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The Future is 200 Years Old

Established in 1819, ESCP Europe, the world’s first business school, was founded by a group of economic scholars and businessmen including the well-known economist Jean-Baptiste Say and the celebrated trader Vital Roux. Jean-Baptiste Say was an advocate of economic liberalism and is often credited with having coined the concept of entrepreneurship as early as 1800. Vital Roux is particularly known for having largely contributed to the elaboration of the Commercial Code in 1807 as well as for his up-front thinking in innovative pedagogy. One can therefore say that the creation of ESCP Europe represents the invention of the "business school" concept.

Location of ESCP Europe in Paris at 102 rue Amelot, from 1838 to 1898

Although the ESCP Europe brand evolved over its almost 200 years of history, it always remained loyal to its first three letters. Starting in 1819 under the name École Spéciale de Commerce et d’Industrie and soon after renamed École Supérieure de Commerce, it developed to ESCP fifty years later in 1869. After merging with its sister school, the European School of Management (EAP), in 1999, the school was called ESCP-EAP for about a decade. Finally in 2009, the school’s name turned into ESCP Europe, making explicit reference to its European heritage and positioning.

The international scope of ESCP Europe has been visible since its early age. Already the class of 1824 counted 30% of international students with 15 different nationalities, amongst them seven Spanish, five Brazilians, five Dutch, four Germans, and two Americans.

ESCP Europe Class of 1887, rue AmelotLanguage education was an essential part of its first curriculum which included, in addition to French grammar, also courses in English, German, and Spanish. As of 1825, a total of ten languages were taught at ESCP Europe and students had to study at least three of them.
Around one and a half centuries later, ESCP Europe was again a pioneer through the creation of a multi-campus business school. In order to respond to the School’s European calling, campuses in Germany and in the United Kingdom were opened in 1973, followed by Spain in 1988, Italy in 2004, and Warsaw in 2015. In the context of an ever more globalized world, the ambition of ESCP Europe today is to train truly European managers by fostering the link between humanistic values and management education. ESCP Europe becomes a veritable European School open to the World.

Let's Celebrate Our Bicentenary

From January 2019 to January 2020, ESCP Europe reinvigorates the originality of its model by creating a series of events relating to its ambition to be the leader in the education of the next generations of managers. The events will take place on all Campuses and involve all parts of the School’s rich international community: faculty, companies, students, alumni, researchers, academic partners...


Landmarks in ESCP Europe’s history

  • 1819: On the 1st December 1819, a group of economic scholars and businessmen founds ESCP Europe under the name Ecole Spéciale de Commerce et d’Industrie, soon renamed Ecole Supérieure de Commerce. The first Chair of Economics was held by the celebrated economist Jean-Baptiste Say. ESCP Europe is the oldest business school in the world. Since its debut, ESCP Europe had a Global Perspective as one third of its students were international.
  • 1869: ESCP Europe is acquired by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) in its 50th year of existence.
  • 1873: The School’s Alumni Association is founded.
  • 1890: The French Ministry of Education grants official recognition of the School’s degree, recognizing the pioneering contribution of the School’s combination of theoretical and practical, hands-on learning. ESCP Europe becomes a "Grande Ecole d’Etat".
  • 1898: The School moves from 102, Rue Amelot to 79, Avenue de la République, the same address its Paris République Campus still occupies today. The building is classified as a historical monument.
  • 1921: ESCP Europe celebrates its 100th anniversary, postponed due to the post-war crisis, in the vast auditorium of the Sorbonne.
  • 1969: The first executive education programmes are launched, introducing a major innovation in ESCP Europe’s vocation.
  • 1973: During the General Assembly of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on April 5th 1973 the concept of a multi-campus business school was founded with the consecutive inaugurations of campuses in the United Kingdom (London in 1974, moved to Oxford in 1975) and in Germany (Düsseldorf in 1975, moved to Berlin in 1985). This landmarks the School's deep European Identity.
  • 1985: The School’s campus in Germany moves from Düsseldorf to Berlin at the invitation of the Government of Berlin. The School is granted official recognition and a degree awarding charter in Germany. This is the first time an academic institution has degree awarding powers in two European countries.
  • 1988: A fourth campus is opened in Madrid.
  • 1998: ESCP Europe is among the first five business schools in Europe to be awarded accreditation by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredits the ESCP Europe Executive MBA.
  • 1999: ESCP merges with its sister school EAP, the European School of Management.
  • 2001: The Master in Management programme of ESCP Europe is validated by City University London which gives students the possibility to obtain a European MSc in Management.
  • 2002: ESCP Europe is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which makes it one of the first business schools with Triple Crown accreditation: AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA.
  • 2004: A fifth campus in Torino, Italy is founded. Master in Management students can obtain the Italian degree Laurea Magistrale, validated by the University of Torino.
  • 2005: The School inaugurates its London campus after moving from Oxford. ESCP Europe now has urban campuses in five major European cities: Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid and Torino.
  • 2007: The Master in Management programme is recognized by the Carlos III University of Madrid and students can obtain the Spanish degree of Master Europeo en Administración y Dirección de Empresas. ESCP Europe is able to award a national degree in each of its five countries of implantation.
  • 2015: The School establishes its sixth European campus via a strategic alliance with the Warsaw-based Kozminski University, the only business school in Central and Eastern Europe with triple accreditation (AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA).
  • 2016: The Paris Campus extends to Montparnasse district (Paris left bank), to develop Executive Education activities and support the school's development and growth.
  • 2018: ESCP Europe Business school becomes autonomous from the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paris Île-de-France, which is now the school’s majority shareholder.