Nestled in Luxembourg, a thriving country that’s renowned for being one of the region’s most prosperous economies, is a university that’s cultivating a group of inspired, innovative graduates. Here, there is no shortage of fresh ideas that are taking the region by storm, from providing ecological tourist accommodation across Luxembourg to equipping consumers with avenues into sourcing healthy and affordable food.
Taught in partnership with — and chaired by — the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the programme seeks to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs for the challenges that come with the risk, ownership, and management of a successful business. It delves into the characteristics of our fast-paced, global economy, equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to maintain a competitive edge.
Over the course of two years, students are taught the foundational principles of new venture creation and business start-up in different societal contexts, from social to corporate. At the same time, they’re groomed to be flexible in responding to market changes — a crucial trait that may determine an organisation’s level of success.
It’s also FIBAA-accredited — an internationally-recognised award for quality assurance and development in higher education and research.
This has helped graduates like Philippe Freitas Morgado, who has no prior experience in the field, dip his toes into the world of entrepreneurship. “I had no idea about business. I needed to learn everything,” he shares. “Topics like marketing, innovation, management, accounting, finance, and communication are essential to understanding how to build and run a company. More practically, I learned how to write a business plan and set everything up administratively.”
Morgado co-founded Simpleviu, a start-up that designs, manages, and installs innovative and ecological tourist accommodations and services in Luxembourg. He uses Luxembourgish materials, products, and services to design glass and wood chalets that blend into nature in line with his commitment to sustainability and sustain a circular economy.
It’s an idea that’s won him the Chamber of Commerce Award for the Best Business Plan and a cash injection of 1,500 euros.
This speaks multitudes of the university’s supportive environment for up-and-coming start-ups. It has privileged relationships with incubators, investors and institutions in Luxembourg, on top of a local network of start-ups. One of these is the House of Startups, a vibrant shared workspace that can accommodate up to 200 innovative startups.
Where University of Luxembourg students are at an advantage, though, is having direct access to the university’s own incubator programme. Here, students have access to tailor-made mentoring services to support them in their projects every step of the way. Added benefits include a prize of US$10,000 promotional credits for two years for all the services of Amazon Web Services and also two months of Amazon Web Services premium business support.
On top of that, students have access to a faculty that’s brimming with industry experience. Classes are taught by a mix of academics and professionals, all of whom contribute invaluable insights into the world of entrepreneurship. Importantly, this sets students up to form meaningful connections that often benefit them for years to come.
“Besides the theoretical courses, the networking opportunities were a definite advantage,” says Pierre Beck. He’s a co-founder of Fox Drinks Luxembourg, which creates and markets Europe’s first low-carb beer. “This spanned across companies and institutions to connecting with other students. On top of that, the personal development training I received was extremely beneficial.”
While Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation students are taught entirely in English, they are surrounded by an inherently international environment. The University of Luxembourg prides itself on its multilingual campus, with over 6,783 students who hold 130 nationalities. Indeed, it’s been ranked #3 worldwide for its international outlook and places among the top 300 universities globally.
This cosmopolitan credo is integrated into the university’s multitude of offerings, including the Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and a host of other programmes in economics and finance. The university employs a European focus to teaching whilst maintaining an awareness of international developments, allowing each programme to adjust to global market demands. Importantly, this prepares students for a career in a rapidly globalising business environment.
All the while, students are based in a city that’s burgeoning with groundbreaking ideas. Luxembourg is ranked as the number one country “most open for business” according to US News and World Report due to its ease of bureaucracy, manufacturing costs, low corruption, favourability of its tax environment, and transparent governance. It’s also home to the highest-skilled workforce in the world, with close to 60% of employed people in high-skilled jobs.
It’s the ideal university environment for any budding entrepreneur with a dream. “I could not be where I am today without my Luxembourg master’s degree,” shares graduate Ilana Devillers whose portrait was displayed in the heart of Times Square for her work in combating food waste. She’s just another example of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance’s greatest strength: that of producing graduates that are as flexible as they are original.