Students write a pitch to the EIB to learn about funding of green projects (NN3) 

Study Board BSc in International Business and Politics
Course title Financing the Green Transition 
Course type/size Elective (approx. 20 students) 
Teaching format Blended

Learning consultants’ reflection on NN connections of this activity 
This course addresses students’ anxiety about the climate crisis. In the activity, students get to work with the second dimension of NN3 in response to this particular challenge and learn how states and markets can better finance the green transition. They develop their entrepreneurial knowledge through a specific assignment in which they must write a pitch to the European Investment Bank. In this process they are trained to understand what institutions are most likely to fund their project. 

Teaching philosophy 

“… their entire mindset is trained for 3 months, to go from somebody throwing an idea at them, and them turning it into something applicable. But this is not in a vocational training kind of way, I train them to think systematically. They know what the scaffolding of global financial infrastructure looks like. Where do you find an open door and where do you find a closed door.” 

Cornel Ban, Associate Professor at IOA 

Key objective(s) aligned with this activity 

  • Translate the knowledge about channels and trade-offs into a public policy or corporate strategy memorandum. 
  • Learn how to deal with societal challenges in ways that are both critical and practical. 

Teacher’s course description

There is a very strong demand from our students to address their anxiety about climate and to do it in a sort of productive career-oriented way. People end up, for IBP at least, in consulting and public sector.

I offer this course as an elective with students from 5-6 CBS departments and some students from DTU, too. The DTU students are in an elite engineering programme, they are very entrepreneurial, and they would like to know how to finance the various innovations projects they have in mind.

Course level:

As a political economist who focuses on finance, I address the green-mission-oriented focus of our students by asking the following question “How can states and markets better finance the green transition?”  

To lay a foundation, I teach varieties of green growth, some ecologic economics, and the fundamental consensus on climate science. In this way, everybody gets some basic concepts and an understanding of which institutions in climate science that are important to look at. Essentially, I address what is the voice of financial, industrial and state power. Who are the big movers that control 90% of the world’s liquidity? 

From third module I channel students towards a very specific assignment. In this assignment, they must write a pitch to the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance a specific green project. This is the biggest public bank in Europe which will offer about 40% of the funding you need and for the rest of the money you must look to the private sector. My course trains the students to understand what kind of financial institution, say private equity, venture capitalist etc., is most likely to fund the project given the state of the technological development at which they pitch the project. At the end they have a very concrete business project. 

Module level

Most of the modules in the course are split in two parts. In the first part of each module, I do a 40 minute very interactive lecture focusing on where a pension fund would come and fund you, on the role of a central bank, the role of state-owned finance, and the role of Black Rock etc. So, in each module I take one brick in the wall of global green finance and explain it to them. We use one theoretical piece that is kind of an architectural piece, and then a very descriptive piece which is not academic. This could be an annual report, or it could be a critical finance report.  

In the second part of the module, I form groups of 3, which each has to develop a business project. We have a long list of projects; the EIB is very transparent, and you can access all the former projects they have funded in the bank. So first they get insight into with what kinds of projects have been approved to become familiar with the mindset of the EIB. It is a kind of reverse engineering process. Then they can go to an online form to see if their idea fits or not. After this, they start developing it. For example, some had this amazing project on green cement that comes from all the unrecycled ashes in global cities. Others make projects as if they are Ørsted, so they go in and talk to Ørsted etc. and do this field work. I go around and brainstorm and there is a lot of peer feedback and a lot of harsh competitive presentations.  


At the oral exam, I grade them as if I was a loan officer. I have done a lot of research on the European Investment Bank, and I wrote a report for them. So, I try to bring together what the students have been taught in social science about how think rigorously, doing comparative structured comparisons, interviews, text analysis, quantitative analysis and to mobilise all those 3 years of knowledge into a hands-on real-world project.