• Application deadline

    15 May or earlier if programme reaches maximum capacity.

    Application for the September 2024 intake will open 1 October. This is a capped programme and the number of applications allowed before application closes: 250.

  • Starting date

    August 2024

  • Format

    Full-time | 12 months

  • Credits


  • Fee

    €2,530 (EEA) | €22,500 (non-EEA)

    Find more information below

  • Language


Are you passionate about developing ideas for new products or services and eager to start your own business? Are you ambitious enough to transform an existing organization; to renew it and scale it up? If yes, Strategic Entrepreneurship (MScSE) is the master program for you. It is a one-year full-time programme open to  bachelor students in Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Science and Business, and Engineering.

  • 64 average number of students in cohort
  • 33% international students in programme
  • 89% of graduates employed within 3 months after graduation
  • Examples of industries where graduates work: Consulting, Financial Services, Information Technology
  • Examples of graduates’ job titles: Business Developer, Business Consultant, Head of Sales

What you will learn?

The MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship provides you with the entrepreneurial skills that are necessary to succeed in the global market. The program is tailored for action-based learning. This means that theories of entrepreneurial strategies are combined with first-hand experience on the entrepreneurial process either in the form of starting a new venture or renewing an existing organization. We support you in the process of becoming an entrepreneur by fostering your critical and creative thinking, improving your decision-making skills in the context of uncertainty, and enhancing your interpersonal skills (including cross-cultural communication and negotiation). Such a skillset is in high-demand in the current job market, which emphasizes the hiring of self-driven individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Upon graduating, students receive RSM’s Master of Science degree in Strategic Entrepreneurship. Combining the ability to make decisions under uncertainty with an eye for new opportunities, and a drive for action will give you a head start in the job market and as an entrepreneur.

Key features of MScSE

  • Learn to make a difference by creating and implementing opportunities in either new or existing organizations
  • Take an entrepreneurial attitude towards your own learning, in small-scale interactive classes and hands-on projects.
  • Master the application of rigorous scientific methods in experiential projects.
  • Participate in a science-based hands-on curriculum, taught by enthusiastic and international faculty.
  • Get start-up support from our sister organization, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.
  • Build your network by interacting with entrepreneurs, alumni, investors, scale-up companies and other practitioners.
  • Receive career coaching.
  • Join RSM’s MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship programme, which ranks among the best master degrees in entrepreneurship worldwide according to Eduniversal’s international review of best master programmes.

Programme highlights

  • Study trips and company visits, study exchanges, and extracurricular activities

    To address the subject of marketing management from every angle

  • Up-to-date content

    Students appreciate the up-to-date content ‘which makes it even more interesting’ they say

  • Top-ranked

    RSM’s MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship is highly ranked in the QS Business Masters Rankings 2022

  • Courses

    Students note that courses fit coherently together

  • International insights

    Your fellow RSM students, your professors, and researchers in the business school come from all over the world, and bring their international insights into consumer behaviour

  • Learn practical tactics

    Learn practical tactics for integrating this knowledge into solid marketing strategies

More about the programme


The RSM MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 EC). Master electives (18 EC) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 EC).

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

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A teacher's story

  View all core courses below:

Increasingly, in today’s fast paced, converging world, sustained innovation through creating meaningful opportunities is a necessity not only to thrive but also to survive. However, for most firms, the strategies and processes associated with opportunity creation remain vague and are not understood nor applied systematically. As a result, most firms are unable to innovate successfully and thus create meaningful value for their customers.  

In this course, we will learn how you, as an entrepreneur, can create opportunities and capture meaningful value for your audience and target market. The aim of the course is to provide a set of concepts and theories, as well as practical tools and processes, that can be used by entrepreneurs in their organizations or start-ups to create unique opportunities. 

The course is taught in a very interactive fashion. Therefore, attendance is essential and your participation matters. The format is intense, but allows you to focus on the subject matter and to have engaging debates in the classroom. Consequently, the course will provide you with an insightful and fun learning environment. Applying the theoretical and practical knowledge is a central aspect of this course. Therefore, it will include several practical examples and cases.  

All sessions will be highly interactive, with sufficient room for discussion, group presentations focusing on applying the theory to practical examples, and small group exercises. The approach is strongly participative and based on the co-creation method of learning. Co-creation involves developing deeper relationships between you and me as the facilitator, and between you and other learning partners in the class. Education is perceived as a shared endeavor where learning and teaching are done with you not to you. Co-creation method of teaching and learning is therefore a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways, to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision making, implementation, investigation, or analysis. Hence, in the spirit of fruitful in-class discussion, you are expected to come prepared to class by having read the mandatory readings and watched the mandatory videos. 

