The FIT4export program acts as a liaison for both German companies that want to internationalize their business and expand into new markets and for companies abroad that want to find successful entry into the German market.

A building of Leipzig University, Photo: Leipzig University
FIT4export Program, Photo: Leipzig University

About

Globalization and the expanding EU present huge opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as risks. Bearing these challenges in mind, FIT4export of the International SEPT Competence Center at Leipzig University offers a range of services to companies that combine applied research, consulting, and training experience to contribute to the successful development and optimization of international activities.

Due to its university affiliation, FIT4export’s focus lies on research and knowledge transfer. We offer coaching and training on topics such as export management and international marketing. Due to our extensive international network, research on markets that are difficult to access and specific contract research are our expertise.

Connecting international students with companies to the benefit of both parties is the third key aspect of our work. Students can learn from companies’ experiences and these in turn can profit from the knowledge of the students. Our MBA program currently has over 500 alumni spread across 50 countries on 5 continents. Through various projects, our alumni network SEPneT promotes the collaboration between German and international partners.

Focus

The German economy is strongly focused on export activities, especially large and experienced medium-sized companies. Smaller companies, however, do not always utilize the potential that international markets offer. Nevertheless, internationalization offers many opportunities for entering new markets and finding new suppliers: more employees, higher profits, and greater innovation potential.

Currently this is especially relevant when considering the developing and growing markets such as the emerging economies of Asia, South America, and in the transition states of Eastern Europe. As partner, we consult and support small and medium-sized enterprises though all phases of their internationalization activities.

We offer various services concerning internationalization for SMEs. Our staff members, students, and external partners around the globe combine their knowledge to help companies enter new markets.

Activities

At FIT4export we want to make the resources and international experiences of the International SEPT Competence Center accessible to the business sector. We focus on the following areas:

Projects

Here you can learn more about our international projects in the areas of SME internationalization, export of vocational training, professional alumni networks, and highly skilled professionals.

The three Central German universities of Leipzig, Halle and Jena work closely together in the field of knowledge and technology transfer. The International Startup Campus is a lighthouse project for the promotion of technology-based start-ups with internationalization potential and strengthening the international visibility of Central Germany as an attractive region for start-ups and innovations.

The joint project creates attractive cooperation opportunities that motivate international entrepreneurial teams and start-ups to settle in the region and bundles the offerings of the three universities for competence development in order to support start-up growth and market development abroad.

The central fields of action are linked in a "Triple-A" approach

  • Attract: Settlement of international entrepreneurial teams and start-ups in the region of Central Germany
  • Academy: Competence development for business growth and internationalization
  • Accelerate: Market development for start-ups through own hubs in East Asia

Triple-A Scheme

The Triple-A service addresses the following target groups:

  • Technology-based business activities with internationalization potential from the three universities and their networks
  • Born globals and start-ups desiring to internationalize their business
  • Entrepreneurial teams formed by international students, graduates or employees at universities/research institutions in the region of the Central Germany
  • Start-ups deciding to settle in the region of the Central Germany based on international research cooperation

Country
Vietnam, China, Japan, Egypt, Ukraine and more!

Project period
01.04.2020 – 31.03.2024

Project partners
Leipzig University (International SEPT Competence Center), Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, University of Jena

Project website

A visualization of the structure, Photo: FIT4export
International Startup Campus, Photo: FIT4export

The research project of Internationalization of Vocational Education and Training (IntVET) is investigating on the success factors of international business models for „exporting“ vocational training to Vietnam.

The research project IntVET, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is situated at the nexus of business studies and VET research. It shall study the international business models of vocational training providers in Germany and Vietnam. IntVET will contribute to understanding the factors that determine successful business models of VET providers when dealing in an international context. The research shall help the German institutions to support international ventures with the best fitting measures.

Our project serves the research of sustainable, economically oriented cooperation structures in the target country. According to our experience in the context of educational export in general, not only the accuracy of an educational offer in the target market is to be designed, but also to secure long-term cooperation. This can be achieved, especially in the context of private-sector educational projects, through a well-developed business model, since both the provider, the customer and the intermediary can be involved according to their motivation. The importance of approaches to long-term exploitation has long been an essential element of all funding schemes in the internationalization of vocational training by the German Federal Ministry.

