomers
Offers for start-ups, companies and those willing to set up a company
- Ökokompass: On behalf of the Environmental and Health Protection Zurich, the Ökokompass provides consulting services for small to medium-sized enterprises based in the city of Zurich.
- Gruenden.ch: this site offers online information and tools that make it easier to get your own business.
Location promotion and events
Through its membership in location marketing organizations and its activities in favor of a varied event landscape, the Economic Development Agency is committed to successfully positioning Zurich in the international competition between cities and metropolises as a location and to improving the perception of Zurich as a business location at home and abroad.
Greater Zurich Area
International marketing for the business location and the settlement of companies is carried out by Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA). The City of Zurich is represented on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the AG and supports the settlement process with economic development at an operational level.
Zurich as a travel and conference destination is marketed by Zürich Tourism . Urban development represents the interests of the City of Zurich on the Board of Zürich Tourism.
Event promotion in the field of urban development
Based on City Council Resolution No. 091/2020 , the Economic Development Agency has developed a concept for event promotion in the field of urban development, which creates financial incentives for a pilot phase until 2024 so that important events in the fields of business, science and smart cities can be created or grown in Zurich. As a first pilot project, the "Scientifica" Science Days were supported. As part of the new previous week's format "Science and the City", the City of Zurich became involved as an event partner for the first time in 2021 on the initiative of the Economic Development Agency.
Thematically, the Economic Development Agency focuses its activities on high-value-added or high-growth, innovative and promising clusters. These are currently the clusters Cleantech, Financial Services, Information and Communication Technology, Creative Industries, Life Sciences and Tourism.
Cluster key figures, City of Zurich (2020)
|Cleantech||4905||38 230||33 678|
|Financial services||2321||63 152||56 434|
|ICT||2478||35 953||32 617|
|Creative industries||10 555||56 579||43 622|
|Tourism||1925||23 509||17 596|
|City of Zurich Total economy||45 753||495 223||384 091|
|Canton of Zurich Total economy||121 589||1 059 619||821 032|
City and economy as a whole (2020)<![if gte IE 9]> <![endif]>
City and canton (2020)<![if gte IE 9]> <![endif]>
Comparison of the city of Zurich and the rest of the canton (2020)<![if gte IE 9]> <![endif]>
Development of the cluster and the overall economy of the city of Zurich, 2012 to 2020<![if gte IE 9]> <![endif]>
Source: Statistical Office of the Canton of Zurich