Business Innovation Week Inspires Students and Alumni in Uncertain Times

Business Innovation Week (BSW) at Business School Lausanne (BSL) brings together inspirational speakers, students and alumni. The four-day-long event includes panel discussions, workshops, networking, and more. The outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year meant that the student organizers behind this term’s BIW event had to quickly rethink their strategy. 

The recent BIW event took place online from May 5th – 8th and focused on entrepreneurship in uncertain times. We spoke with Elias Raffoul, president of the student council and also a master’s student at BSL, who led the organization of the recent BIW event. He told us a bit about this year’s ‘virtual event’ and how the team managed some of the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

Logistics: Moving Business Innovation Week Online 

The first and most obvious challenge presented by COVID-19 was moving everything from a physical space to a virtual one. “After three weeks of organization, we flipped everything online” Elias explains. This created some challenges because “It’s more difficult to involve people and to make students participate”. In order to prevent background noise or interruption, the organizers asked students to keep their mics on mute unless approved by the committee.  

However, the online format also presented some advantages. “The advantage was that there were no boundaries,” says Elias, adding that “You can invite speakers from all over the world. We had three speakers from Brazil, which we were unable to do before.” That unique advantage is one that might be used in future events, in order to involve inspirational speakers and organizations from all four corners of the world.

The online format meant that speakers from anywhere in the world could attend

Relevance: Adapting the Theme for COVID-19 

The outbreak of the coronavirus has had a huge impact on businesses worldwide. The student council at BSL felt it was important to adapt the theme of the event so that it was relevant to students during this unprecedented time. 

The original topic for the week was innovation. However, in response to COVID-19 this was adapted. Elias explains that “We wanted to do something focused on the current situation, and how you can adapt to the current situation as an entrepreneur”. This would be particularly relevant to students enrolled in an entrepreneurship degree at BSL. 

Hands-on Challenge:  A Very Real Simulation for Students at Our Business School in Switzerland

As well as presentations and panel discussions, workshops are an important component of BIW. The team at BSL decided to replace the workshop sessions with a virtual challenge using a simulation format. 

On day two, the students were split into 10 groups as part of an entrepreneurial challenge. As part of the competition, teams were asked to create a business plan for a futuristic project. Students had to plan everything, including whether they would rent or buy a factory, whether they would take a loan from the bank, how many products they would produce, how many employees they would hire, how to market the product, and more. The simulation covered everything from marketing to finance, entrepreneurship, and decision-making. This was an important part of the simulation because students at BSL can study an MIB in finance, marketing, and more. 

For all involved, the virtual event offered an interactive and inspirational experience. 

Do you want to find out more about attending our business school in Switzerland?

Contact BSL to take the first steps towards an inspiring career!

Interested in Attending Business School in Switzerland? 3 Reasons Why Lausanne Is an Ideal Place to Study

business school Switzerland

The city of Lausanne is popular with international students and young professionals alike. This multicultural city offers students endless opportunities to explore Switzerland and Europe, to network with other international students and professionals, and kickstart their career in a thriving business hub.

Business School Lausanne (BSL) is conveniently located near the center of the city, meaning that prospective students and alumni can benefit from all of the above. Read on to find out some of the reasons why Lausanne is a dream city for business students. 

Lausanne Is One of the Most Multicultural Cities in Switzerland

As the 4th largest city in Switzerland, Lausanne has a population of 130,000, with people coming from all over the world to live, work, and study in the city. This means that students earning a business administration degree, Master in International Business, MBA, or other business program in Lausanne will have plenty of opportunities to network with students from all over the world. BSL is also a stone’s throw away from both the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) campuses, housing some 25’000 students from over 120 countries.

At BSL, our students come from over 60 different countries. Combined with our small class sizes, which allow students to truly connect with their peers and teachers, BSL’s international environment allows you to gain a truly global network. Growing an international network of peers comes with many advantages. Students have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and discover different perspectives, helping them tap into new opportunities and innovative solutions.

graduate business school
Students in Lausanne will be part of an international business community

Explore What Europe Has to Offer

Outside of work and academia, Lausanne is a great base for students who want to see more of Europe while they study. In the current environment with COVID-19, we know that there are plenty of restrictions at this time, however Switzerland is planning a phase 3 opening on the 8th of June, opening its borders to neighboring countries.      

Switzerland is perfectly located in the heart of Europe, bordered by Italy, Germany, Austria, France, and Liechtenstein, meaning that you don’t have to travel far to see some of Europe’s top destinations. As a student at BSL, you could take a weekend cultural trip to some of Europe’s major cities such as Paris, Rome, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam or London or simply take advantage of beaches along the Mediterranean coast line. A romantic Italian getaway, an Oktoberfest celebration in Germany—your choices are endless!

This means that students at Business School Lausanne will have plenty of opportunities to broaden their horizons, learn more about European culture and take advantage of learning a new language.

Professional Opportunities After an Undergraduate or Graduate Business Degree

One of the many other advantages to studying in Lausanne is the access to career opportunities. The Lausanne region is a thriving business hub renowned across Europe for its commercial opportunities, hosting a multitude of multinational business headquarters. Major Swiss cities such as Geneva and Bern are less than an hour away, meaning students are ideally placed to access opportunities across Switzerland.

business administration
Students will be able to access internships and opportunities across Switzerland


BSL is committed to helping students succeed within a career that is right for them, and offers a wide range of career support, including customized career mentoring sessions on self-branding and networking. As well as this, BSL students have access to the online BSL Career Center which helps to connect students with employers. The site advertises relevant internship, job, and volunteer positions in addition to networking events. Whatever your career aspirations, BSL is there to help you succeed.

Do you want to find out more about studying for an undergraduate or post-graduate business degree in Lausanne?

Contact Business School Lausanne today!