1998

Boston Consulting Group launched its educational initiative business@school

 

Economics and entrepreneurship

The initiative shows senior high school students how business works, helps them to acquire key skills, and awakens their entrepreneurial spirit

 

First-hand, practical experience

Coaches from partner companies provide practical support on site at schools

 

Business experts in one school year

Every year, over the course of three phases, students from five countries get a real-life taste of the world of business

Phase I

Students first learn business fundamentals by analyzing a large company, focusing on its structure, market, and competitors.

Phase II

Next, they analyze a small business in the school's region, concentrating on its strategy and positioning.

Phase III

Finally, they put their entrepreneurial skills to the test by developing their own business idea, including a business plan.

School and regional competitions

Participating students present the results of all three phases at competitions held at their individual schools. The winning teams from these schools then present their business ideas at regional competitions.

German Finals

The winning teams of the regional competitions advance to the German Finals, where an expert panel of judges from business chooses the best business ideas.

Over 1,000 participants ...

... learn business and start-up fundamentals and soft skills every year.

Over the course of one school year, participants learn first-hand how business works, what it can do, and how we all benefit. At the same time, they also practice key skills such as teamwork, digital competence, presentation techniques, self-initiative, communication, and time management, preparing them for life after school. Phase III of the project, especially, awakens their entrepreneurial spirit.

Approximately 400 coaches ...

... contribute practical business know-how

Coaches from over 20 partner companies and BCG support student teams over the course of one full school year. As business experts, they share their practical knowledge and experience with participating students.

You'd like to get involved as a coach and support a student team? You'll find more information here.

Around 150 teachers at 70 schools ...

... act as project leaders every year.

Teachers are at the heart of the project, performing local project management and organizing the collaboration between schools, partner companies, and the business@school project office. They also teach students business fundamentals.

You'd like to participate in business@school with your school? More information can be found here.

Strong support to achieve a shared goal

Boston Consulting Group is an international management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. Founded in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson, BCG now has more than 90 offices in over 50 countries. In addition to their work for clients, BCG consultants also support selected organizations on a pro bono basis, such as Save the Children and the World Food Programme of the United Nations. BCG currently works with over 200 partner organizations on 350 social impact projects around the globe. In its educational initiative business@school, BCG has partnered with other companies for over 20 years to explain how business works to high school students on-site at their schools, and together with participating teachers, to give them the opportunity to try their hand at it themselves. For this, BCG received Germany's most prestigious corporate citizenship award, "Freiheit und Verantwortung" ("Freedom and Responsibility") in December 2002.

We thank our partners

Every year, around 400 coaches from over 20 partner companies and BCG volunteer to provide their support at schools.

Supported by an expert Advisory Board since 2001

The members of the Advisory Board dedicate themselves to the ongoing development of the project and contribute their many years of valuable experience. The Advisory Board is comprised of experts from business, schools participating in business@school, and the project's initiator, Boston Consulting Group.

Andreas Dinger

Managing Director
and Senior Partner
Boston Consulting Group

Sabine Eckhardt

CEO Central Europe
Jones Lang LaSalle SE

Jochen Engert

Founder and CEO
FlixMobility GmbH

Christina Foerster

Member of the Executive Board
Ressort Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility
Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Benjamin Grosch

Managing Director
and Senior Partner
Boston Consulting Group

Rainer Hillebrand

Former Vice Chairman of the Executive Board
Otto Group

Julia Kerschbaum

Project leader teacher
Leibnizschule in Wiesbaden, Hessen

Gregor Pallast

Project leader teacher
Städtisches Siebengebirgsgymnasium, Bad Honnef, NRW

Corinna Schittenhelm

Member of the Executive Board
and Human Resources Officer
Schaeffler AG

Jens Uhlendorf

Partner
Hogan Lovells International LLP

Ute Wolf

Head of Corporate Finance
Evonik Industries AG

  • That education will become digital is a fact. Having good digital infrastructure at schools and expanded training for teachers are key prerequisites for this. But it is even more important to have a comprehensive educational concept. The key questions are: How will teachers teach and our children learn in the future? What do didactic principles have to look like so they can be included in the curriculum, integrated in school and classroom concepts by teachers, and implemented?

     

    Dr. Andreas Dinger, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group
  • To successfully develop their own business idea, the students have to do the same thing in business@school as our employees: They have to keep up with the times and be attuned to the preferences and demands of the people around them. Only if they pick up on these trends can they adapt an existing product to a specific target group as a 'me-too' idea or create a completely new product. Because something that is a big hit today can already be out again tomorrow. Standstill is the enemy of progress.

