Successful Business Models in VET Export: A Case Study by BEIGROUP GmbH Action Guidelines for VET Exporters

The business of exporting vocational training services is booming. It has become a relevant branch of German foreign trade and well-trained professionals and executives who have completed the dual training system are in worldwide demand. In order to promote international collaborative projects in vocational education and training exports, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has operated and provided funding for the initiative “VET Export by German Providers” since 2008. Researchers from the unit Business Models: Engineering and Innovation at the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy also supported the funding initiative between 2012 and 2014 with a metaproject.

The metaproject carried out by the Fraunhofer Center's experts included case studies focusing on successful international education providers. The goal: to investigate the business models of these training providers more closely and to identify the elements that contribute to their success. The Nuremberg BEIGROUP GmbH, which successfully carries out vocational training export within Europe without corresponding funding from the federal government, is a Metaproject best practice example. Researchers from the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center examined and evaluated the company's business model, which relies on a franchising model. From the study, it emerged that key factors explaining the international success of BEIGROUP GmbH include the standardization of training seminars and business processes, the company's own dedicated training center and the close contact with the franchisees in the target countries.  

As part of the metaproject, the Fraunhofer experts also organized workshops and conferences in order to bring together and connect VET providers. From the experiences and insights collected during the metaproject, the researchers were able to devise and incorporate nine practical action guidelines. These guidelines can assist German training providers in developing and marketing needs-based international VET provisions. The metaproject is presented in more detail in the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center's annual report 2014/15.