Each week, we will have team assignments to be prepared for the next session. You will be working on the assignment pertinent to the theme and content of the next session during the week, and you will then present your outcome of the assignment in terms of a short presentation in the next session, and we will have profound and in-depth discussions about your presentations. This way, we will learn a lot by doing and by engaging in intellectual discussions and debates. In order to have interesting sessions and to benefit from them to the fullest, you need to come to the class well-prepared.  

In order to have interesting sessions and to benefit from them to the fullest, you need to come to the class well-prepared. Beside the fact that the nature of the course is intense and highly interactive, there has been always a very high positive correlation between active engagement in team assignment preparations and in-class discussions and debates on the one hand, and final performance in the individual assignment on the other hand. Therefore, ultimate preparation and engagement in all aspects of this course are vital to have an enjoyable journey, benefit from the learning style of the course, and perform well in the final individual assignment. 

Taught by Dr H. Fasaei

Running a start-up requires operating under high uncertainty and navigating through often chaotic environments, where information may be scarce and unreliable. In this course, we will focus on the customer discovery process and address a set of skills that can help early-stage entrepreneurs with their opportunity pursuit. In particular, we will discuss the process of identifying one’s core business assumptions and engage in actively testing them by soliciting and analyzing potential customers’ feedback.  In doing so, we will also discuss the role of leadership in this context, as well as the characteristics of highly-effective teams and explore how these can impact the performance, motivation and culture of the venture. Using a set of experiential tools, we will also practice how to interview customers for maximum insight, how to effectively revise and update one’s business concept and how to generate commitment and traction for one’s idea. We will also focus on a range of influence tactics and negotiation techniques, which you can apply when testing for a product-market fit.  The overall aim of the course is to provide practical knowledge and skills that future entrepreneurs can apply when developing, testing and validating their hypotheses about a business opportunity.

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr M. Cholakova

Many students and alumni from RSM Erasmus University will – at some stage in their career – consider entrepreneurship as a serious opportunity. This course focuses on real-life challenges and problems during the (pre-) startup phase of new business creation and its growth. The overall objective is to improve the ability of course participants to define start-up and growth problems, to diagnose them, and to recommend solutions. This course builds on theoretical and empirical explanations to explore how entrepreneurs cope with developmental challenges. This will improve the competence of students to evaluate opportunities and start-up initiatives as well as increase their readiness to start and grow new businesses themselves.

The case method utilized is a sound base to handle entrepreneurial startup & growth. Studying the process dimensions of entrepreneurship will challenge you to critically explore the differences between new business venturing efforts within established corporations and venturing efforts of start-ups. Moreover, guest lecturers are invited to challenge you in class: with their help we will transform the classroom into a clashroom.

Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

Taught by Dr Y. Liu​​​​​​​.

In today’s dynamic and continuously changing business environment, entrepreneurship is an essential and indispensable element in the success of many organizations. Corporate entrepreneurship (or intrapreneurship) refers to activities involved in creating and exploiting new resource combinations in the context of existing corporations. Although many business books purport to teach top management how to create a culture that nurtures visionaries like Sergey Brin (Google) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), the ability to think and act entrepreneurially and engage in ongoing processes of creativity often fails because established organizations present hostile environments for entrepreneurial ideas. This core course focuses primarily on organizational and managerial efforts aimed at the identification, development and exploitation of entrepreneurial ideas, the management of new product or process developments, and on effective new venture management in the context of large corporations. Topics include ways how organizations can stimulate corporate entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial action, work contexts, exploration and exploitation.

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr A. Distel.

The research clinic constitutes the formal start of the thesis trajectory and is taught jointly for the MSc Strategic Management and MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship programs. The master thesis is a piece of empirical research in which you develop and examine a research question based on your interests. It is an independent project that represents a major part of your degree program. During the process, you have the opportunity to dig deep into your chosen topic and train your skills in academic writing, empirical methods, and project management. 

The objective of the research clinic is to help students become familiar with the process of academic research. It intends to set a solid foundation for the thesis trajectory and provides guidance for the formulation of relevant and feasible research questions, the positioning of this question within the academic debate, and the development of a conceptual model and preliminary research design. It also provides practical insights with respect to writing academic work, including: identifying relevant literature, writing style, referencing style, reading academic papers, organizing your notes, etc. 

The aim of ‘Your Future Career’ is to prepare RSM students at an early stage in their master's for their careers.

The online modules will help you make crucial steps towards the most suitable career step, whether an internship or a job.

To pass the course, you need to gain a minimum number of points within a few months. You can decide if you want to reflect on your interests and motivations, develop knowledge of the job market, receive peer feedback on application materials, learn to love networking, or attend an interactive alumni career panel or workshop.

