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.


    • You want to start a business, but don’t yet have a great idea, or you already have a company and want to develop new business, but aren’t sure where to start.

      If this sounds like you, then this programme will teach you how successful entrepreneurs find and identify ideas for new ventures. The principles apply to business tycoons and innovators such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates, and pioneering organisations such as Facebook, DSM and Google.

      The first block of core courses in the MScSE cover how to create opportunities to build viable new ventures, grow the business, and renew existing products and processes. You will explore topics such as where to find opportunities, principles for developing your own opportunities, how best to use prior knowledge and skills, common techniques used by corporations to identify opportunities, and evaluating opportunities and assessing investors.

      This is a course with a large practical content and you should prepare to learn and apply all of the techniques for finding and exploiting opportunities techniques.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. I. Verheul and dr. G. Criaco 

    • There’s a set of skills that early-stage entrepreneurs commonly use during the starting-up and running of their ventures; you’ll learn how to use them, and when to apply them. We will explore strategies for building and managing a successful team for your venture, and how a variety of leadership styles can affect their motivation.

      We’ll investigate ways to build a robust vision and culture within your new venture, and how to support this with your strategies for decision-making in an environment that of high uncertainty. We’ll investigate how to avoid potential pitfalls and biases.

      Countering the setbacks

      Inevitably, the early stages of any entrepreneurial venture involve struggles and setbacks, so an important part of this core course is learning to identify strategies for effectively resolving conflicts. We do this by identifying mechanisms that influence outcomes, and ways to deal with difficult employees. We will also practice effective negotiating so that you can secure the interests of your venture, as well as coaching you to make powerful and convincing pitches using storytelling techniques.

      Finding backers and funding

      Lastly, we will address crowdfunding campaigns and the various platforms for running them, as well as their implications for the success of your venture. How does the platform affect the way you present your venture to potential backers – and which platform is best for which kind of venture? We’ll review a large number of examples of successful start-ups to identify the skills and factors for success, and learn to apply them in the MScSE classroom. Examples we’ll look at include Dropbox, AirBnB, Generator, Ello, and Uber.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. M. Cholakova

    • First, identify your opportunity. Then make the best plan possible for putting the venture into operation. The MScSE programme will teach you how individuals and organisations exploit and manage opportunities, the strategies they use to capture the value in such opportunities, and to deal with limited resources. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of dealing with the financial issues you’ll encounter when developing your business ventures.

      Learn through role playing

      You can play the part of an ambitious entrepreneur to practice identifying and analysing the specific challenges during start-up and growth for ‘your’ business. You’ll explore addressing these challenges in different business contexts. Through studying business cases, you’ll gain competence in systematically deconstructing, analysing and solving these problems. Assignments for this part of the MScSE include the study of academic literature from which you’ll propose clear, coherent, and actionable recommendations. You’ll work alone and also as part of a team. You’ll also learn from a synergistic mix of presentations and class discussions.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Y. Liu.

    • How do corporate firms organise their own entrepreneurial processes for maximum benefit? This core course of the MScSE focuses on how managers identify, develop and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities presented by:

      • technological advances or changes in organisations
      • managing new product or process developments
      • effective management of new ventures in the context of large corporations.

      Spin-offs and externals

      You will explore the latest thinking and research about corporate entrepreneurship at in terms of business strategy, and we will give emphasis to the practical application of your new knowledge to existing corporate organisations. Topics include:

      • the entrepreneurial orientation and ambidexterity at various levels
      • entrepreneurial leadership
      • entrepreneurship from individual employees
      • corporate entrepreneurship techniques such as spin-offs and external participation.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. L. Glaser and S. Breet MSc. 


    • When you care about what you do, you will enjoy your work more, create greater impact, and be more successful in being a force for positive change. But it can be difficult to identify what your passion is, where your competencies and skills will be useful, and which professional environment and culture are the best match for you. RSM Career Centre has therefore developed a course aiming to put you in the driver seat of your own career and to support you in identifying and preparing for your first career step after graduation. 
      Through several online modules, the “Your Future Career “ course will help you make crucial steps towards landing the best suitable internship or job. Your career development begins with personal reflection on interests and motivations, before moving on to developing knowledge of the job market, functions, companies and industries. Once you have targeted your role and sector, you will intensively work on preparing your internship or job applications.
      The course consists of several blended-learning online modules, which all have individual assessments and learning objectives. Through these modules you will:

      • explore your own personality, skills and competencies,
      • investigate industries, career paths and job opportunities
      • learn how to prepare a job application and an interview.

      To achieve this you will participate in several activities, including: creating a personal career plan, virtual job applications, online peer feedback interaction, mentoring, video interviewing and self-assessment.

