Business Innovation (EN) fulltime

Business Innovation is not about being book smart, but becoming life smart.

For whom?

Our programme is not for the faint-hearted; it takes guts. Guts to ask critical questions. You will not stand by watching; you want to deliver the innovation yourself. You have a strong personality and you are ready to get to know yourself better. You are an entrepreneurial, creative and smart team player. A problem solver who is full of ideas and who cannot wait for the right time and place to put them into action.


The four-year Business Innovation degree is an unique programme that combines theory with practice. Expect brainstorming sessions, discussions, excursions and practical assignments. Below you can read how the four years are structured.



With Business Innovation, you equip yourself with a unique mix of solid business knowledge and innovative, creative ideas. Would you like to find out if our programme suits you? See if you answer ‘yes’ to the following questions :

Do you like to ask critical questions?
You define trends, problems, opportunities and changes. You learn how to break away from traditional business practices by challenging the status quo. How? By developing a key skill: asking questions. Be critical. Do not expect clear frameworks or standard checklists from us: your own reasoning matters.

Are you passionate about solving problems?
You design solutions. New, creative and different solutions. Consider concept designs for social issues, on both big and small scales. A process or strategy that enhances people management within a small company. Or, think about an improved product or service to attract different target groups.

Do you like to get your hands dirty?
You execute or implement business cases, plans, ideas and solutions. You adopt a hands-on mentality and make actual changes in your own professional field of expertise. Business Innovation is more than just planning: you create your own opportunities. 

You approach the training from three overarching perspectives: Business, Innovation and Internationalisation. Subjects in each of these include:

Business: Strategy & Marketing, Communication, HR, Operations, Finance
Innovation: Design, Concept development, Innovation strategies, Research & Discovery, Creative thinking

Innovation: Design, Concept development, Innovation strategies, Research & Discovery, Creative thinking

Internationalisation: Cultural anthropology, Global Market, Business English, International Business, Cross-cultural Communication
Design thinking, Concept development, Research & discovery, Creative thinking, New business models, Product & service innovation, Social and business innovation, International markets, Cultural awareness and English

All (Dutch) students will execute a semester abroad. This can be study abroad in year 2 or the internship in year 3.

Year 1 - 2

In General

The Business Innovation program consists of three components: the core curriculum (120 EC), the negotiated curriculum (60 EC) and the graduation track (60 EC).

The core curriculum
The core curriculum is the same for each business innovation student and covers all the aspects of the main pillars (business, innovation and globalization).

Negotiated curriculum
During your four years, you will create 25% (60 EC) of the programme yourself by choosing from a wide array of Negotiated Learning Units. These are related to business innovation, but also allow you to venture into other areas. Examples are city marketing, green business, serious game design, advertising, fundraising, graphic design, piracy laws & protection, engineering, foreign languages & culture, international law, finance, web design etc.

Graduation track
Read more about this in Year 3-4

Teaching Methods
Besides attending lectures and workshops, you will mostly work on projects for real clients. You can expect projects such as:

• Conducting a functional analysis of a business
• Developing a prototype of your solution / concept
• Designing an interactive fair booth
• Putting together an exposition for an innovative concept
• Defining an internationalisation strategy for a brand
• Creating a design brief for a project
• Generating, pitching and producing your own idea
• Contributing to the innovative solution of a societal issue (e.g. health care, ageing society, environment)

First year
The core curriculum in year 1 consists of themes such as:

• Challenges in the 21st century and the workings of business.
• Innovation strategies and methods, design, and creative thinking and reasoning.
• Globalisation and the impact of culture on innovation and vice versa.
• International business innovation, which ties all three previous themes together in one big challenge to generate change.
Beside these themes, you will continuously develop your competences via the study units Professional Skills Development and English.

Second year
The core curriculum in the first semester in year 2 focuses on creating value through innovation, discussing topics such as 'Product, Process and Service Innovation', 'Creating Social Value', 'Entrepreneurship', 'Rethinking International Business for the 21st Century', and 'Cultural Anthropology'.

For the second semester there is a wide variety of choices: Negotiated learning units at our own programme, studying (abroad) at a partner university or joining one of the big creative projects together with Inholland students of other programmes.

Year 3 - 4

Year 3 - 4

The third year focuses on leading innovation by developing a company structure and culture in which innovation can thrive. Topics include Scenario Building, Return on Innovation Spending, Innovation Metrics, Cross-cultural Management, Leadership, Change Management and Third Places. 

In year 3 you choose a graduation track Micro Innovation which you will specialize in innovating traditional business and designing new business models or you can specialize in Macro Innovation which prepares you to find new solutions for societal problems. 

In the second part of the third year, you will work as a junior innovator at a company of your choice for approximately five months. Here you can put into practice what you have learnt so far. Do you choose a large or a small company? Do you want to go abroad? The choice is yours. The possibilities are endless as long as the company and the assignment meets the criteria.

Fourth year
The fourth and final year revolves around the theme 'Innovation Consultancy' and your graduation project. Topics include networking, consulting skills, co-creation, conceptualising innovation, innovation systems and futuring. The graduation project is an individual assignment: you can now show that you have mastered the Business Innovation meta-skills at the highest level.

Bachelor of Arts
Once you have completed Business Innovation, you have earned the degree Bachelor of Arts!



During the entire programme, you will learn five meta-skills that are key to business innovation: DEFINE - DESIGN - EXECUTE - LEARN - LEAD. These meta-skills are the result of a thorough study of the design-thinking model, analysis of the innovation process, and a breakdown of the crucial elements of the process of 'traditional' business and implementation. Here is an overview of what they convey:

DEFINE: uncovering the right problem to solve or opportunity to pursue, and framing it in a way that invites creative solutions.

DESIGN: developing ethically sound solutions that can better meet the end users' needs and that generate value for end users.

EXECUTE: performing the tasks involved in the implementation of the designed concepts, products, services, experiences, business model, processes, strategy, business and/or department.

LEARN: monitoring the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of (learning) actions, activities and results before, during and after performing them.

LEAD: managing people, action, information and yourself, whether in a managing position or not, from a profound understanding of what customers, vendors and suppliers want.


Virtual Open Days 

Head to Always Online Open Days

Taster Sessions

Try the programme


Business Innovation = reimagining yourself and the world around you

Get off to a good start

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.


More opportunities to go abroad

Studying abroad will broaden your perspective, boost your knowledge and offer you an experience from which you will profit for 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.


Contact us

+31 (0)6 - 2111 5555
+31 (0)23 - 522 32 75