Business Innovation is not about being book smart, but becoming life smart.
The world is changing. The growing climate emergency, societal issues - there is a growing need to reimagine our way of doing business. The young generation understands the importance of adding meaning to and creating impact with their work. The bigger picture is key, and the critical questions in business are becoming “why” and “how” rather than “what”.
Business Innovation is committed to developing a new generation of innovators, capable of tackling these complex challenges, helping businesses adapt and change, and building new models suitable for our reality. In order to train these capabilities, we focus on real-life projects in each of our classes. This allows you to develop essential skills like team efficiency, design thinking, creative problem solving, how modern businesses operate on a day-to-day basis and how they make decisions when it comes to innovation. You will build relationships and gain experience in the field.
“I would never have imagined the opportunities that I would get here. Not just to grow in an academic way, but also personally. I went to Indonesia, I sailed across the Atlantic for a sustainability project that was accepted as an internship. The mind-set growth I experienced is next level and I don’t think I’ve seen that in other studies.”
Business Innovation is a four-year programme designed to make you explore new and meaningful ways of starting your own business, or improving on an existing one. You will learn how to help current companies innovate their products and services, experiment with your own entrepreneurial ideas, and identify sustainable solutions for the economic, societal and environmental challenges we are experiencing today. The programme is internationally oriented and English-only, welcoming students from all over the world.
Our learning environment resembles that of a modern company. Expect brainstorming sessions, discussions, excursions and practical assignments, where you will…
…work directly alongside actual clients in the work field
…be trained in determining the social, economic & environmental impact of any business
…learn to identify and analyse changing trends
…identify business problems and opportunities
…brainstorm, develop and test your ideas
…work towards discovering and realising your purpose, passion and interests
…develop the skills and mindset needed to become a leader and an innovator
At Business Innovation, you take responsibility for your own learning and have the flexibility to express yourself in remarkably diverse ways. Our classrooms are not your conventional big hall lectures, where you sit in, listen and take notes. Here, you must be active: engage in conversations with your fellow students; work in groups; go out into the field to conduct research… you might even start your own business!
Here are some of the projects you will be working on...
… and a few examples for you to choose from:
A big part of our programme is also dedicated to Personal and Professional Development. Every semester, our students reflect on their learning journey, on their vision and goals as junior innovator, on their acquired skills, strengths and weaknesses. Developing this habit of constant self-reflection allow you to become more sensitive to your environment, understand yourself better and become more confident in how you can bring value to an organisation. You will be working on broadening your mindset the way you see fit.
Year 1 consist of 5 study units:
In the study unit Transforming Society (10 EC), you study a variety of societal and economic models. You will challenge economic perspectives in order to understand historical, current and future trends and developments in business, economy and society.
In the study unit New Value Creation (10 EC), you develop concepts for new innovative services and products.
You will learn about:
In Creating a Mindset (10 EC), we will help you ﬁnd your passion and turn it into a profession. You will review how to make positive, meaningful, impactful change happen in the world – how to be a part of a new generation of young professionals: leaders, problem-solvers, creative thinkers and innovators. This starts with training your mindset to be strong, vital and unique.
This study unit will teach you about:
The Personal Experience Studio (10 EC) is designed to trigger your curiosity, broaden your horizons, and help you ﬁnd your purpose and put it to work.
The Business Innovation programme gives students the opportunity to plan part of their study programme themselves, by choosing from a wide range of bite-sized learning units. Students create their own specialisation(s) within the Personal Experience Studio. You will decide to take part in some of the wide range of topics that are on oﬀer, which includes a mix of workshops, study trips, book or paper discussions and writing.
In Launching Societal Impact (20 EC), you apply several future-proof societal and economic models. You will explore business opportunities from an economic, social, innovative and sustainable angle, and work to solve a complex problem. In this study unit, you will focus on a current urban issue, identifying possible solutions.
In Year 2, you will be working on your own startup. This year consists of 4 study units:
In Let’s Go Outside (10 EC), you put your first year knowledge to good use and actually go outside to visit people, businesses, labs and more, as part of your research and network-building for your startup.
In Experiment and Do (2 units – 20 EC each), you apply methods, theories, models and skills to experiment with business solutions, innovative concepts, prototyping and product testing.
In Experience Lab (10 EC), you go deeper still, choosing from a list of elective studies to gain specialised know-how. This will be an assortment chosen from within the following themes:
Year 3 “Custom Programme”
We offer the exciting opportunity to do an exchange with one of our partner universities, provided you fulfil the exchange requirements (gaining all your ECs from year 1). It is a great possibility to explore a new country, a new culture, and choose the subjects you are most interested in.
Alternatively, you can choose to stay in the Netherlands and create your own educational programme by choosing from our pool of electives, linked to the following creative labs:
Year 3 “Work Placement” (30 EC)
The second semester is dedicated to developing your professional skills and exposing you to working in a company, in the Netherlands or abroad, as a junior innovator. During your work placement, you will perform day-to-day tasks you agreed on with your client. You will also use the innovation process to come up with a solution for one of their challenges. This way, you get to experience what it is like to work in a company as part of a team, but also what being an innovation consultant is all about. At the end of year 3, you will become a junior innovation practitioner.
Year 4: “Graduation Track”
You will choose your own graduation track, focusing on either innovating the culture, structure or processes within a business, or coming up with solutions for big environmental and societal problems.
Finally, you will conclude the Business Innovation programme by doing a Graduation Project for a client organisation.
At the end, you will graduate as an Innovation Professional with enough experience to start your own entrepreneurial venture or join an organisation. Read more about the jobs this programme prepares you for in the ‘After the Programme’ tab.
Reflection and self-development are pivotal in this programme. They help you become the professional you aspire to be. In short: dare to find out what your strengths are, increase your self-awareness and focus on what energizes you. A Study Coach is here to coach you throughout your studies. Should you have specific study-related problems, your mentor is happy to give you advice.
Studying abroad broadens your perspective, boosts your knowledge and offers you an experience that benefits the rest of your life. You can choose to follow parts of your curriculum at a partner institution in nearly any European country. Your study credits will count when you come back.