Top 5 European business schools with entrepreneurial programmes

Several business schools and universities in Europe offer quality programmes in entrepreneurship.

By Aisyah Liliana 

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European business schools and universities are working tirelessly to secure the future of the continent which relies heavily on the success of its entrepreneurs. According to Entrepreneur, in an attempt to tackle the devastating effects of the world economic crisis in 2008 on entrepreneurship, the EU established the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan in early 2013. 

The initiative aims to reignite Europe’s entrepreneurial spirit as well as to clear existing hurdles for European entrepreneurs. To achieve these goals, the European Commission (EC) identified three main objectives. First and foremost, proper education for and from entrepreneurs was to be made widely available in current education systems. 

This not only includes the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and experience but also the exchanging of best practices among different nations, companies, and business owners. The EC also promised to give access to practical experience through developing models and projects with a focus on EU standards.


The initiative also includes the removal of existing administrative and bureaucratic obstacles, making entrepreneurship more accessible and affordable through increased availability of funding. By doing so, lawmakers hope to attract aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe. Lastly, the EU has prepared to build a truly entrepreneurial culture on the continent and they are definitely on the right track.

In 2019, AI-powered platform Valuer, used for finding early-stage startups for accelerators and investors, released a ranking of the 50 best cities for startups. Surprisingly, the ranking is mainly dominated by European cities, as the top 10 features six metropoles from the European continent. These aspects and more make Europe an ideal destination for education in entrepreneurship. 

Why acquire a qualification in entrepreneurship? Mainly because it comes with many benefits. For starters, it can serve as a form of validation for business skills. As soon as entrepreneurs are ready to seek funding for a business concept, or to develop strategic partnerships, it can add a tremendous amount of credibility. 

Throughout their studies, entrepreneurship majors develop business instincts. Especially for those who have yet to gain experience in managing businesses, the ability to reason is valuable in more ways than one. Whereas, if you do have experience in the field, but have yet to be given the chance to experiment with your management style freely, qualification will teach you the fundamentals of identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them quickly and efficiently. 

Here are five European business schools and universities that offer programmes designed specifically for aspiring entrepreneurs:

University of Cambridge

Located in the UK, the University of Cambridge is one of the highest-ranking universities in Europe. The university runs an entrepreneurship centre and offers a Masters in Entrepreneurship programme. Among its alumni are co-founders of tech companies like DeepMind, Improbable,


HEC Paris Business School

This school in France specialises in education and research in management. It also offers a complete and unique range of educational programmes specially designed for leaders of tomorrow. Among HEC’s impressive alumni are Leetchi Group founder Céline Lazorthes and Doctolib co-founder Stanislas Niox-Château.

University of Amsterdam

Located in the Netherlands, the university’s Amsterdam Business School offers a wide range of curriculums that cater to aspiring leaders. Apart from MBA programmes, the school has programmes that focus solely on entrepreneurship. The university’s alumni include co-founders of successful startups like Virtuagym and Lepaya.

IE Business School

This international institution in Spain is dedicated to educating business leaders through programs based on core values of global focus, entrepreneurial spirit, and a humanistic approach. IE’s 

International MBA students can choose from one of four labs that provide uniquely packaged, relevant, and hands-on material not commonly found in an MBA curriculum. 

The Startup Lab, for example, immerses students in an incubator-like atmosphere that serves as preparation for the IE Venture Lab or a catalyst for launching a company post-graduation.

ESMT Berlin

Located in Germany, ESMT is one of the highest ranked business schools in Europe. Founded by 25 leading global companies, ESMT offers master’s, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as executive education on its campus in Berlin, in locations around the world, and through an online blended format.

The school’s Master’s in Management (MIM) programme also provides a specialisation in entrepreneurship and innovation.