International Business Project is an annual non-profit project carried out by a group of students attending the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the Norwegian School of Economics and BI Norwegian Business School, that aims to uncover distinctive international business opportunities in emerging markets.
The project was initiated in 1984 by Innovation Norway, an instrument for Norwegian Government to support innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry, with the main purpose of exploring and defining new international market opportunities for Norwegian companies and establishments. Through increased knowledge, the project contributes to more positive and open-minded thinking regarding emerging markets, which in turn leads to higher interest for emerging markets and a more international focus for Norwegian business.
Every year since 1984, students are recruited by the previous team to carry out research on a new exciting emerging market. The different roles of the project are all filled by the students, with the main responsibilities for areas such as finance, sponsorships, public relations, human resources and research divided within the team. Still, it is the team as a whole that in the end is responsible for the fulfillment of the project, which means that this project is a challenging yet rewarding experience with team work. The team is responsible to keep on track and manage their time and work on the project throughout the year, while being located at different schools in different cities. Over the year, the team will in addition to do research from home, rise funding and get in touch with local enterprises and authorities in order to visit the country, to gain valuable information and impressions to include in the final product: a thorough report on business opportunities, written together by all the team members.
Today, the project is a part of Innovation Norway’s Internationalization initiative. Innovation Norway’s market advisors in more than 30 countries help Norwegian companies with strategic advice and operational assistance during their internationalization process. This includes information about business culture, market structures, competition and local requirements. The work of the International Business Project contributes to strengthen this competence through hands on research that uncovers distinctive market opportunities and seeks to develop understanding and awareness of cultural discrepancies that may occur in interactions with foreign markets and business culture. This cooperation between the students and Innovation Norway is an exciting and relevant experience to learn, grow and progress both professionally and as a person!