Nevertheless, it is always problematic for actors in VET to design, develop and implement precisely these well-functioning business models. Our research project aims to close the knowledge gap as to which core competencies of internationalization should be available among German education providers in order to be able to develop and establish internationally successful business models. This should be developed in a pilot study based on the partner country Vietnam and the prevailing conditions there.

The general objective of the Project IntVET is to investigate the business models of internationally active providers of VET to identify the success factors. The focus will be on assessing and evaluating the necessary competencies, resources and motivations for developing and implementing international sustainable business models.

Project goals:

  • Competence analysis of German providers of vocational and further training in Vietnam
  • Research into international business models of other international providers of vocational training providers in Vietnam
  • Innovative Business Model Design and international cooperation of Vietnamese providers of vocational and further training in Vietnam
  • Formulation of recommendations to improve the long-term success of internationalization plans in Vietnam and in general

Country
Vietnam

Project period
01.06.2019 – 31.05.2022

Project Team
International SEPT Competence Center

INTVET activities in Vietnam, Photo: Brigitte Gaß
INTVET Project, Photo: Brigitte Gaß

In this project the International SEPT Competence Center at Leipzig University together with Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi aim to create a knowledge-sharing network, to understand and analyze internationalization activities, the process of SMEs in Pakistan, as well as the challenges in the internationalization process of Pakistani enterprises.

The focus of the proposed research will be the role of universities in fostering internationalization of SMEs, the sustainability of these SMEs via export promotion, requirements of resources and competencies for international ventures, international entrepreneurship, or born global start-ups specifically in the context of Pakistan. Our approach shall combine practically oriented research with the creation of linkages to the industry and transfer the latest findings to decision-makers in export-oriented SMEs. IBA Pakistan shall contribute to the establishment of university-business linkages at IBA Karachi and the development of practically oriented research and education programs.

Project goals:

  • Integrate HEC alumni/DAAD alumni with ties to Germany
  • Improve teaching and/or research in partner country
  • Refer to current issues relating to the economic, environmental, social and/or socio-economic development of Pakistan
  • Offer young academics in Pakistan additional qualifications by means of professional development courses and specialization

Country
Pakistan

Project period
01.01.2021 – 31.12.2022

Project Team
International SEPT Competence Center, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi

A team meeting, Photo: FIT4export
IB Pakistan Project: Photo: FIT4export

Social entrepreneurs address locally-rooted problems, providing innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s most pressing challenges such as social exclusion, poverty, food insecurity, waste management. Their business models, however, hardly ever include an international dimension despite the obvious chance to increase income and/or export a successful model by doing so.

The key skills and competences social entrepreneurs need to embrace to effectively internationalize have little been explored. The main objectives of this project are to identify the skills and competences gap impeding social entrepreneurs to internationalize, diversify the European VET provision through the development of an innovative curriculum on social entrepreneurs’ internationalization with a focus on individuals with fewer opportunities; build the skills and capacity of national social enterprises support organizations’ staff to guide their beneficiaries in their internationalization strategy; and advise European and national policy-makers and interest groups on the necessary policy steps to enhance the capacity of social entrepreneurs’ to internationalize.

Project goals:

  • Needs and skills gap analysis & developing a framework of skills and competences for internationalization
  • Engagement with social enterprise support organizations and development of the policy tools set destined to social enterprise support organizations and national interest groups for national use

Country
International (Europe)

Project period
01.09.2020 – 28.02.2023

Project partners
Euclid Network (Netherlands), Synthesis (Cyprus), WU Vienna (Austria), MateraHub (Italy), and Leipzig University (Germany).

Leipzig University and other tertiary training institutions in Leipzig are becoming more engaged in technology transfer through establishing collaborations with regional companies. Due to the increasing skilled professional and management shortage, as well as concerns from industry about the lack of competencies of graduates in the areas of international business and digitalization, an early interaction between the different actors is important.

