Through the BSIS (Business School Impact System) certificate, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management has been able to demonstrate that it is not only successful as a business school in research and teaching. In fact, it also has had a considerable impact on life and society in Germany and the region, with WHU’s activities generating an income of 147 million euros for various suppliers and service providers. This encompasses not only WHU’s own expenditures, but also those from conferences and other events held by WHU and its student clubs, the students themselves, and their families. In addition, a veritable entrepreneurial ecosystem has developed thanks to the activities of WHU’s Entrepreneurship Center. Impressively, 15 of the most successful German startups with a valuation of at least one billion euros (referred to as “unicorns”) have their roots at the relatively humble business school. Apart from its financial successes, the school’s social and societal commitment seen in its WHU community is also of note. All students attend lectures in corporate social responsibility, and many of the student clubs are involved in social issues and welfare projects, raising considerable sums in donations every year.
The label is awarded by EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development), a global non-profit, membership-driven organization dedicated to management development, from which WHU has been receiving the EQUIS accreditation since 1998.
The BSIS process is designed to determine the extent of a school’s impact upon different predefined impact zones on both a local and an international level. The impact of the business school is analyzed based on seven areas of impact: financial, educational, business development, intellectual, societal image, and impact within the regional ecosystem. There are currently 59 schools across 19 countries that have received the BSIS label. WHU joins this group as the first German business school to have passed this assessment.
During the assessment process, extensive data was collected at WHU over several months and later provided to the BSIS team of experts. The experts, who visited WHU over two days in March 2022, found that “WHU is undeniably a high impact school. […] Its intellectual, educational, financial, and business impacts are at the highest levels of what one may expect from a privately funded business school of this size in Europe.”
WHU is pleased with the results of the expert analysis and will use them to further strengthen its local, regional, and national impact on society.