Regional and local authorities are reacting to the increasing competitive pressure to sell themselves as attractive locations by expanding their business development activities. Many of these authorities are turning to Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB). Master’s students at the SHB are popular recruits as young regional business development managers.
The Steinbeis Transfer Institute for Public Management has now completed more than twenty master’s projects in the field of business development – a focal topic for the institute. Explaining why the concept is so successful, the institute’s head, Hans Drexler, says: “For authorities to meet the challenge of competition, thinking and acting along business and management lines is needed. Business development is an interface between public administration and business. This master’s degree is ideal for bolstering strategic focus and implementing specific action plans.”
Topics covered range from promoting individual commercial sites to fundamental strategic alignment and even establishing a business development function from scratch. The academic grounding provided by the University is not just suited to qualified administrative service specialists (“Verwaltungswirt (FH)”), but also people entering public administration from other backgrounds. Students receive close project supervision from the Transfer Institute, and networking opportunities are a major help in fulfilling individual goals. The key focus is to come up with innovations, create competitive edge and improve profitability – in keeping with the aims of the “project competence concept". Public administration managers thus undergo a shift: away from purely administrative tasks towards acting in line with modern business practice.