UniPartners – an academic consultancy run by Maastricht students – wants to expand into Germany. For the past twenty years, budding economists and managers have been doing research (market research, employee satisfaction surveys, et cetera) for Dutch companies, says Tom Bettelheim, chairman of UniPartners Maastricht and a bachelor’s graduate of International Business. For money, but on a non-profit basis. “We work for small and medium-sized enterprises and public bodies such as city councils and provincial authorities. We do about 25 projects per year, usually carried out by two students.”
The large number of German students at the School of Business and Economics is one of the reasons why UniPartners wants to shift its focus to Germany. “There may be Dutch companies who want to branch out onto the German market. They need to know what the market is like, who are potential partners, who is the competition.” The board also wants to work more across the entire UM. “At the moment, most students are from SBE, but we would also like to move into health care, working with students from health sciences.”
UniPartners recently completed a project free of charge for the UNICEF Student Team Maastricht. “We researched the sponsor market in Maastricht for them. This was done within the framework of corporate social responsibility.” The sponsor market is difficult at the moment. Businesses are not eager to delve into their pockets for a good cause.