University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 001/2022 - 04 January 2022

Joint project of the University of Bayreuth and the TH Nuremberg for "impact-oriented entrepreneurship qualification" funded

The project "U4Impact" is to receive funding of over € 1.7 million. It will run for four years and is intended to give students and employees alike the opportunity to learn to tackle social-ecological challenges with entrepreneurial action.

With a new funding measure at selected Bavarian universities, the Ministry of Science supports the training of students and academic staff to think and act responsibly as entrepreneurs. Among the universities receiving funding is the University of Bayreuth in cooperation with the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg.

The project "U4Impact - The Programme for Entrepreneurial Future Makers" has been allotted funding amounting to € 1.7 million over four years. This will enable the University of Bayreuth and the Nuremberg University of Technology to create a cross-location programme.

"With U4Impact, we are very pleased to be able to promote competencies in the field of impact entrepreneurship with an extensive range of teaching and workshops at both locations, and for people from all disciplines," says Prof. Dr Eva Jakob, Junior Professor Social Entrepreneurship and project leader. "Essentially, it is about how solutions to social-ecological problems can be created with the help of entrepreneurial methods. It's not just about teaching skills, and is especially about enabling direct application in the form of, for example, setting up a business."

Essentially, it is about how solutions to social-ecological problems can be created with the help of entrepreneurial methods. It's not just about teaching skills, and is especially about enabling direct application in the form of, for example, setting up a business.

Prof. Dr. Eva Jakob

"U4Impact is a programme of curricular classes and accompanying extracurricular events. Within five levels from "Inspire" to "Scale", the aim is to anchor the idea of impact both broadly and deeply. In terms of breadth, silos of specialization are to be torn down and participants from different disciplines brought together in classes and accompanying events. Through the first two modules, "Inspire" and "Basic", "U4Impact" creates awareness for impact topics and imparts basic knowledge in the field of impact entrepreneurship. In the following module, "Ideate", the formation of interdisciplinary teams is to be promoted, which will then develop real impact start-ups with lasting effect. Building on this, the "Enable" and "Scale" modules offer various learning formats that impart further knowledge and ultimately initiate the transfer of theory into concrete start-up projects. Through the involvement of impact mentors and investors, as well as accompanying pitching and crowdfunding events, the teams will then be supported in the implementation and scaling of their impact ideas.

Interfaculty cooperation

The project is to be coordinated by the University of Bayreuth's Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and its professors Prof. Dr. Eva Jakob, Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum (Chair of Entrepreneurship & Digital Business Models) and Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Isidor (Chair of Human Resource Management & Intrapreneurship), who together with Prof. Dr. Frank Döpper (Chair of Environmental Production Engineering), Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer (Chair of Sports Ecology), and Prof. Dr. Tina Bartelmeß (Junior Professorship for Sociology of Nutrition), will be shaping the project across faculties. "U4Impact is an important step in expanding the offerings of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and the University of Bayreuth as a whole, in the direction of social innovation," says Baum. "We are particularly pleased to be developing the programme in close cooperation with TH Nuremberg," adds Isidor.

At TH Nuremberg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Rudolph (Chair of Entrepreneurship) and Prof. Dr. Dirk Honold (Chair of Corporate Finance) are in charge of the project. They complement the Bayreuth project team with know-how in the areas of entrepreneurship, business planning, corporate financing and evaluation as well as venture and private capital. The TH Nuremberg, together with the University of Bayreuth, will develop new formats such as the speaker series "Impact Scientist meets Impact Entrepreneur" in the "Inspire" module and organise the "Bavarian Impact Festival" in the "Enable" module. "Many of the challenges, especially in ecological issues, require technical solutions," says Rudolph. "In addition to its expertise in the area of business start-ups and financing, the TH Nuremberg will also address the potential in the technical faculties in particular."

When announcing the funding in Munich, Minister of Science Bernd Sibler emphasized: "This funding is a real programme for the future. It will strengthen our universities in training the next generation of problem solvers who will our society remains one worth living in well into the future. Because while in the past the focus in entrepreneurship training was primarily on economic effects such as turnover, profit, and return on investment, social and ecological effects are now also being taken into account in the planning, implementation, and further development of start-ups. This requires new and integrative training content."

As Science Minister Bernd Sibler announced, he approved the funding recommendations of an international panel of experts for six collaborative applications with a total of 14 participating universities. The total size of the programme "Promotion of Impact-Oriented Entrepreneurship Qualification" is around € 2.8 million per year over a period of four years. Funding is scheduled to start in March 2022.

Portraitbild von  Dr. Eva Alexandra Jakob

Prof. Dr. Eva Jakob

Juniorprofessur Social Entrepreneurship

Universität Bayreuth
Tel. +49 (0) 921/552860