The Essence of Finance and Blockchain for Growth & Innovation (3 weeks' combined track) - Track

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
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This track combines basic understanding of finance and banking, with knowledge and understanding of how new financing models and Blockchain can support business growth and innovation.

Financial news is always and everywhere dominating news headlines. The financial and banking system has great impact on the economic situation in the world and on business and businesses around the world. The role of banks is changing, and new financing models are gaining traction. Blockchain revolutionary changes the financial services ecosystem and can improve business processes.

In the first week of the course you will work in a simulated environment, as member of a management team of a retail bank, taking all management level decisions that come with running a bank while competing against the other teams in the course learn all about the basics of finance, and cover topics such as financial statements, ratio analysis, asset and liability management and accounting. You will learn how to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign and gain useful insights in the field of sustainable financing and banking, such as how to finance sustainable energy projects. The simulation is a great action-based way of learning, providing you with the ins and outs of running a retail bank and meanwhile learn the basics of finance.

During the second week of the course you will focus on the developments within the financial industry in Europe and beyond, as well as alternative ways in which companies are funding new investments. Particularly, new ways to fund (SME-) companies are looked into. Students learn about alternative sources: How can crowd-funding provide equity and debt?; What is the impact of new technologies like blockchain?; Could banking unions be helpful?; What is the role of pension funds?; What is the impact of peer-to-peer lending? The course comprises a mix of lectures, practical exercises, cases and site visits.

The third and last week is all about Blockchain and its disruptive impact on financial services and businesses. This week you will learn about the theoretical foundations as well as gain hands-on experience. Students will learn what Blockchain exactly is, how it works and what it could mean to daily life, (managers in) companies and particularly business innovation. We will cover all aspects of a working blockchain, including governance, legal, change management and costs. Besides plenary sessions, with a group of 3-5 students you will have a deep dive into a subject of your own choosing for which you will build your own ecosystem. Overall, it will be a pleasant mix of understanding the technologies and exploring and discussing the new possibilities that it has to offer to the financial sector and business in general.

The courses part of this track are the following:

Course director
Jelly J. Offereins MA


Gerrit-Jan Lanting, MSc, 

Frans Boumans, MSc MBA,

Bernhard van der Biesen MSc


Target audience

This course is open to students with an advanced Bachelor or Master level. A background in Business Studies is not required. Instead, students are expected to have an interest and /or background in either finance or banking, and have to be curious to explore new financials models and innovations.

You need a flexible and inquisitive attitude. Previous knowledge is not required. However, we do strive to use the knowledge you have gained during your own degree programme.

Aim of the course

You will learn about and discuss basic finance and banking theory:

  • You will gain knowledge of how a bank operates and functions;
  • You will learn how to interpret bank balance sheets;
  • You will gain a basic understanding of the accounting system and ratio analysis.

You will learn too understand new financing models, within and outside the traditional banking industry- Students will learn about alternative funding sources:

  • How can crowdfunding provide equity and debt;
  • What is the impact of new technologies like blockchain;
  • Could banking unions be helpful;
  • What is the role of pension funds;
  • What is the impact of peer-to-peer lending?

You will week you will learn about the theoretical foundations as well as gain hands-on experience on Blockchain:

  • Societal implications of changing technology;
  • Tokens & Web 3.0;
  • Self-sovereign identity (SSI);
  • Governance and DAO's;
  • Design your own ecosystem.

Study load

Approx. 165 hrs., including lectures, workshops, guest speakers, excursions, individual and group assignments, and self study.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Contact details


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline