If you used to think that BD stands for Big Deal, you are not entirely wrong!
As a concept, Business Development can be defined as the sum of ideas, initiatives and activities aimed towards making a business better. This includes increasing revenues, growth in terms of business expansion, building strategic partnerships, and making strategic business decisions.

Why do we need Business Development in AIESEC?

I’m so glad you asked! The role of BD inside AIESEC has historically linked to the idea of ensuring financial sustainability to our Global & National Offices, as a parallel source of incomes besides our regular operations. This department allows us to partner big and like-minded organization with resources to invest in our projects or initiatives. With this idea, we can avoid the perception of it as a source of incomes and, start seeing it as an Amplifier of Our Operations (Exchange Experiences) - in the end, it's all about the exchange.
There are three main components that form the base of business development: Markets - Customers - Relationships
In order to grow a business beyond its current state, it is important to focus on one or more of these areas. The type of business and the direction of growth determines where the focus is placed.

Attitude is the KEY!

You must remember that every approval or disapproval is a learning experience!
Those involved in business development need to come up with creative, yet realistic ideas. All you need in order to succed are: a working concept, an open mindset, willingness for an honest self-assessment, and the ability to accept failures.

What should a Business Developer know?

Since business development involves high-level decision making, the business developer should remain informed about the following:
1. The current state of the business in terms of SWOT analysis:
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
2. Competitor developments - Assuming that you have competitors, you should be aware of who might come with similar proposals to the companies you intend to approach.
3. The customer profile - You don't want to make a partnership with anyone, in the same way as not any company would be interested in collaborating with you. You need to know certainly who is your target.
4. New domains/products/sectors eligible for business expansion - Surprisingly, Business Development involves Business Expansion.
5. The current state of the overall industry and growth projections - First things first, know where you come from and what you can offer. Then, be sure to inform yourself about the potential partners, what are their needs that you can cover or the problems you might have a solution for.
6. New and unexplored market opportunities
7. The long-term view, especially with the regards to the initiatives being proposed - Every partnership is a contribution to the future of the organization, therefore our long-term plan must be taken into consideration in order to maintain our trustworthiness.

Main Responsibilities of the BD department

  • Acquiring new SALES
  • Maintaining and Up-scaling alliances with existing partners
  • Improving and Inventing new BD products
  • Ensure REVENUE
No money - no sweet, viscous food substance made by bees and related insects
The most important Measure of Success for us is the revenue recognized. For some entities this will mean either the amount of money on the bank account, for others the amount of money signed, or amount of money from services delivered.
Now you're almost ready to pursue your journey as a member of the BD department. Let's find out more about how do we do stuff in BD.


Take the first quiz and see if you mastered the introduction chapter on BD knowledge.

But wait, there's MORE! This was just the beginning.
How to pitch AIESEC like a pro Quiz
How to Structure a Proposal Quiz