What is a Master’s in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship?

Both design and management need to work effectively with each other to push a design-driven business forward. However, balancing the creative and economic needs of a company is one of the biggest challenges in business. So, what’s the solution?

Say hello to the Master in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship, a joint program offered by Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and Design (KADK). Mathilde Serup is the head of the program – she explained a little more about the course.

“This master’s program is for design or architecture students who want to start their own business, or want to go into an organization and be on a more strategic level,” says Mathilde. “It’s a master’s program in strategic design and entrepreneurship where students from KDK and CBS come together to enhance their knowledge and skills.” (00:08)

Mathilde adds, “We’re educating designers and architects that graduate fully skilled, and we’re going to top those competencies with business tools and an entrepreneurial mindset.” (00:51)

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

What exactly does an entrepreneurial mindset look like? Of course, it’s about having the knowledge required to start your own business – and make a success of it. But, according to Robin Holt, a professor at CBS, it is about so much more than that.

“In my view, the entrepreneurial side is much more than simply economic activity,” he says. “Of course, it’s very important that students learn how to run a business, but what’s interesting about entrepreneurship is the capacity of people to think for themselves, to become autonomous. It’s about creating an organization that they feel responsible for, and one that other people become responsible for.” (01:06)

Embedding that mindset within students is a major focus of the program. Yet, as the old adage goes: if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s all well and good to encourage students to develop that entrepreneurial mindset, but if they don’t love what they do, it will always be difficult to start a successful business. Robin says this is something they factor into the program too.

“Students will learn about running a business: the economics, the financing, the structuring, the day-to-day organization – but also to understand how to produce material wealth with a degree of excitement and passion as well as ordered managerial control,” he explains. (03:33)

Why interaction is key in this Master’s in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship

Really, this master’s program is all about bridging the gap between design and business. It helps design students learn business fundamentals, but also gets them used to working with people outside the design team. On the other hand, CBS students will learn how to work with designers in a company. According to Mathilde, this interaction with different people plays a big part in the program.

“We’ll also have pitching sessions and panels made up of market professionals, so a lot of interaction will be going on between students and real-world challenges,” she adds. (04:02)

Kim Lenschow is the founder of two architecture studios in Denmark and a graduate of KADK. He says that when it came to starting his own studio, he wishes he had the business acumen that he could’ve gained as part of this master’s degree.

“We had to start from scratch in many ways,” he reflects. “A shortlist of what I would need to know would be how to plan my time, how to plan my finances, and then the rest of the time can go to designing.” (03:14)

The Master’s in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship at CBS is all about finding the balance between design and business, and ensuring students are maximizing their skills to the benefit of the company. By bringing these seemingly disparate disciplines together, the program is helping students gain a competitive edge in their future careers. If you’re trying to bridge the gap between design and business, then this master’s could be the one for you.