Entrepreneurial Leadership in Berlin and Europe

Freie Universität Berlin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Entrepreneurial Leadership in Berlin and Europe

  • Host University

    Freie Universität Berlin

  • Location

    Berlin, Germany

  • Area of Study

    Entrepreneurship, European Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students should be able to speak and read English at the upper intermediate level (B2) or higher.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description

    Leadership surrounds us always and everywhere. Be it as a supervisor, team captain, student activist, or parent – we all need certain leadership skills to thrive in our private and professional lives. However, what makes a good leader has long been the subject of controversial debate in research and practice. Leadership theories have constantly evolved, and modern concepts are manifold. At the same time, management scandals (e.g., Wirecard, Dieselgate, Twitter) repeatedly bring leadership failures to light. This course introduces a basic understanding of what leadership actually is and how that understanding depends on time and context.

    On this basis, we will take a closer look at what enables individuals to lead in an entrepreneurial way and why an entrepreneurial mindset is more than ever important among today’s leaders. The economic, political, and ecological crises around the world have led us to question many of the assumptions on what entrepreneurship and ‘typical’ entrepreneurs are. Various initiatives have been established to promote diverse forms, purposes, and initiators of entrepreneurial activity. Behind such endeavours lies the hope that entrepreneurship will not only create new jobs, but also new ideas for the future and solutions to the world's most pressing problems. Accordingly, the European Commission developed a reference framework (“EntreComp”) to establish an understanding of entrepreneurship as a competence that results in social, cultural, or financial value for others. The basic idea of this framework is that the necessary skills and attitudes can be learned and applied by anyone.

    However, the outcome in practice regarding entrepreneurial diversity looks different. Women and ethnic minorities, for instance, remain significantly underrepresented in startup ecosystems worldwide. Counting a global average of 15% female founders, we are still far from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5 (gender equality) in the entrepreneurial context. We will touch upon the causes and discuss possible solutions in class. The course also emphasizes learning about the diversity of the Berlin startup ecosystem. To this end, we invite and/or visit guests from local startups and impact communities.

    Through participation in the course, students will gain a basic understanding of entrepreneurial leadership in its diversity with a focus on Berlin and Europe. Integrated work with historical and modern role models will help students adopt a critical perspective on good leadership. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to reflect on and develop their own (entrepreneurial) leadership skills. For this purpose, the course is designed to be highly interactive and relies on innovative teaching methods.

    A special session will be a full day leadership coaching with horses (physical contact is voluntary!). Such an approach is relatively new to university education but is gaining popularity in Human Resources (HR) and leadership development. The beauty of equine interaction is that horses are not biased. They do not judge a person by status, gender, or skin color, but respond only to personal radiance when deciding whether or not to follow a human being. This way, students experience the value of diversity in leadership and ultimately learn about the importance of trustworthiness and communication. By receiving very honest individual feedback, students will have the opportunity to further develop their personal leadership identity and skills.

    Student profile 

    The course is designed for students of any disciplines with a general interest in sustainably responsible entrepreneurship and leadership. There are no special prerequisites for the course.

    Course requirements 

    • Attendance and active class participation.
    • Individual written assignment (short essay, max. 1,500 words).
    • Group presentation


    • 40% - Attendance and class participation
    • 30% - Individual essay
    • 30% - Group presentation


    A digital course reader will be provided.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.