See this page for more details.

This course is overseen and guided by Dr Maciej Szymanowski and Lisanne Keir.

All courses of this track are listed below:

Technological change (e.g., new advancements in Artificial Intelligence or the development of mRNA technology for the treatment of diseases) leads to major challenges and opportunities for firms in different industries. In recent years, the investments in industrial research and development (R&D) have increased in many sectors. To provide a beneficial organizational context for the exploration, assimilation, retention, and exploitation of new technological knowledge, firms need to consider specific organizational and management concepts, which are addressed in detail in this course.

The students gain detailed knowledge about fundamental issues concerning strategies, organizational capabilities, and organizational designs with respect to technological change. Among other aspects, the course addresses organizational issues related to technology forecasting, timing of entry, overcoming resistance to change, firm adaptability and agility, R&D processes and structures, absorption of new external knowledge, as well as external commercialization of internally created technologies. 

Taught by Dr A. Distel.

If you want to know more about developing a business model for a startup and/or setting up your own venture, the Entrepreneurial Lab course is for you. Within an intense and hand-on experiential approach, the Entrepreneurial Lab course allows you exploring a business opportunity with your team and testing its potential value.

This course provides advanced master students with a practical, yet rigorous understanding of the role, the analytics, and the process of business planning that leads to the successful creation of new ventures. Above all, students will be responsible to develop their own professional networks. As it’s a hands-on course, you will learn about business modelling, how to refine opportunities, analyse feasibility, financial planning, and organisational implementation. You will write a weekly blog and a business report and pitch your idea to a jury of experts. In previous years our students launched successful new businesses, including Senz Umbrellas, Symbid and Yoursurprise.com.

Working with other MSc SE students as a team you will develop your own business; practical experience of the process means you gain a thorough understanding of the role played by planning in the successful creation of new ventures, and you’ll have personal experience of the analytical processes  that take place.

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr L. Berchicci.

Machine learning (ML) is nowadays at the crux of the business model for most consulting firms and many modern entrepreneurial ventures. Its applications in the business world span a wide range of areas that go beyond simple forecasting exercises. The purpose of this course is to equip the students with the overall knowledge needed to professionally link between a consulting client and the technical data analysts. The course aims to be non-technical, with minimum math knowledge or programming experience and is targeted for students seeking a career in strategy consulting, project management, or strategic entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, students will also be coached to broadly apply some ML techniques themselves and generate strategic analytics and forecasts efficiently. The course content includes

  • Introduction to Machine Learning (including a comparison to legacy data analytic methods)
  • The different types of ML algorithms and their typical applications
  • Introduction to the topics and questions in consulting that could leverage machine learning
  • How ML is applied and deployed strategically in different areas of business (i.e.  Supply chain, HR, customer experience, finance and retail) and what to expect in the future.
  • The steps often taken between the project proposition by a client and the final analysis delivered by the consulting company, and how they fit within the context of change management.
  • How ventures leverage Machine Learning to get ahead of the competition, and how consulting ventures apply ML differently to outcompete incumbent consulting firms
  • The common deliveries and results following a machine learning analysis (i.e. importance plots, partial dependence plots, confusion matrices, etc.), and the approach to present the results in a meaningful way for a (non-technical) business audience.
  • Guest lectures from prominent entrepreneurial and consulting firms that provide ML solutions in the business world on what they seek when recruiting non-technical strategy consultants and project managers, what the new recruits’ mission entails, and the type of work and projects they engage in.

The course will also include a practice part in which students will be familiarized with the different techniques used by data analysts when conducting ML so they can actively engage in machine learning “speak” when necessary. These techniques include:

  • Techniques for choosing the space of tuning parameters and cross-validation.
  • Techniques for optimizing run-time through parallelization, reducing the dimension of the data, and estimating total run-time.
  • Techniques for aggregating predictions across multiple ML algorithms, and also across different datasets to boost prediction power.
  • Techniques to overcome the common pitfalls when preparing data for machine learning, including normalizing variables with extreme outliers, retaining the original information in the data even after normalization, and structuring the ML code, etc.
  • Techniques to present the results in a meaningful way for a (non-technical) managerial audience

During coding practice, the ML algorithms we will cover are mainly Decision trees, Random forests, Random ferns, Gradient Boosting (i.e. XGboost), and Neural Networks (NN).

Much of the code for these algorithms and the above techniques will be provided for the students, so they can focus on the application side of ML, which would require minimal coding.

Taught by Y. Lamrani Abou Elassad.

