Business Essentials

Learn to speak business


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in Executive Education according to the Financial Times


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for Learning Impact

Get the knowledge and skills to discuss business issues with confidence on this 10-week online learning journey from Vlerick.  

You’ll work through five self-paced modules, each designed to give you a broad base in the fundamental areas of strategy, finance, marketing, operations and people management. And you’ll join four live online sessions where you can connect with colleagues, meet faculty and get inspired. At the end of the programme, you’ll receive an official Vlerick certificate.

Detailed programme

This highly flexible programme is designed to fit around your personal and professional commitments. There’s a new module every two weeks to work through at your own pace – each combining a number of learning formats such as reading cases, short videos, quizzes and opportunities to get critical feedback from peers.  

To gain your certificate, you need to complete at least four of the five modules. But of course, you’re more than welcome to follow all of them. 


Live online session: Kick-off 

  • Discover the programme content and find out about your first topic – strategic management 
  • Meet your buddies – fellow participants who will support and challenge you  

Module 1: Strategy 

  • Get the tools to create a winning strategy 
  • Assess your organisation’s strategy 
  • Reflect on how you contribute to your organisation’s strategy 

Module 2: Finance 

  • Explore key finance concepts and learn how to explain them 
  • Understand and interpret a balance sheet and P&L 
  • Create and analyse a financial report 

Module 3: Marketing 

  • Analyse your organisation’s marketing strategy by conducting a market analysis and assessing market segmentation 
  • Identify and define your value propositions  

Module 4: Operations 

  • Dive into the language and frameworks used in operations 
  • Explore how operations and supply chain management contribute to business strategy 
  • Assess how operational decisions affect other areas of the business 

Module 5: People skills 

  • Learn frameworks to give feedback effectively 
  • Understand what makes a highly effective team 
  • Explore your strengths and weaknesses  

Live online session: Graduation 

  • Take time to reflect on your learning journey and the impact it’s had 
  • Celebrate with your fellow participants – and receive your official Vlerick certificate  

Why this programme

  • Develop a robust understanding of essential business concepts 
  • Get the confidence to take part in business discussions
  • Know how to interpret decisions from management
  • Identify how your projects contribute to your organisation’s strategy 
  • Build a broad network of programme colleagues to stay in contact

Who should attend

  • Professionals from any sector, in any role, who want to enhance their business knowledge and grow in their career. 

In previous editions, we had the pleasure of welcoming participants from companies like:

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Encon logo
Ghent University logo
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Success stories


This programme gave me the foundation to do jobs more in line with strategy and continuous improvement, which are my main interests. I urge you, when you participate in this programme, to go full throttle from the start – you have only 2 weeks to soak up as much knowledge as you can!


Personally, the biggest change for me is that I now pay more attention to certain aspects of business than I used to. For example, I’m not a finance person, but the Finance module got me really interested! And I can talk about these things more knowledgeably with my company’s various stakeholders.


The Strategy module was key for me, because I’m currently launching a new product in my company. In addition, the programme has given me more confidence in my knowledge – I’m more pro-active now. The group was great too – we’re going to meet to tell each other what we’ve accomplished with our learnings!


I wanted to expand my project management & coaching skills with a broader view of business. The programme has strengthened my skill set as coach, and the link between strategy and marketing was an eye-opener for me. My advice to the current participants: schedule enough time for each module, keep track of key takeaways and make some true commitments for your future growth!

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I wanted to learn business and finance concepts and terminology to help me in my job. Now I understand discussions more quickly, and I dare to ask questions when something is not clear. In short: the programme has given me more confidence at work and a growth mindset in life! 


Carine Peeters

Carine Peeters

Professor of Strategy

Carine Peeters is a firm believer in boosting company performance through people.

Wouter De Maeseneire

Wouter De Maeseneire

Professor of Corporate Finance

Wouter De Maeseneire is passionate about explaining financial management principles by linking finance to business models and strategies.

Fred Lemke

Fred Lemke

Professor of Marketing and Sustainability

Fred Lemke explores the impact of marketing on business and society.

Ann Vereecke

Ann Vereecke

Professor of Operations Management

Ann Vereecke advises on the supply chain that best fits your strategy and products.

Katleen De Stobbeleir

Katleen De Stobbeleir

Professor of Leadership

Katleen De Stobbeleir is inspired by leaders who stand up and speak – and she is passionate about those who have the courage to sit and listen.