The goal of the project is to train students to become skilled professionals for the region – with a focus on business internationalization. In order to achieve this, the current and future skill requirements are analysed systematically. This takes place in conjunction with information events, e.g., the current operational situation of a company and their current, especially their international, business needs. These business needs are worked on together with students and further offers from our network are used to initiate further project collaborations.

During the course of this project a bridge will be built between students and local companies. The focus of the cooperation lies on meeting the needs of both the students and the companies.

Project goals:

  • Qualification of academic skilled and management professionals for the global workplace (“employability”)
  • Transfer of knowledge within the region and between universities / tertiary institutions and business representatives
  • Integration of international students into the local job market
  • Tapping into the potential that international graduates in Leipzig offer as potential skilled professionals for SMEs in Leipzig
  • Generating competitive advantages for participating companies
  • Networking of the different actors and exchange about expectations of the cooperation
  • Making technology transfer visible for further target groups through events and publications
  • Preparing humanities and regional specialist students for the labour market through teaching of competencies in SME internationalization

Country
Germany

Project partners
International SEPT Competence Center, Saxon SMEs, Zarof GmbH

Project period
01.06.2019 - 31.05.2022

The project “Talent Transfer” is funded by the State of Saxony.

The University-Community-Learning project will design and test a new Mobility Scheme for students in higher education institutions that combines international mobility with a Service-Learning experience in the community.

The Service-Learning is a quite new approach requiring students to gain curricular credits by performing a “community service” that answers the needs of the community. Educational institutions and community organizations design together service learning "projects" to which students are required to contribute by applying their knowledge and competences.

The UNICORN project proposes to embed the service learning methodology in different kinds of international mobility: study mobility, internship abroad, mobility for thesis; long and short mobility, mobility funded with EU funds, or with institutional funds/other funds.

Project goals:

  • Offering the higher education students a new, unprecedented learning opportunity that will help them to develop the so-called “civic and democratic competences”: civic mindedness, co-operation skills, intercultural skills, openness to cultural otherness, flexibility and adaptability, knowledge and critical understanding of the self and of others, etc.
  • Setting up a new International Mobility Scheme for higher education students integrating the Service-Learning approach
  • Enhancing the third mission and civic engagement of EU higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • Reinforcing the collaboration between universities and community for the benefit of both students and of the local/global communities
  • Encourage the professional development of academics and contributing to foster the adoption of more effective, innovative teaching methods based on experiential/practical/work-based learning.

Country
Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, South Africa

Project period
2019 – 2022

Project partners
Leipzig University, University of Antwerp, University of Bologna, University of Pretoria, University Collage Cork, Complutense University of Madrid

Project Link

A team meeting, Photo: FIT4export
UNICORN Project, Photo: FIT4export

Establishment of a German-Colombian demonstration and simulation center for medical technology in Bucaramanga, as well as exploration of possible further cooperation opportunities.

Country
Colombia

Sector
Health sector

Target group
Health clusters in Bucaramanga and Saxony

Project partners
International SEPT Competence Center
Clúster de Salud de Bucaramanga
Realists GmbH
Biosaxony

Project period
01.01.2019 – 31.12.2020

Presentation of Medical Technology, Photo: FIT4export
GC Medtech Project, Photo: FIT4export

The DC-Hub specialist network works in the field of internationalization of business and science at the University of Leipzig and created a Germany-wide alumni network of Chinese and German alumni.

DC-Hub is a multiplier and co-ordinator of German-Chinese co-operations related to business development, to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and international expansion of trade. For this purpose, DC-Hub has developed various education programs that contribute to strengthening the management skills of alumni, promoting international entrepreneurship and networking with internationally oriented companies. The project DC-Hub was sponsored by BMBF. DC-HUB activities has been incorporated in International Startup Campus project.

