Entrepreneurship at Leuphana

Leuphana is one of the leading universities in the field of entrepreneurship in research, teaching and the field of entrepreneurship. It covers the entire interdisciplinary spectrum of the topic: from social, sustainable, cultural and digital entrepreneurship to entrepreneurship in schools. Entrepreneurship means more than just founding a start-up: In the sense of future competence, we understand entrepreneurship as an orientation for action. This means taking the initiative in the face of major societal challenges, recognizing opportunities and acting independently with a view to the common good.

Excellent support for start-ups

Leuphana is one of the most start-up-friendly universities in Germany. Its activities in the area of start-up support have received several awards. The university has successfully supported start-up projects for many years. Many successful start-ups and established companies have their roots here.

  • In the Lower Saxony University Entrepreneurship Monitoring 2022, Leuphana achieved top 3 rankings among medium-sized universities in Lower Saxony in almost all sub-rankings. In the ranking of entrepreneurship governance and operational support, it is leading among all universities in Lower Saxony.
  • In the "Gründungsradar" of the Stifterverband, Leuphana regularly achieves top scores for start-up support. According to "Gründungsradar 2022," it ranks third among medium-sized universities in Germany.
  • As part of the Startup Port, Leuphana offers an incubator for social and sustainable start-ups - the Holistic Impact Incubator (HOLII) - developed for the first time in northern Germany in a transnational university network.

Networked startup competence

Leuphana is integrated into a stable start-up network of academic and non-academic institutions, companies and other organizations. Its high level of internal and external networking marks a unique selling point compared to other start-up universities.

  • A major advantage is its location: it is situated in the Hamburg metropolitan region and thus in one of the regions with the strongest start-up activity in Germany.
  • Leuphana is part of Startup Port, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and co-financed by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, and is made up of seven universities and other research institutions that aim to strengthen knowledge-based start-ups in the Hamburg metropolitan region. The network partners mutually open up their training and support services across state borders.
  • The Leuphana Entrepreneurship Hub in the cooperation service offers those interested in founding a company an overview of activities, offers and the innovation ecosystem of Leuphana. Another interface is the "Transformations::Räume". Here, interested parties can find impulses around the topic of innovation development and entrepreneurship in the service of social transformation.
  • In addition to comprehensive, individual consulting, qualification and support for those interested in founding a company, the start-up service also networks with actors outside the university and provides support in the search for investors.

Entrepreneurship as a research topic

The research field of entrepreneurship at Leuphana is extraordinarily broad and represented with various focal points (social, sustainable, cultural and digital entrepreneurship to entrepreneurship in schools), conceptual approaches and methodological approaches.

  • The Lower Saxony University Entrepreneurship Monitoring 2022 positively highlights the high number of entrepreneurship professorships at Leuphana. With seven entrepreneurship professorships, Leuphana is by far the leader in Lower Saxony.
  • The Faculty of Management and Technology has made entrepreneurship one of its key topics. Several internationally recognized professorships research entrepreneurship from different disciplinary backgrounds. The faculty is also a member of the European University Network on Entrepreneurship (ESU).
  • Five professorships in the Faculty of Management and Technology have joined forces with around 20 companies in the project "Digit@l Entrepreneurship: Regional Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy (DigEn)" to create a community for digital entrepreneurship in order to support the region's medium-sized businesses in their digital transformation and strengthen their innovative capacity.
  • The Faculty of Sustainability also conducts research on the topic of entrepreneurship, for example since 2020 at a junior professorship International Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship. There is close cooperation across faculty boundaries.  
  • In the Lower Saxony University Entrepreneurship Monitoring 2022, Leuphana is among the top 3 of all Lower Saxony universities in the ranking of research-based entrepreneurship.

Strong anchoring in teaching

In the sense of entrepreneurship education that teaches cross-sectional and future competencies, numerous start-up-related courses and practical projects within the framework of curricular study programs and extracurricular training qualify students to develop innovative business models and put them into practice.

  • In the Lower Saxony University Entrepreneurship Monitoring 2022, Leuphana ranked first among all Lower Saxony universities in entrepreneurship teaching, both in terms of the scope of courses and the variety of content and teaching formats offered. At the same time, it offers the best supervision ratio in the state.
  • Since 2023, Leuphana University Lüneburg has been a signatory of the Entrepreneurial Skills Charter of the Stifterverband.
  • Several specialized study programs of the Faculty of Management and Technology focus on entrepreneurship, such as the Major International Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at the College or the Master's program Entrepreneurship: Management and Entrepreneurship.
    For master's students at the Leuphana Graduate School, the Faculty of Sustainability has also been offering the Leuphana Sustainable Entrepreneurship Certificate (L-SEC) since 2022, a voluntary, study-integrated program to help students develop entrepreneurial solutions to sustainability challenges.
  • Together with six other universities of the Startup Port, Leuphana offers the two-semester certificate program "INTIE" for master students. In an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship community, student teams work on trend scouting and business model development and, accompanied by coaches and experts, develop professionally and personally into strong startup personalities.
  • The Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) program is an action-oriented entrepreneurship training program within the framework of Startup Port for students of the universities in the Hamburg metropolitan region, which aims to impart competencies for start-ups and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. STEP is based on the international project Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) and was first developed for the international startup context in 2008 and has since been implemented in 24 institutions from 12 countries.
  • Leuphana Professional School offers the part-time certificate program Digital Entrepreneurship. It deals with both the founding of new companies based on digital business models and the (strategic) further development and management of these, as well as with the transformation of existing companies.

Innovative university: Entrepreneurship and social innovations for the region

Leuphana is the only university in Lower Saxony to receive millions of euros in funding for its "Transformation through Innovation and Cooperation in Communities" project as part of the federal-state "Innovative University" program.

  • The aim of the project is to establish four communities on the topics of "Sustainable Production," "School Development and Leadership", "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship," and "Art and Culture" and thus to strengthen the research-based transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology with the help of communities. The communities are intended to help successfully manage the upcoming major social transformation processes and significantly improve innovation and transfer activities in the Hamburg metropolitan region and in Lower Saxony.
  • One of the four communities focuses on "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship" and aims to contribute to the development of social innovations for social transformation processes. By involving decision-makers and innovators in the community, social innovations are to be produced, scaled and disseminated in the Lüneburg region and the Hamburg metropolitan area. 
  • In addition to six professors from the faculties of Management and Technology and Sustainability, the community includes the Yunus + You Foundation, Utopia Lüneburg, mosaique - Haus der Kulturen e.V., Impact Hub Hamburg and Social Impact Lab Hamburg as further cooperation partners.