Small Enterprise Promotion and Training — SEPT

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.64 k / Semester(s) Deadline: Mar 15, 2025
StudyQA ranking:9081 Duration:2 years
SEPT's main commitment is the MBA programme in SME Development, which is the only MBA programme worldwide to focus on the promotion and development of SMEs. The main issues addressed by SEPT's MBA are the identification of growth and innovation potential inside SMEs, as well as the development of innovative concepts for promoting them and generating positive multiplier effects on their business environments. Our programme is based on the lessons and knowledge to be gained from the promotion and development of the successful German "Mittelstand" (as SMEs are labelled in Germany). This MBA enables participants to work as multipliers in decision-making positions and to provide support to SMEs as well as to innovative entrepreneurs. This is made possible by SEPT's unique features. Thanks to the close relationship of SEPT with many SMEs worldwide, study materials represent real cases of SMEs. This is supported by the fact that our faculty consists of a combination of resident and visiting lecturers. Many of them are also consultants in their areas of expertise. The SEPT MBA is divided into two semesters of formal tuition and training at the university, the option of an internship at relevant institutions in Germany or Europe, and a research project in (preferably) the participant's home country, followed by a finishing semester at the university for thesis preparation and its respective colloquium and follow-up talks. The research semester gives participants the opportunity to conduct their self-designed field studies.

Educational organisation

First Semester
Module 101 Foundations of Economics and Development
  • Development Economics
  • International Economics
  • Reading Course on Economics
  • Field Trip - visit to German development and business promotion institutions

Module 102 Entrepreneurship Management
  • Idea Management
  • Business Model Development
  • Business Plan
  • Market Research
  • Marketing and Distribution
  • Financial Planning
  • Business Simulation Game

Module 103 Strategies for the Development of SMEs
  • Innovation and Technology Promotion
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Internationalisation of SMEs
  • Local and Regional Economic Development

Second Semester (two Elective Modules* chosen by the student + Module 205)

Module 201* Innovation Management in SMEs
  • Strategic Innovation Management
  • Quality Management
  • Tools for Innovation Management
  • Innovation Systems

Module 202* Marketing in SMEs
  • Marketing in SMEs
  • International Marketing
  • Distribution Management

Module 203* SME Finance
  • Introduction to Financial Systems
  • Financial Instruments for SMEs
  • Financial Planning

Module 204* Competence Development in SMEs
  • Knowledge Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Competence Development
  • Organisational Learning

Module 205 Research Methodology and Project Management
  • Methods of Data Collection
  • Computer-based Data Analysis (SPSS)
  • Project Management
  • Questionnaire Design

Module 206* Internship

Third Semester:
  • Research Project

Fourth Semester: SEPT Colloquium
  • Colloquium: Presentation of Field Research Results
  • Business Communication
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Company Visits

  • Preparation of Master's Thesis

Study abroad unit(s)

Every participant will (preferably) carry out his/her research project in his/her home country.


Students can do an internship in German or European institutions in the fields of enterprise promotion and development cooperation, as well as with German companies. The internship can count as a regular module if it has a duration of at least six weeks. It can replace one of the elective modules of the second semester if a satisfactory report is presented. The internship is not mandatory.

Forms of assessment

According to the modules' requirements, assessments can take the form of written examinations, presentations, papers or project reports. The course concludes with a Master's thesis.

Course objectives

The course enables participants to work as multipliers in decision-making positions, providing support to small and medium-sized businesses as well as promoting innovative entrepreneurs. Apart from socio-political and economic considerations such as securing income and employment for the poor, the main focus is the identification of innovation and growth potential in the SME sector and thus the development of concepts to rethink industrial and economic policy in the long run. Participants learn the skills and abilities needed to deal with modern planning instruments and techniques in order to be able to handle economic and structural change. This allows for such change to be taken into account in planning activities. In addition, students' competence is enhanced with methods of project planning and development, formulation and analysis of complex questions, as well as participatory and decision-making processes.

Language requirements

Good knowledge of English
TOEFL at least 79-80 iBT Internet-based, 213 computer-based or 550 paper-based
IELTS at least 6.0

Academic requirements

A university degree, at least at Bachelor's level (minimum four-year programme) from a reputable university (note: students from India with a three-year Bachelor's degree are eligible to apply for a Master's degree programme if they fulfil the following requirements: minimum grade: first division/class 60% and above or A = Very Good and above or a GPA from 3.00 onwards)

Broad knowledge of economic issues
At least two years of relevant career experience
Applicants from China, Mongolia, and Vietnam are required to supply an "APS Certificate".
Nigerian and Cameroonian applicants must have their application documents certified at the German Embassy.

For details regarding the application documents please consult our website. See:

Enrolment fees

Currently, students have to pay 197.50 EUR enrolment fee per semester.

Costs of living

Students should budget at least 670 EUR per month to cover personal expenses. The German Embassy requires this as a minimum per month in order to grant a student visa for Germany.

Services and support for international students

  • Support in finding accommodation
  • Assistance in all personal and study matters during the course


Student halls of residence and accommodation are offered at reasonable prices by the "Studentenwerk" (; rooms are also available on the private market. Living in Leipzig is very affordable. Accommodation can be found from 160 EUR upwards and living expenses are very reasonable in comparison to other European cities.
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Study mode:On campus Languages: German
Local:$ 199 / Year(s) Foreign:$ 199 / Year(s)
StudyQA ranking: 10310