A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Sustainable Pitch Perfect

Did you see the annual Facebook ad for the Sustainable Business Battle yet? It’s one of the best examples of an ad worth clicking on.

The Sustainable Business Battle (SBB) is an intense 3-week challenge, that combines business and sustainability. Students from all across the country can apply, and if you are one of the lucky chosen-ones, you’ll get to embark on a marvellous adventure.

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Everyone is excited to start the SBB!

What’s the challenge?

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A typical day during the SBB

At the heart of the SBB are a handful of real-life sustainability problems, and about 10 teams of dedicated students that aim to solve them. Together with your teammates, you’ll learn about your company’s case: Meeting representatives and visiting the company on-site, just like a professional consultant.

Right from the start, the SBB will bring in some experts on sustainability and problem solving to guide you and your team. What follows is the hard part: Solving a problem professionals haven’t solved yet. Unrealistic, you think? What if I told you that, so far, every team has come up with a solution. And what’s more, the stakeholders actually implement them! So if you look to make an actual difference, this is exactly the right place for you. After you developed an approach, you’ll battle another team for the company’s favour. The winning teams get to move on to the finals, in the pursuit of the ultimate pitch.


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Fun at the hostel!

Before I launch into the (hard) work the SBB can be, let me tell you about some of the fun stuff. Our first session started in a cosy café at the beach and finished in a cute hostel. Yeah, that’s right: Business trip with overnight stay, all financed by the SBB’s generous sponsors.

The food and drinks were always amazing (not just because we didn’t have to pay for them), and the SBB board was always there to throw in lots of energizers to keep your wits sharp and motivation high. Seriously, even people who don’t like energizers were energized.

Personal Development

First day at the SBB: You have zero consulting experience and are quite frankly not sure how to proceed. A couple of energizers and workshops later, you and your teammates are basically sitting on the edge of your seats, dying to start the first brainstorming session.

During our three training-days we did, well, lots of training: Lectures on problem solving and sustainability. Workshops on pitching. Synchronously wrecking our brains with our teammates. A fair share of frustration. But let me tell you, it made the breakthroughs even sweeter.


Time for a trip! We are visiting the Cornelis Vrolijk headquaters!

Intrigued? Stay tuned for the second part! Or even better, directly sign up for the Sustainable Business Battle 2020! Registration closes March 16th:

What is more interesting to you, sustainability or business (or both)? Let us know in the comments!

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