    • For many entrepreneurs, the primary task is on building the business rather than on financing. Activities ranging from assembling the team, to designing a product, and to understanding customer’s needs, are reportedly taking the majority of entrepreneurs’ time and energy. However, raising financial capital – whether it’s a € 200,000 seed round or a multimillion euro public offering (IPO)- is an essential part of building a successful business. In practice, financial decision is tightly related to the type of venture and the amount of capital needed for a positive cash flow. While a viable financial plan helps you to start the business, entrepreneurs shall actively review and revise their financing forecasts as a response to the dynamic environment. In this course, we will explore together the various challenges faced by entrepreneurs in securing financing to support future growth and development with an emphasis on VC financing. We shall examine these challenges following the stages of venture development in a variety of industry settings and both from the capital seeker (entrepreneur) and capital provider (investor) perspectives. We will combine the use of lectures, case studies, and group projects. The case studies consist of both qualitative and quantitative analysis. This course is mainly targeted towards students who are (1) entrepreneurs who intent to raise external financing for their ventures; (2) individuals who wish to pursue careers in venture capital (private equity) industry or industries professionally supporting entrepreneurial ventures (legal, consulting, or banking).

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Y. Liu

    • 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.

      Real action

      This MScSE course is no role-playing exercise. It’s real and action-oriented – you go out and make the venture happen. Along the way you learn how to refine opportunities, create a business model, perform feasibility analysis, plan your marketing and your finances, and organise the whole entrepreneurial venture.

      Pitching to the jury

      You will write a business plan and pitch it to a jury of experts; a hugely valuable learning experience. Students from previous years have actually launched successful businesses as a result of the MScSE Entrepreneurial Lab. They include Senz umbrellas and online gift company

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. L. Berchicci.

    • Are you willing to attempt to get things done with only limited resources? In either existing or new businesses, entrepreneurial individuals may have passionate ideas for projects or ventures while being hampered by a lack of cash, knowledge or contacts in their target business area. Non-entrepreneurs will also find this course useful to enhance their personal effectiveness. On the basis of proven theories and research, this course will teach you practical tips that require little or no money; where and how to get free help, advice and consultancy services to help you to make your project or venture succeed and to build your business. You will learn how such ‘bootstrapping’ methods differ from traditional ways of planning and financing projects, and understand the main bootstrapping techniques. You will practice applying them in real-life situations. This course is not only about theory, but also very much about pragmatic assignments in order to practice bootstrapping techniques.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. W. Hulsink

    • The course is specially designed for those who are interested in working in (e.g. as owner and/or manager) or with (e.g. as advisor and consultant) family businesses, and for those thinking of taking over a family business. During the course you will develop your own perspective on family businesses. The aim is not only to prepare you to work in a family business, but also to work with family businesses (i.e., to advise and consult these firms). Since most businesses are family businesses, understanding their unique characteristics and challenges is key to be a successful advisor, accountant, consultant or employee and manager.

      Review the course guide for more information.

      Taught by dr. G. Criaco.

    • Growing your existing organisation by developing new business with new or better products and services in new or existing markets is often vital for remaining competitive and achieving growth. It needs strong entrepreneurial drive.

      In this course you will work with other MScSE students to develop multidisciplinary teams and prepare a business plan that focuses on a particular innovative opportunity for an existing firm. Again, it’s an action-oriented activity; you’ll make the venture happen, and in doing so you will learn how to refine opportunities, prepare business models, perform feasibility analyses, make marketing and financial plans, and implement the organisation.

      Previous MScSE students studying this elective have collaborated with multinationals and high-growth firms to develop actionable new business plans. They collaborated with electrical company Philips, construction firm Heijmans, web constructor RedKiwi, research organisation TNO, and composite technology company Airborne.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. F. Jaspers and dr. S. Tasselli

    • We will spend time exploring the kind of world you can create as a social entrepreneur. We’ll do so in the spirit of Nobel prize winner and pioneer of microcredit and microfinance, Muhammad Yunus.

      Striking the balance

      We hope you’ll be inspired and motivated by the examples of social entrepreneurs who have leveraged innovative business ideas in order to overcome social and ecological challenges.  We will explore the definition of social entrepreneurship and how hybrid organisations manage to strike a delicate balance between social and economic objectives. This part of the MScSE will help you to discover how social entrepreneurship can unleash the potential power of business to make social impact.

      Hybrid initiatives

      Social ‘intrapreneurs’ – those who act as entrepreneurs within large organisations – encourage and support hybrid initiatives within their corporations. We’ll explore how they do it. We will not allow ourselves to be constrained by thinking in terms of theory alone; we want you to develop a new approach or new thinking for a social problem for yourself.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by T.H.J. Geradts MSc.

    • The Research Methodology course guides you through the thesis research process and gives you the tools you need to write a high-quality master thesis. You will attend plenary introductory lectures, workshops sessions on specific research methods and meetings with your thesis supervisor. Depending on your preference, you may develop your thesis using either qualitative methods, such as interviews, observations and personal fieldwork, or quantitative methods such as surveys and secondary data.

      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.

      See the course guide for more details.

      This course is taught by dr. FH Wijen & dr RFJ Haans.

    • 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.

      See the course guide for more details.

      This course is taught by dr. RFJ Haans & dr. ME Flowers

    • For your master thesis, you will develop and apply scholarly knowledge with a focus on making a practical impact. You can organise your thesis process in such a way that you test your business idea and expand your network, for example by carefully choosing who you interview. Depending on your preference, you can make a rigorous academic contribution, develop a case study, or give advice to existing organisations to become better at business development.

      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.


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 courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.