Country
China

Target group
German and Chinese alumni, born-global start-ups, SMEs

Project partners
International SEPT Competence Center
Konfuzius Institute Leipzig
German and Chinese companies, accelerators, incubators, and co-workingspaces

Project period
01.10.2017 – 31.09.2020

A team meeting, Photo: FIT4export
DC-HUB Project, Photo: FIT4export

The FiVe project aimed to progressively establish an advanced vocational training program in electrical engineering in Vietnam based on the “Techniker” schooling in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

The long-term goal was to make the German “Techniker” qualification available to Vietnamese graduates. As a result the project should contribute to fill the skill gap for the companies in Vietnam through establishing the “Techniker” advanced vocational training program according to German standards.

Country
Vietnam

Sector
Electrical engineering

Target group
Graduates of basic vocational training in Vietnam

Project partners
Landesakademie für Fortbildung an Schulen in Badenwürtemberg
WMU GmbH
International SEPT Competence Center

Project period
01.01.2015 – 31.10.2019

ALLIANCE for skilled Professionals: Universities and other tertiary training institutions in Leipzig are becoming more engaged in technology transfer through establishing collaborations with regional companies. Due to the increasing skilled professional and management shortage, as well as concerns from industry about the lack of competencies of graduates in the areas of international business and digitalisation, an early interaction between the different actors is important.

The goal of the project was to train students to become skilled professionals for the region – with a focus on business internationalisation. In order to achieve this, the current and future skill requirements were analysed systematically. This took place in conjunction with information events, e.g., the current operational situation of a company and their current, especially their international, business needs.

During the course of this project a bridge was built between students and local companies. The focus of the cooperation was on meeting the needs of both the students and the companies.

Project goals:

  • Qualification of academic skilled and management professionals for the global workplace (“employability”)
  • Transfer of knowledge within the region and between universities / tertiary institutions and business representatives
  • Integration of international students into the local job market
  • Tapping into the potential that international graduates in Leipzig offer as potential skilled professionals for SMEs in Leipzig
  • Generating competitive advantages for participating companies
  • Networking of the different actors and exchange about expectations of the cooperation
  • Making technology transfer visible for further target groups through events and publications
  • Preparing humanities and regional specialist students for the labour market through teaching of competencies in SME internationalisation

Country
Germany

Project partners
International SEPT Competence Center
City of Leipzig

Project period
01.06.2018 - 31.12.2021

The project “Fachkräfteallianz” is funded by the State of Saxony.

iIcture of a conference session, Photo: FIT4export
Fachkräfteallianz Project, Photo: FIT4export

Events

Being a part of the FIT4export program you have the opportunity to participate in practically oriented training courses, workshops and seminars focusing on promotion and development of internationalisation capacities of SMEs to ensure success in companies' efforts abroad.

The Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to gain practical experience in the real world while creating and executing digital marketing campaigns for real Saxon companies working in different industries using a budget of 500 Euros.

This initiative converges the academic and business worlds through mutual collaboration between students and Saxon companies to create ideas, develop campaigns and drive change. The OMC is open to Master Students from higher education institutions in Saxony whom will be trained in different online marketing tools for SMEs as they begin to develop digital marketing strategies and run campaigns according to the companies´ goals.

The OMC is organized by the Saxon Economic Development Corporation, the International SEPT Competence Center and the Fachkräfteallianz in alliance with TU Dresden and HTWK Dresden, and its objective is to merge the academic world and the business world by setting up a safe atmosphere where students and firms can work together to develop mutual knowledge and gain practical experience in a dynamic and competitive environment.

Duration: March – July 2021

Application: Link

Contact person:

Steve Uhlig

steve.uhlig@uni-leipzig.de

T: +49 341 97-33761

A team is presenting work results, Photo: FIT4export
International Online Marketing Challenge, Photo: FIT4export

In times of an ever more internationalizing world economy, there are also interesting opportunities for small and medium-sized companies to “conquer” new markets. Degrees of innovation, product parameters and product qualities of German medium-sized companies are often unrivalled. To use this advantage over often significantly larger competitors requires top personnel among export managers and sales managers for foreign business.