Most students from RSM will be confronted with new business development at some stage in their careers. This course aims to serve as a pilot test for you, assessing your strength and weakness in entrepreneurial practices. To do so, this course will collaborate with multiple companies and provide tangible business projects for you, with the aim to address real business challenges related to new business development. As a result, you will face the full complexity of new business development. To assist you navigate the project, a reference contact from the company will actively work with you during the six weeks of the course.  

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr. P. Darnihamedani​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

In daily and business life, you can find yourself in situations where you want to get something done, but you do not have much to offer as an exchange. For example, you want to initiate a project or business, but you are lacking cash, knowledge and resources. You may have an idea for a great new product, but your superiors are only supportive when it takes a limited investment and no excessive risks. Or you want to expand your network with some highly-regarded people, potential employers or difficult to approach customers for your own business, but those people may not find you very interesting. These situations are in a basic sense similar to all ‘ventures’ where success depends on your ability to mobilize other people and to reduce risks. Entrepreneurial bootstrapping is the pursuit of success (or getting things done) with limited resources and free outside help. In general, bootstrapping refers to a self-starting and self-sustaining process that is supposed to proceed without external help or input. In the entrepreneurship literature four subthemes of bootstrapping can be distinguished, namely: informal and creative resource acquisition, the use of networks and persuasive skills, entrepreneurial marketing and entrepreneurial finance. In class, these basic principles of bootstrapping will be discussed extensively.

First, in the so-called creative resource acquisition perspective, bootstrapping is an original strategy of obtaining resources without a big spending effort), for instance through a direct exchange of goods and/or services with others without money (barter trade) or by making creative use of the limited resources one has at its disposal (e,g. effectuation, frugal innovation and bricolage).

Second, networking is at the heart of any bootstrapping effort. The lectures will cover networking theory, i.e. the purposes and potential effects of networking, and how networking partners and cold calls can be a source of free information and advice, followed by paying attention to more specific networking skills on how to get in touch and build a relationship, and subsequently, how to influence other people and/or benefit from ‘relevant others’, such as friends, family members, mentors and coaches.

Third, in discussing the topic of entrepreneurial marketing, an exploration is sought of the emerging phenomena of innovation by users, open-source projects, and crowdsourcing. User innovation basically implies that there are many users out there who develop their own products to use themselves – and they generally share their innovations for free! Open-source projects imply that a distributed community of users contributes to an overall project. Crowdsourcing, finally, is the act of outsourcing tasks to an undefined, large group of people or community through an open call, implying that you can mobilize people to work for you.

Fourth, within the framework of entrepreneurial finance, bootstrapping refers to the different financial strategies entrepreneurs pursue to keep the venture under their control (not diluting all kinds of bootstrapping techniques involving cheap ownership and equity in the company), turning key fixed costs into variable costs, or by effectively managing cash flows and making process within the firm efficient. The entrepreneurial finance approach will be elaborated by considering money and crowdfunding.

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr. W. Hulsink.

The world has been increasingly viewing new ventures within a societal framework. Nearly every venture creates or destroys value for customers, suppliers, employees, and communities, in addition to shareholders. These individuals, which are commonly referred to as stakeholders, might be either actively involved with the work of new ventures, or passively engaged in gain or loss as a result of the venturing activities. Key stakeholders could make or break the success of new ventures. Developing skills to successfully governing stakeholder relationship is therefore vital to entrepreneurs. In this course, I will take a relational (in academic term: behavioral) lens to equip you with know-how regarding how to be “swim with sharks” (i.e., stakeholders) in your entrepreneurial journey.  

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr Z. Wu.

Family firms are ubiquitous across space, time and industries. Family businesses do not only represent small, private companies. Founders or founding families are important controlling owners of large corporations listed on stock exchanges around the world. Famous examples of family businesses are IKEA, Harley Davidson and Heineken. As such, family businesses represent a very important force for the economic and social development anywhere in the world. At the same time, family control raises unique value-creating opportunities as well as challenges for family businesses and their different stakeholders, such as customers, financiers, suppliers, partners, employees, board members and owners. 

This course introduces students to the widespread, yet complex, phenomenon of family business. It touches upon several important themes, such as strategy development, succession, governance, conflicts, business continuation, and more. The aim of this course is to introduce concepts and practical learning situations which will help the students to make sense of family businesses and to assist them in better understanding and dealing with the unique opportunities and challenges faced by different family business stakeholders. 

The course is specially designed for those who are interested in working in family businesses (e.g., as managers and/or owners) or with family businesses (e.g., as advisors or consultants), and for those coming from a family business background themselves. Whatever their future role will be, students will find it useful to understand the uniqueness of these organizations. During the course, the students will develop their own perspective on family business. After the course, the students should be able to apply in practice appropriate models and theories presented during the course, as well as critically examine models and theories regarding family business development. 

