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Innovative business without borders

* This minor is open to non-International Business students only

Are you interested in themes such as cross-border cooperation, economy & entrepreneurship, business models and (innovative) start-ups? Then this minor is for you! If you are not a business student, this is not a problem because the basic principles and concepts of economics are covered in the first lessons. In doing so, we always zoom in on the German-Dutch border region and the economic interconnections, opportunities and possibilities between the two countries. But we also look at the larger European and global context in which the border region finds itself. 
After completing this minor, you will know the Dutch-German border region, you will know what the core economic values and concepts of both countries are, you will have seen examples of Dutch and German business models, you will have carried out your own research project (in cooperation with others) in a cross-border context and you can rightly call yourself a Euroregional economic expert!

Minor content

This minor deals with themes such as entrepreneurship & entrepreneurship, innovation and innovative business models, the German-Dutch border region, Europe, European structural funds, Germany-Netherlands (comparison and cooperation), startups, circular economy, circular earning models. 
Besides regular lessons incl. guest lectures from the business world, the students also conduct their own research into cross-border and/or regional economic issues. They are supervised by three lecturers and researchers from the International Entrepreneurship Lectorate.


Structure of the minor

Students acquire business knowledge at (1) national level (the Netherlands and Germany), at (2) company level (Dutch and German companies) and at (3) regional level (Dutch-German border region).

(1) National level:

The economic structures and connections, differences and commonalities of the Netherlands and Germany (in a European and international context) are the focus of this section. Key concepts from the economic domain will be covered in Dutch as well as in German. Furthermore, economic and socially relevant issues, problems and goals of both countries will also be discussed. 
This first part will take the form of lectures, in which students will be brought up to a common level of knowledge. The lectures will be provided by the lectorate team, possibly also with guest lectures from the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DNHK) or interviews with other experts.

(2) Company level:

In this part, together with the students, we look at which companies (type, structure) are present in the Netherlands and Germany. We look at companies, but also at the economic structures and developments as a whole, where we will take a longer look at innovative business models and start-ups as well as companies that put the principle of circularity at the centre. The question of possible differences and attitudes between Dutch and German companies will also be answered.
This second part will partly consist of lectures and examples, incl. guest speakers from companies. In this part of the minor, students will also work together in groups on (small) assignments in the form of making a Dutch-German comparison on a specific theme. The groups' findings will be presented to each other. 

(3) Regional level:

In this last part of the minor, we zoom in on the Dutch-German border region. Here we look at business structures as well as government structures, incl. the European promotion of cross-border cooperation in the form of subsidies (European structural funds). We look at examples of cross-border cooperation, and will actively work on designing cross-border projects. Here, students can address cross-border innovative start-ups, new cooperatives of existing companies, collaborations between knowledge institutions and companies on two sides of the border, etc. The design of the research question will be determined by the students together with supervisors from the lectorate. The students work on this research assignment in small groups and write a brief report on it. They also give a short presentation with a subsequent discussion.


Students from all disciplines and fields are welcome, the prerequisite is an interest or curiosity in the themes described above.

The minor is particularly interesting for students from the Dutch border region or for students who want to explore the opportunities of the area. Also, this minor is an excellent opportunity for students who so far have no knowledge or experience in the field of internationalisation.


The literature for this minor in the form of scientific articles, news items and newspaper articles will be made available in an online environment.


Attendance in classes, the work assignment and presentation (part 2 of the minor) and the research assignment (part 3 of the minor) determine whether the minor can be completed with a passing grade. Students will receive a grade for their group assignments from part 2 and part 3 of the minor.