The aim of this training is to expand and round off existing knowledge of the international marketing of one’s own product by imparting skills and methods in areas such as export planning and management, negotiation skills and intercultural competence.

The methodology and content of this training are inspired by the good practices and successful experiences of the German SMEs. These companies have conquered, with their products and services, countless international markets. Besides, a fundamental principle of this training course is the exchange between the objective and subjective approaches of the instruction process. The Objective Approach is related to the teaching based on units of knowledge for instance, international marketing and export management, among others. Regarding methodology, classical class room setting and case studies discussions will be used. This procedure allows fluent interaction between Participants and course facilitators

On the other hand, the Subjective Approach is related to the individual learning efforts of the participants. This offers the participants “space to make their own decisions”, as well as the required flexibility to develop their capabilities and competences. The presented management tools and obtained knowledge will be applied by participants in a real project setting.

Duration: September – October 2021

Application: not available yet

Contact person:

Wojciech Muras

wojciech.muras@uni-leipzig.de

T: +49 341 97-33760

A training session in a workshop, Photo: FIT4export
Export Management Advanced Training, Photo: FIT4export

In times of an ever more internationalizing world economy, there are also interesting opportunities for small and medium-sized companies to “conquer” new markets. Degrees of innovation, product parameters and product qualities of German medium-sized companies are often unrivalled. To use this advantage over often significantly larger competitors requires top personnel among export managers and sales managers for foreign business.

The aim of this training is to expand and round off existing knowledge of the international marketing of one’s own product by imparting skills and methods in areas such as export planning and management, negotiation skills and intercultural competence.

International Online Marketing

27.11.2020 (Fr) 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Speaker: Thomy Roecklin

  • Online Marketing Workshop
  • Communication Strategy
  • Social Media marketing in foreign markets / Search Engine Marketing

Thomy Roecklin is a much experienced entrepreneur in the field of digital marketing. He is experienced in developing digital advertisement campaigns in social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thomy offers consulting & workshops, digital strategy development, social advertising campaigns, Facebook & Instagram content management.

Negotiations

28.11.2020 (Sa) 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Speaker: Remigiusz Smolinski

  • Communication and techniques of free speech of appearance (body language, Do’s and Don’ts)
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Convincing presentation / pitching
  • Aspects of professional selling

Remigiusz Smolinski is Honorary Professor and guest lecturer at HHL Leipzig. He has more than 10 years experience in the field of negotiations.
In 2007 initiated The Negotiation Challenge as the first international negotiation competition in Europe. Remigiusz offers training for managers and executives and advising them on various issues in their complex negotiations.

Financing foreign trade

04.12.2020 (Fr) 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm
05.12.2020 (Sa) 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Speaker: Hans-Peter Kloppe

Overview

  • Risks and challenges in foreign trade
  • Products of foreign trade financing and their possible applications

Formation of international contracts with examples

  • What do I want to achieve ? ( payment security / new customers with good creditworthiness)
  • Design of payment and delivery conditions in the sales contract
  • How letter of credits and INCOTERMS fit together!

Guarantees in foreign trade

  • Warranty types
  • Integration into the letter of credit business

Hans-Peter Kloppe is an expert in the field of foreign trade with over 30 years of experience. He currently works for DZ Bank AG. He concentrates on advising medium-sized corporate clients in international business. Hans-Peter has much experience in financial markets, business development, international payments and international trade.

Foreign Trade

11.12.2020 (Fr) 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm
12.12.2020 (Sa) 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Speaker: Mirko Dörry

Payment and delivery conditions

  • INCOTERMS 2020
  • Function and regulatory content of the Incoterms
  • Innovations, changes, unchanged clauses
  • Practical help in choosing the right clauses
  • Dangers when using certain Incoterms
  • Influence of Incoterms in determining the customs value
  • Certification

Duty and foreign trade

  • Overview of EU customs law (customs procedures, areas of law, legal bases)
  • The export of goods from the EU under customs law (procedure and presentation of exercise examples)
  • Attention export control! (An overview of important restrictions and prohibitions using examples)
  • The electronic customs tariff as a working basis for all customs processes
  • Apply preferences when exporting goods (free trade agreements, supplier declarations)

Mirko Dörrie is an accredited and certified Incoterms trainer. He has more than 10 years experience in the field of duties and foreign trade and payments legislation. His focus is on foreign trade law. Mirko offers seminars, courses and workshops in all aspects of customs and foreign trade law as well as preparation and follow-up of tax audits by the customs administration.