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr G. Criaco​​​​​​​ 

All over the world, firms are being disrupted by fast-moving, innovative startups such as Uber, AirBnB, Spotify and Snapchat. Startups are known for their innovative business models, exciting and promising ideas, and organizational agility. In contrast, large firms have an abundance of resources, scale advantages, power and experience (Weiblen & Chesbrough, 2015). Rather than simply competing, both large firms and startups have started to see the advantages of joining forces, allowing new innovations to emerge.
Through corporate venturing, the corporation may invest in a startup within or outside of the organizational domain (Sharma & Chrisman, 1999). However, despite their promising outlook, corporate venturing activities are often not successful for both the investor and the startup. Because of the potentially high risks and high rewards involved, corporate venturing has been compared to ‘swimming with sharks’. In this course at the intersection of strategy and entrepreneurship, we will therefore focus on both the benefits and challenges of managing a corporate venturing portfolio.

Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

Taught by J. Duijsters MSc​​​​​​​.

How can firms gain and sustain their competitive advantage in increasingly competitive environment? Firms have realized that a focal source of competitive advantage lies in internationalization. At the same time, they have realized that increasing internationalization also bears challenges by exposing firms to competition from domestic as well as foreign firms. Furthermore, there are three factors that complicate the management beyond a firm’s domestic market: First, the potentially fundamental differences of markets, second, the scale and complexity of cross-border business, and third, the uncertainty revolving around the economic and political conditions between countries. In this elective, we will address these factors and their implications for firms’ competitive advantages in international markets and their considerations to move into foreign markets on the one hand, as well as for firms’ decisions regarding how they intend to operate across borders on the other hand. This will help us understand global strategy, why some firms thrive, while similar ones may struggle in the global marketplace. 

Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

Taught by Dr E Klijn​​​​​​​.

Several underlying assumptions of out current economic system – such as profit as the fundamental purpose of business, opportunism as the key feature of managers’ behavior, and competition as the key process for reaching prosperity – have been subject to increasingly fierce contention in recent times. As stakeholders embrace a notion of organizations being responsible for the wider societal good, several questions arise. Why do corporations not do more to achieve social goals? How can enterprises overcome the limitations of the capitalist system? How are impact organizations designed, founded, and managed?

Along these big questions, this course will explore the organizing dynamics and practical challenges of managing an impact organization. The focus is on unravelling features, conditions, potential, and limitations of such organizations. Yet, the knowledge gained from this course is applicable in strategic contexts beyond the boundaries of impact creation.

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Y. Wiessner and S.M. Musa​​​​​​​.

Social entrepreneurship is an emerging field of academic study and real-world practice. At its core, social entrepreneurship pertains the combination of market-based and nonprofit approaches to solve social issues, a feat social entrepreneurs achieve by combining the knowledge and skills used in traditional business with a passionate commitment to having a meaningful and sustainable social impact. By combining insights from the academic literature with real cases and scenarios, the course will introduce students to both theory and practice of social entrepreneurship.

Each week, the course will focus on one important aspect or theme of social entrepreneurship, through two types of lectures: a “theoretical” lecture and a “workshop”.

  • “Theoretical” lectures will compose the first appointment of each one of the six weeks of the course. These lectures will take the form of traditional frontal lectures where the lecturer will cover the material related to the week’s topic.
  • “Workshop” lectures will instead compose the second appointment of each week and will focus on interweaving the theoretical content covered in previous lectures with real case scenarios and practical exercises. Such lectures will be interactive in nature, with in-class exercises (both individual and in groups), case-studies, and contributions from guest practitioners.

The six weeks of the course will cover the following topics

  • Week 1. Social Entrepreneurship: definition and characteristics
  • Week 2. Social entrepreneurs and opportunities recognition
  • Week 3. Hybrid business models for social enterprises
  • Week 4. Scaling impact in social entrepreneurship
  • Week 5. Evaluating social impact
  • Week 6. Group projects final presentations

Review the course guide for more details.