     

    Sabine Eckhardt, CEO Central Europe, Jones Lang LaSalle SE
  • As a co-founder of FlixBus, it is very important to me to share the experiences I made while building a company with young people. I am convinced that it is extremely important for society and business to encourage start-up founding and entrepreneurship. That involves starting to teach self-initiative, responsibility, and business knowledge early on, ideally already in school. And when we look at successful business@school alumni, we can see: Business knowledge is a key success factor in realizing one’s own business idea.

     

    Jochen Engert, Founder and CEO, FlixMobility GmbH
  • In the digital and networked work world, it's our responsibility to prepare upcoming generations for the challenges they will face. Often, the soft skills you need to lead decentralized, intercultural teams are underestimated. At the Lufthansa Group, we make sure our managers have the soft skills they need, in addition to their technical and functional skills, which enables them to bring together diverse teams over great distances. From my experience as a coach for business@school, I know the program is focusing on the right things.

     

    Christina Foerster, Member of the Executive Board, Ressort Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Lufthansa AG
  • Students today live their lives fully digitally. Digital learning methods open up entirely new opportunities—for individual learning, creative techniques, learning to prioritize and work in teams, and exploring and developing one's talents. How can we use these methods at our schools, too?

     

    Dr. Benjamin Grosch, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group
  • Digitalization will influence nearly every company's business processes, whether in logistics, production, or sales. But not all companies perform on the same level. For instance, one basic prerequisite for sales is understanding exactly what customers want and how to reach them. An excellent feel for trends is important. Only with this knowledge can you build a successful business platform. In business@school, students develop an eye for apparent 'details' like this early on.

     

    Dr. Rainer Hillebrand, Former Vice Chairman of the Executive Board, Otto Group
  • As a judge, I got to know some of the impressive young people taking part in the business@school competition with their own business ideas—and I'm enthused! This educational initiative is much more than a competition for the best business plan. It gives kids a chance to dive into business topics for an entire year and a basic grasp of how business works, with questions like 'How does a company work?', 'What can business do, and how do we all benefit?'  In our often conventional school system, business@school provides a space for creativity and new ways to learn and teach. I'm so glad to see this!

     

    Corinna Schittenhelm, Member of the Executive Board and Human Resources Officer, Schaeffler AG
  • Now more than ever, cooperation is the key to success in our modern working world. business@school provides a creative setting for the collaboration between schools and companies, between students and business experts. That brings together the best of both worlds. Everyone involved benefits from expanding their horizons—for instance, on issues of data security and questions like: What do I have to keep in mind as a student or teacher when using digital media in school? Where and for how long will my data from digital assignments be stored at the school? How can I safely navigate social networks?

     

    Jens Uhlendorf, Partner, Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • In business@school, students have the opportunity to learn business basics hands-on and to find out how companies work. All sides learn from one another: The kids learn from the experience of their coaches, and our employees learn from making complex topics understandable for the kids. Teachers get to see how the work world of the future will look for their students. And the early investment in business know-how pays off, as young people get a feeling for how innovation can improve existing products or processes and where gaps can be filled with new ones. These are skills needed by both entrepreneurs and employees.

     

    Ute Wolf, Head of Corporate Finance, Evonik Industries AG

Teachers have been at the heart of business@school since 1998

The educational initiative was launched and has been continuously developed with the support of teachers. 2020 brought many new challenges for schools. Under the auspices of business@school, a group of seven teachers called the b@s Educational Visionaries works to jointly address these challenges. With regular discussions in various channels, they contribute their diverse experience, gathered over 87 combined years of teaching 14 subjects at three types of schools (vocational school, high school, and international school). Their goals are to encourage exchange among schools, provide support, learn from one another, and develop concrete ideas for the schools of today and the future.

Andreas Gockenbach

has taught math, sports, and business@school since 2007 at
Kaiser-Wilhelm- und Ratsgymnasium in Hanover, Lower Saxony

Julia Kerschbaum

has taught biology and Spanish since 2015 at
the Leibnizschule in Wiesbaden, Hessen

Anja Oehmigen

has taught art and history since 1999 at
Hans-Erlwein-Gymnasium in Dresden, Saxony

Daniela Schulla

has taught business, law, and math since 2010 at
Ottobrunn Gymnasium, Bavaria

Barbara Stieldorf

has taught office process, marketing, and French since 2007 at
the Max-Weber-Berufskolleg in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia

Sven von der Heyde

has taught business, political science, sociology, and English from 2009 until 2021;
new leadership coach, author, and edupreneur

Thomas Wiesenthal

has taught physics and mathematics since 2006 at
the Gymnasium Gröbenzell, Bavaria