Qualification for sustainable enterprise
Together with the Technical University of Munich and Munich University of Applied Sciences, Landshut University of Applied Sciences is developing a new training concept on the topic of impact orientation which is aimed at students, start-ups and teachers.
How do we face the great global challenges of our time? How can we develop a future worth living in? How does the way companies behave affect the environment and society? With their new project “Impact for Future – IFF”, Landshut University of Applied Sciences, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Munich University of Applied Sciences are focussing on the topic of impact-oriented entrepreneurship (IoE). Their aim is to create qualification programmes for students, people wishing to start up a business and university staff, the focus of which will be topics such as developing responsible characters, as well as sustainable business creation in the sense of social entrepreneurship. The universities want to use this new IoE training to sharpen participants’ perception of upcoming challenges and to expand their systematic thinking and approach so that sustainable solutions and business models can emerge. The project will run until February 2026 and is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts with a total of 2.3 million euros.
No concepts for IoE training so far
“In our experience, there have only been a few concepts so far that demonstrate an independent approach to IoE qualification,” reports Prof. Martin Prasch, Project Lead at Landshut University of Applied Sciences and Scientific Director of the Start-up Centre at Landshut University of Applied Sciences. “But this is necessary if we don’t want to solve the current challenges with old approaches,” adds Prof. Karin Müller-Beck, Founding Dean of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, which is also involved in the project. So, it isn’t enough to simply adapt existing solutions and technologies or to add sustainability goals and responsibility to existing entrepreneurship training courses. It is more important, however, to identify systemic problems as such and to understand their interrelationships from different perspectives in order to develop holistic solutions and impact-oriented business models on this basis. “In short: our focus is on making business and technical training more relevant to social problems – and vice versa,” says Prasch.
Great interest from students
The three universities want to offer students of all disciplines the chance to familiarise themselves with these topics and to acquire appropriate skills through systematic IoE qualification. The demand is great: “Over the last few years, we have seen that more and more students from various disciplines are interested in topics regarding the development of a future worth living in,” says the Landshut professor. So far, only a limited number of students have been able to participate in the available programmes. In addition to students of the social sciences, this trend can now also be increasingly observed among STEM students. His colleague, Müller-Beck, adds: “A rethink is taking place, away from a purely technical focus and towards a holistic and systemic way of thinking in the sense of interdisciplinary collaboration and meaningful orientation.” It is now the responsibility of the universities to support and promote these new values and the focus of the new generation. Prasch says: “To do this, we need to expand what’s on offer – in every direction.”
Offers for students, start-ups and teachers
That’s why a teaching position for “impact-oriented entrepreneurship” and two other jobs for scientific staff are planned at Landshut University of Applied Sciences in order to drive the topic forward. The project team wants to use this new range of training courses to reach students from the Munich metropolitan region to start with – and later from the whole of Bavaria. They should be able to take courses in various novel formats on the topic of impact. As part of this, modern training courses such as microcredentials – that facilitate combining courses from different universities with each other – will be integrated into the university’s teaching. In addition, a new cross-university degree course is being planned at the end of the project. In addition to students, the universities are also addressing those interested in setting up a business, and want to provide advice to impact-oriented start-ups. Teachers should also be able to attend programmes for training and further education so that they can pass on their knowledge themselves in the long term. Prasch adds: “The impact idea certainly reaches further and can reach companies in the region, as well as organisations in the social sector. Sustainable business formation and management ultimately affects many target groups.”
About the project
The Impact for Future (IFF) project will run until February 2026 and will be run by Landshut University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Munich University of Applied Sciences. The overall project lead is Prof. Oliver Alexy from TUM. Prof. Martin Prasch, Scientific Director of the Start-up Centre, is project lead for Landshut University of Applied Sciences. The Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts is supporting the project with total funding of 2.3 million euros.