Taught by Dr P. Versari

Amazon, Netflix, Linkedin, Dropbox, Airbnb... And the list goes on. All tremendously successful companies that managed to effectively scale up and have been recording impressive growth rates until present day. While many such famous companies with skyrocketing growth rates may come to mind, the reality is that such rapidly growing companies represent a handful of all firms. Namely, high growth firms (HGFs) represent only 3-5% of all firms yet create more than 50% of jobs across countries and regions (Haltiwanger et al., 2015). The challenges of scaling up and achieving high growth are numerous and often times referred to as “the entrepreneur’s impossible dream” (Nicholls-Nixon, 2005). Prior studies refer to rapidly increasing managerial complexity, frequent and quick changes in organizational structures, practices and processes (Nicholls-Nixon, 2005), as the firm doubles or even triples in size over short periods of time, internal friction and increasing workload and time pressure on employees, and extreme resource needs to continuously fuel the high growth of the firm (Hambrick & Crozier, 1985). Despite such challenging circumstances, there are firms that are able to successfully scale up and achieve such impressive high growth rates. This includes both SMEs and well-established large firms. But how are these firms able to do so? What strategic decisions do managers of these firms take to successfully scale up and fuel their growth despite the high expenses of rapid growth?
how do these firms allocate their resources among different activities? What internal organizations and systems should they develop to effectively deal with the constant needs for change driven by their doubling or even tripling in size? How do these firms preserve the organizational culture and manage the tensions despite the ever-increasing inflow of new employees and customers to the firm? Which activities do these firms perform differently from their competitors? How do they secure and increase their market position over time? The purpose of this course is to encourage and facilitate seeking answers to these questions and provide a toolkit for today’s strategic management and entrepreneurship students to enhance their efforts to become tomorrow’s impactful and successful leaders and consultants.

Taught by S. Varga and M. Shahriari.

Ecosystem thinking is quickly gaining prevalence in entrepreneurial practice and scholarship. One example of the increasing attention that the ecosystem has been receiving, is the fact that the term was used 160 times in the prospectus of the largest IPO to date. Similarly, a scan of the descriptions of top strategy studies shows that the use of the word had increased sevenfold over a period of five years. Moreover, practitioners and scholars alike have found ecosystem thinking to have real-world value and important implications for organizational outcomes. However, as with many relatively new concepts, what ecosystems are and how they can be ideally orchestrated has remained somewhat hard to grasp and, as a result, is often misunderstood. In this course, we will examine why students (being the strategists and entrepreneurs of the future) need to apply ecosystem thinking. More so, this course aims to give students the tools to do so successfully, providing them with a relevant edge in their prospective careers (whether managerial, entrepreneurial, or academic). This course is designed to provide students a well-rounded/immersive learning experience. To facilitate this, students will have the opportunity to listen to and interact with a wide range of guest speakers, including leaders from a well-known multinational, the Dutch government, as well as a high-tech accelerator. These engagements will enable students to understand how ecosystem thinking is applied and utilised beyond the realm of academia.

Taught by A. Kantilal Tater and B. Crombag.


The challenges of qualitative research such as case studies are widely underestimated. While it is obvious that quantitative research cannot be conducted without mastering relevant statistical or mathematical techniques, many researchers engage in qualitative research without having the requisite knowledge and skills. This course seeks to endow prospective researchers with the insights needed to adequately perform one type of qualitative research: case studies.
It seems easy to collect and analyse cases, because information about business organisations is abundantly available and all students have a certain experience in interpreting and writing texts. However, a number of thorny issues render qualitative research a challenging task. First, how to know whether the focal research topic lends itself to the use of this type of research? Second, if qualitative research is indeed a suitable method, how to determine what data are most relevant and how to access those data? Third, once all data has been gathered, how to reduce the vast amount of data to manageable proportions and how to make sense of the data? Fourth, after the data analysis, how to report relevant findings in an insightful way? This course offers answers to these questions, which are of critical importance to anyone conducting qualitative research (such as case studies).

Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

This course is taught by Dr. M Cholakova​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

In this course students will learn how to do empirical research. The course touches upon the fundamentals of research design and quantitative research, in addition to more advanced statistical tools. In addition to the lectures, a set of video tutorials provide deeper insights into the specifics of using statistical software and running various models therein. The course is attended jointly by students from two programmes: Strategic Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.

This course seeks to provide students with the practical tools and theoretical vocabulary required to understand conduct, and critically evaluate quantitative empirical research. During the course, students are exposed to the key types of models, their assumptions, common data collection approaches, and statistical software needed to become a successful, independent researcher.

The following key questions are addressed in the course: First, what research design is the best fit with my research question? Second, how do I measure the concepts underpinning my research question? Third, what data do I need to collect to address this question, and what tools should I use to collect this data? Fourth, what statistical models are best suited to analyse these data? And, finally, how do I report the results of my analyses in a rigorous and statistically sound manner? This course offers answers to these questions, which are of critical importance to anyone conducting quantitative research.

Review the course guide for more details.

This course is taught by Dr R.F.J. Haans & Dr M.E. Flowers

The master thesis is a piece of empirical research in which you develop and examine a research question based on your interests. It is an independent project that represents a major part of your degree program. During the process, you have the opportunity to dig deep into your chosen topic and train your skills in academic writing, empirical methods, and project management. 

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM MSc courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements. If you are interested in learning more about corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or business ethics, please refer to our Open Programmes section.

