International Entrepreneurial and SME financing International Entrepreneurial and SME financing

30 June to 14 July 2018

Academic Lead: Dr Yifan Chen (UEA) and Drs Frans Boumans (VU Amsterdam)

Accreditation: 10 UCU/5 ECTS 

This unique course is a joint course between University of East Anglia and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands). You will be studying one week in The Netherlands (VU, Amsterdam) and one week in the United Kingdom (UEA, Norwich). Both are countries that take the lead in financial innovations in the European market.

Many of the jobs we will be doing in five years do not exist today. The world is changing rapidly and the world of finance has to change with it. New innovations will take place both within and beyond existing structures: fintechs such as crowdfunding, P2P lending, family lending, inclusive financing and impact investing will be refined and made more sustainable, while new opportunities such as blockchain will be developed. The European market where financial innovations are set up first is next to the Netherlands without doubt the UK.

On this course, you will deal with real-life cases and projects, honing your creativity, flexibility, professional insights and social skills in lean (start-up) projects and scrums that equip you to face the future of today’s gig economy. You will learn to innovate within a sustainable financial model or product, cooperating with financial experts in a business environment based on principles such as good finance, inclusive finance and international impact investment. Banks, insurance companies, pension funds and other traditional financial institutions will reap the rewards of your expertise on finance’s new frontier. 

You will also build financial models in Microsoft Excel and prepare business presentations aimed at attracting external funding. Add this to the interactive lectures, practical workshops and encounters with the business community, investors and entrepreneurs and you are ready to step into a new world of finance.

Upon completion students will be provided with a certificate of attendance from both VU Amsterdam and UEA, as well as an official transcript with credit details from UEA. 

Field trips may include:

Visit to financial institutions in Amsterdam, London and Norwich to discover how bankers and other finance professionals view new-world financing models. 

By the end of the module students will:

  • Grasp the principles and concepts of doing business in an international market context in various economic cycles.
  • Be able to develop a lean start-up and arrange SME financing during the lifecycle of a firm.
  • Have learnt to utilize forecasting and scenario techniques to define financing needs and structures.
  • Know how to adopt various approaches to financial models and fintech innovations such as blockchains.
  • Be able to work in cross-cultural teams, write a lean plan and present a financing request in a Dragons’ Den setting.


This module is ideal for students of business economics, business administration and comparable courses; business professionals from a wide range of sectors including consultancy, banking, NGO’s and all levels of government. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.


In addition to the documents you need to provide with your application, we require a short statement explaining your motivations for choosing to study this module, which we will pass onto the lead academics. This should be no longer than 500 words. You may wish to include: 

  • How the course fits in with your future career/study plans.
  • Any work, placement, or voluntary experience that you have undertaken, which may be relevant to the module choice.
  • What you hope to gain from the programme and study in general.

Please upload your statement as part of your application.

Module locations:

30 June - 7 July VU Amsterdam campus

7 July - 14 July University of East Anglia campus

Students are responsible for booking their own flights, including from Amsterdam to Norwich on Saturday 7 July. We will provide guidance and suggestions as well as information about airport transfers.  


Students may need to organise study visas to both the Netherlands and the UK. Please make yourself aware of visa regulations for your home country and if necessary apply for the required paperwork within the allocated time period, once you have received an offer for a place on the module. Please see the VU Amsterdam all you need to know pages as well as the UEA Short-term Study Visa pages for more information.  


Please see below for the fees for this module. In addition students are responsible for booking and paying for their flight between Amsterdam and Norwich. 

Earlybird £1895.00
Standard £2115.00
Partner £1695.00

Fees are inclusive of:

  • Tution
  • Accommodation at VU Amsterdam and UEA
  • Induction programme
  • Airport transfer from Stansted to UEA
  • Supermarket trip
  • Steamboat cruise on the Norfolk Broads
  • Study support drop in sessions at UEA
  • Finale celebrations
  • Return airport transfer in the UK

Module Outline

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