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HSBA Meets Weltladen Bergedorf – Semester Project Sustainable Marketing

As part of the Strategic Marketing module, students of the Business Administration course analysed the strategic elements of modern and customer-oriented marketing at Weltladen Bergedorf.

Through their participation in the university competition „Hamburg! Handelt! Fair!“ ("Hamburg! Act! Fair!"), in which our Professors Inga Schmidt-Ross and Susanne Hensel-Börner participated as jurors in 2021 and 2020 respectively, contact was made with the Weltladen Dachverband (Weltladen Association).  Thanks to the mediation of Katharina Keienburg from the Innovations Kontakt Stelle Hamburg (IKS), the idea for a cooperation in the Strategic Marketing module was quickly born. After a change of location, the managing directors of the Weltladen Bergedorf, Ulla and Wolfgang Kahlbrock, wanted to rethink the entire marketing concept regarding the product range and target group-oriented communication. This was the starting point for 35 students in the Business Administration degree programme, who dealt with the various issues throughout the Marketing.Digital focus.

"We enjoyed working on the project together with the students. It was impressive to witness how quickly the sub-groups got involved with their individual questions and went in search of input and answers," say Professor Susanne Hensel-Börner and Professor Inga Schmidt-Ross, who supervised the project. "In doing so, the students worked very constructively under the given Corona conditions and skilfully used the digital possibilities for interacting and sharing materials.


The Weltladen movement generally stands for the conviction that the economy should serve people and not the other way round. In order to reach conscious consumers and other potential customers with this message and to make the Weltladen fit for the future, students of the HSBA analysed the Weltladen Bergedorf according to the fields of business model, supply and selection policy, target groups and consumer behaviour as well as communication. The results, which include authentic assessments and recommendations, were presented at a final conference and discussed extensively with the project partners.  

"We, the Weltladen Bergedorf, are very grateful to the students of HSBA for their professional analysis and assessment," explains Ulla Kahlbrock, managing director of the Weltladen Bergedorf. "We can really take a lot of constructive things from the results, for us and also for our colleagues from the umbrella organisation, be it in relation to the product range or public relations. The view of the student generation is especially helpful, because it is exactly this young, consumer-conscious clientele that we want to reach better in the future.

Selected results: 

  • Survey on the awareness of sustainability labels & seals and recommendations derived from it 
  • Recommendation for an extension of the selection to include children's clothing, unpackaged food or second-hand clothing
  • Strengthening the brand through differentiation
  • Analysis of the thumb-friendliness of mobile website use
  • Development of a comprehensive guide for optimising the Instagram presence (@wlbergedorf)

Tim Müller, BSc Business Administration: 

"With the project, we were able to make a very concrete contribution to shaping the future of tomorrow in a more sustainable way and gained exciting insights, for example, into the significance of fair trade labels. The term sustainability is much more than just a buzzword, it should be an essential guideline for the strategic actions of companies.”

Jale Güclü, BSc Business Administration: 

"I really enjoyed the project work for and with the Weltladen Bergedorf and it was really fun. It was great to get to know this very practical way of learning and to work out a contribution creatively and independently. I would like to see more of that!"

In the fifth and sixth semesters, the "Strategic Marketing" module deals with strategic elements of modern and customer-oriented marketing and thus with medium and long-term corporate decisions. Sustainability and digital transformation are the focus of attention. Through the cooperation with a practical partner, such as in this case the Weltladen or the Weltladen umbrella organisation as well as the Fair Trade City of Hamburg, the theoretical knowledge can be directly applied in practice. Depending on the concrete question of the practice partner, the students work on selected strategic aspects in small groups.

More info on Business Administration (BSc)