For more information on all international opportunities offered at RSM, visit the website of our International Office.

Learn more

Why this programme?



International exchange


Career opportunities

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An alumnus talks about RSM’s MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship

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A recruiter talks about RSM’s MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship

Our graduates all learned a proactive attitude towards work, and in practice, all our graduates find a job quickly. Even better, their proactive and hands-on mentality enables them to create their own perfect job, either by starting a business of their own, or to find high-autonomy jobs in emergent, high-growth businesses, or entrepreneurial corporate organizations. In a recent survey of our alumni in the past ten years, we found four typical career patterns.

Career perspectives in high-growth/entrepreneurial corporate organisations

About 32% of our graduates is engaged with a small but high-growth organisations, also known as challenger firms. They typically have jobs related to business growth and development (e.g., business developer, account manager,  project manager). In parallel with the growth of their business, they manage to develop their own career in a leading role. Firms such as NEDAP and Mendix for example hired RSM alumni for business development positions that demand a combination of entrepreneurial competence and entrepreneurial drive. 

About 25% works for larger, corporate organisations. These are mostly organisations known for their entrepreneurial spirit and positive attitude towards high-autonomy, proactive employees (e.g., Google, NXP, Facebook). Our graduates are well-qualified to help established companies rejuvenate and grow by developing and building new business. Corporate recruiters highly value the ability of our graduates to act on opportunities for new business.

Career perspectives in Entrepreneurship

Next, about 21% started and still runs a business of their own. We are proud of the many companies that our alumni have initiated and grown. Examples include YourSurprise.com (www.yoursurprise.com) and Senz Umbrellas (www.senz.com). Every year several students and alumni realize their entrepreneurial dreams by starting their own ventures – usually with fellow RSM students and in most cases with the objective of continuing to build the business after graduation.

Finally, a miscellaneous group has become active in the business of their family members, or works in a consultancy or expert role to support small and medium-sized enterprises. These include management consultancy firms, venture capitalists and investment banks.

Non-EEA nationals who have earned a diploma from a higher education institute in the Netherlands can apply for a special residence permit called the orientation year after completing their studies. The 'Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment' is a residence permit aimed at retaining foreign talent for the Dutch labour market. During this orientation year you are free to work without a work permit. Participants who find a job during this period can change their orientation year into a residence permit for Highly Skilled Migrants under more favourable terms.

For the most up-to-date information please visit the following website.

Career progress

Many students find positions within multinational firms and organisations, partially thanks to relationships they have developed with representatives from the world of business – as well as peers – during the programme’s corporate and other networking events. Students applying for jobs in their home countries are equipped with knowledge and skills to take with them.

Find the Employment Factsheet for your MSc programme here.

View LinkedIn profiles of our graduates

You can read more about our graduates and their career progress from their public LinkedIn profiles.

Tip: you can see more of our graduates’ profile information if you are not signed in to your LinkedIn account. Sign out of LinkedIn, then click the links.

Good to know

Career Centre

Alumni networks

MSc employment report

Studying at RSM

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A student on the RSM MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship programme

The RSM Experience

Education for life

Studying at RSM will be a life-changing experience. Your master degree will prepare you for a fulfilling professional life as a capable, self-assured individual. It will make you valuable to business and attractive to employers because it teaches you skills that make the most of your innovative mind. You will be challenged in and outside of the classroom, and you will gain an education based on the latest developments in business. Your master degree from RSM will include RSM’s promise of life-long learning, and membership of the more than 40,000-strong alumni network that is present in more than 110 countries which hosts activities and events all over the world.

Open intellectual culture

Your education at RSM is valuable. You will learn from academics who produce the highest quality research and the most innovative management thinking. In the classroom, sharing and questioning opinions is encouraged – yours and those of your fellow students, as well as the professors’. Many of RSM’s faculty members are young and passionate professors and researchers with outstanding academic credentials. Their work is published in top international management journals.

Engaging environment

Professors’ doors are always open for students who have questions, projects or ideas. Depending on the study programme, students have different opportunities to tailor their programme. This can, for example, take the form of a minors course, an internship, an exchange at one of over 160 partner schools worldwide, elective choices, the participation in a consulting project with a company or public sector organisation, or a thesis project in their specific area of interest. RSM’s strong links with local and international businesses and organisations offer opportunities for practical projects and real-life collaborations.

What is your ‘I WILL’?

RSM’s I WILL movement allows you to define your goals, your ambition, your drive. It’s our forward-thinking community that asks you to say something about your future. Your I WILL statement becomes part of the spirit of RSM’s diverse community of students, researchers, staff, professors, alumni and others related to the school. Making a public commitment to your goal will allow you to achieve it faster and better. What is your goal?