In collaboration with the Chambers of Trades and Crafts of the Cities Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz as well as the Internationalization Initiative of the Saxon Economic Development Corporation, the International SEPT Competence Center and the Fachkräfteallianz are organizing the International Marketing Challenge. This challenge is unique in that it connects students currently enrolled and based at a Saxon tertiary institution with local companies in order to promote their products on the international market online. The students become acquainted with different online marketing tools such as LinkedIn as a tool of marketing for SMEs, the opportunity to participate in a Google AdWords boot camp, online marketing and customer profiling, introduction to Social Media Marketing and overall gain a deeper understanding of the most important online marketing tools.

Ten local companies from Saxony who are interested in expanding to international markets have signed up to participate in the Online Marketing Challenge. The companies come from many different sectors and set goals for the students as to what they would like to achieve with the online marketing campaign, e.g., increase sales for a particular product, increase traffic to their website. In order to achieve these goals, the companies provided a budget of €500 for the students to spend on the marketing campaign.

A team ist presenting work results, Photo: FIT4export
International Online Marketing Challenge, Photo: FIT4export

In collaboration with the Chambers of Trades and Crafts of the Cities Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz as well as the Internationalization Initiative of the Saxon Economic Development Corporation, the International SEPT Competence Center and the Fachkräfteallianz are organizing the International Marketing Challenge 2019. This challenge is unique in that it connects students currently enrolled at a Saxon tertiary institution with local companies in order to promote their products on the international market online. The students become acquainted with different online marketing tools in three workshops, including a Google Adwords bootcamp.

Twelve local companies from Saxony who are interested in expanding to international markets have signed up to participate in the Online Marketing Challenge. The companies come from many different sectors, e.g. Westernbedarf Hartmut Halang, easyclipr GmbH, Ulysses GmbH & Co. KG, Wellner Kommunikation/Automatisierung GmbH, COMPLED Solutions GmbH, Dorothy Roffat Cosmetics GmbH, Symate GmbH, mr. flint Innovation, Mormor – etage 8 GmbH, NEXT BUTLER GmbH, and Zaunkönig.

It is then up to the students to create a suitable online marketing campaign to reach the goals set by the company. Two exciting months will follow as the students got to run a real live online marketing campaign and acted as the online marketing manager of a company.

The international SEPT Competence Center of Leipzig University and the Office for Economic Development of the City of Leipzig provide the stage for you to present your idea! The City of Leipzig has close working relations with Vietnam, especially Ho Chi Minh City. Recently a German-Vietnamese House was opened in the city where the first German-Vietnamese joint venture has its place of operation. With this in mind, we want to provide opportunities for networking and development in the start-up and accelerator arena. With our Best Innovators Award and the accompanying trainings we want to encourage the Vietnamese community to test new business models in Germany, as well as giving German founders with an interest in the target market Vietnam the opportunity for networking. In cooperation with the trade fair HAUS-GARTEN-FREIZEIT (Home-Garden-Leisure) and the Central German Handicrafts Fair we will conduct our first Best Innovators Award on 26 February.

The offer

  • Free participation in the workshops of the “Vietnam Start-up class” on topics such as business model development, pitch training, setting up a company in Germany/Vietnam and international entrepreneurship
  • Coaching sessions to develop the business model
  • Visiting the “Best Innovators Award” in Leipzig
  • The 6 best business ideas present their idea at the “Best Innovators Award” in Leipzig in February 2019
  • Exchange and networking with other entrepreneurs from Vietnam and Germany

You may find this also interesting

MBA Program

Read more

Research

Read more

The Center

Read more