Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
WBB (2 credits - II sem. - OBCUR)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Suggested background knowledge

No prerequisites are required.

Mission & Content Summary


This course provides an overview of the variety of EU business environments, focusing on context, opportunity and challenges. EU presents a patchwork of different legal, institutional and cultural backgrounds, and institutions regulating the behavior of economic actors differ tremendously. Business environments vary from one country to another, and individual countries present big differences too. Doing business in such a diverse environment proves to be demanding, both for Europeans used to deal with a single country, and for non-Europeans, who may struggle grasping the differences among European countries. 1. The course will start with an overview on EU context. This will include an analysis of the historical milestones of the Union, the major recent political issues, and general features of industrial organization, labor market, and bureaucracy. 2. It will then move on to discuss more practically how to start a business in different EU countries and what are the main available resources and opportunities as well as the primary hurdles as opposed to other business settings students may know–such as the US. 3. It will zoom into digital platforms and tech businesses in EU and the challenges these specific types of business have encountered both at single country and EU level. This comprises fiscal issues, labor markets, and oligopolistic competition among others. 4. The course will end with an overview of the EU financial system and how to raise capital to fund ven


  • Module 1: Europe as a space for business above national differences. History, Institutions and Crucial Areas. The new accession countries and the potential candidates.
  • Module 2: Start-up business in European context – regulation, challenges and opportunities
  • Module 3: Digital Platforms and tech businesses in Europe
  • Module 4: Financing and rising capital in Europe; Financial system – Banking and Stock Market.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognize and summarize the key differences and similarities in the European business environment.
  • State the key political, economic, institutional and demographic elements of relevance when assessing these countries.
  • Illustrate the challenges that businesses and start-ups face with respect to the old versus the new accession countries of the EU.
  • Illustrate the key steps required to transform a business idea into a startup in the context of the EU business environment.
  • Evaluate and identify the resources and funding opportunities available to start-up businesses in the European context.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Select, find and apply a host of international data sources to analyze the European business environment.
  • Evaluate and discuss the role of different parameters for how countries compare in terms of business environment.
  • Identify the steps to start a business in Europe and critically evaluate the opportunity and challenges.
  • Brainstorm on how to transform a business idea into a startup in a specific EU setting
  • Select financial and funding options for business development in Europe.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


In addition to the face-to-face lectures, we invite consultants and experts to discuss with students the key topics covered. 

During the course case studies and interactive activities (when possible) will be used to stimulate class discussion. 

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
x   x


  • Group project (80% of the final grade, pass/fail): Students will be asked to develop a business idea for the EU market following the concepts and theory presented during the course. The project will be structured according to POCD+ and strategy to address specific EU market (individual country, staged, or community). Deliverables: Short report and presentation (either in class pitch or multimedia output TBD).
  • Class attendence (20%)


For students not regularly attending classes, the final grade for this course is based entirely on a final written examination (100%) comprising open questions related to the mandatory reference materials, and on articles, presentations, and further readings included in the syllabus. 

Teaching materials


  • Slides, articles and other materials (to be found on BBoard) 
  • Selected readings listed in the Course Syllabus


Mandatory materials:

  • Book: Gabriele Suder and Johan Lindeque, “Doing Business in Europe,” THIRD EDITION, 2018, Sage Publication. 


Further readings:

  • Selected Readings listed in the Course Syllabus
  • Slides, articles and other materials uploaded on BBoard.
Last change 14/12/2020 14:56