Rotterdam, a future-oriented city

Living and studying in Rotterdam has never been better. Rotterdam is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world and many multinational companies have their headquarters here. The city is famous for its stunning modern architecture, such as the Centraal Station or its covered food market, the Markthal. At the same time, the city authorities are forward-thinking in improving its liveability. There’s no shortage of restaurants, museums and theatres, yet Rotterdam is still an extremely student-friendly city with plenty of affordable student housing, and a bustling nightlife that includes events organised by students associations.

Find out more about life in the city of Rotterdam.

RSM Master Students

Talk to a student ambassador!

Learn more about student life

More information

Entrepreneurship Master Study Club

Life in the city

Coming from abroad

Fees & scholarships

The 2024-2025 tuition fee for the MSc programmes is approximately €22,500 for non-EEA students. The Dutch government contributes towards this cost for students who hold a nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area(EEA). These students therefore only pay the statutory fee €2,530 in 2024-2025.

For EEA nationals who have already completed a master in the Netherlands (and obtained the diploma) the tuition fee for a 2nd master is approximately €13,200.

Please note that all these tuition fee tariffs are subject to change.


The number of scholarships is limited and mainly merit based. If a scholarship covers only the tuition fees, be aware that you need to finance your own living expenses (rent, food and insurances) for the duration of your studies. RSM does not offer scholarships for the pre-master programme. We do however offer a maximum of 2 scholarships per academic year to RSM pre-master students enrolling in an MSc programme.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) offers multiple scholarships to prospective students from non-EEA countries who are not entitled to pay the EEA tuition fee, provided their grades are considered ‘excellent’. RSM also offers one scholarship, the Erasmus Trustfonds Scholarship, to students from EEA countries. 

Besides scholarships awarded by RSM, there are also scholarships awarded by the Dutch government or other organisations that are available if you meet certain criteria such as nationality, age, etc We have listed some of them below but we encourage you to use resources such as Grantfinder or the Scholarship Portal to find additional scholarships.

Scholarship tips

  • Contact the Ministry for Higher Education in your home country to see whether there are scholarship options.
  • We have virtual information session covering all you need to know about scholarships and financial aid. Watch it here.

For students from the Netherlands or the EU/EEA, it may be possible to apply for limited funding towards payment of your tuition fees. Find out whether you meet the nationality and age requirements and read more information about the application process here.

Other expenses

After having filled in all of the necessary application information on the Online Application Form (OLAF) and uploaded the required documents, applicants with a degree obtained outside the Netherlands will be asked to pay a non-refundable €100 handling fee. This fee can be paid online via the Erasmus Payment System which uses either iDEAL (for those with a Dutch bank account) or PayPal (which can be linked to any bank account or credit card worldwide). It is important that applicants complete the payment process as indicated, otherwise the system cannot register the payment.

The additional expenses in addition to tuition and general living costs (see below) vary per programme and may include:

  • Study materials such as books, readers and business cases
  • Costs involved in kick-off meetings
  • Costs related to travel, international excursions and compulsory exchange semesters or internships abroad

For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,000-€1,600 per month depending on your lifestyle. Further information about the costs of living in the Netherlands and related subjects can be found on this website. Below is an example of monthly expenditures:

Furnished accommodation, including gas and electricity  €   500-900
Medical insurance  €   50
Telephone/internet €   15-25
Food €   200 - 300
Books, recreation, clothing €   200 - 300
Public Transportation €   50
Total €  average 1000 - 1625
Other potential expenses:  
Buying or renting a bike €  100 - 250 (for the full 3 years)
In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes €  100 - 300 (per year)

Please ensure, prior to your arrival at RSM, that you have or will have sufficient funding available to finance your stay at RSM. Finding a part-time job, may be an option, but can not be guaranteed. You should therefore not rely on finding other ways to supplement your income during your studies. For additional information on obtaining a part-time job, visit the website of the Nuffic.

For EEA students there are no formal restrictions in finding work in the Netherlands, but students with a lack of Dutch language skills will find it difficult to secure employment. Non-EEA students are subject to labour regulations, which makes the likelihood of obtaining a work permit very small. We therefore ask students not to rely on this possibility. We do not encourage students to combine studies with the heavy workload from a part-time job.

Immigration & housing

Immigration & visas

Find out everything you need to know about entry visas & residence permits for non-EU or EEA students at RSM.


Finding housing in Rotterdam can be tricky. To help you in your search for housing, we have compiled some helpful resources

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20 September 2023

Webinar hosted by the Academic Director

Take a virtual tour across our campus

RSM campus

Will you lead or will you follow?

I Will