Dr. Craen comes from a Belgian family. His father who was employed in the import business of coated chemical abrasives was a friend, teacher and guide to the young Dirk Craen. He set the early foundations of ambition and entrepreneurial drive in his son. As a result, the young Dirk, who had followed his father's footsteps into the chemicals industry of Belgium, bade farewell to the country in the search of his true passions.
Aged 22 and fresh out of college, Dirk Craen dared an employer to hire him on a “commission-only basis”. Being interviewed for the post of abrasive salesman, he told the employer – you'll see the amount of money I’ll make for the both of us.
Dirk credits his work ethic and ambitious nature for his good run as an abrasive salesman in Belgium. Though he now likes to laugh at the interview episode labeling himself a “big mouth”, Dr. Dirk Craen has proved he is very much the achiever and not just the talker.
Dr. Craen moved from Belgium to Switzerland in 1985. Today, Dr. Craen has become a well known figure in the national as well as international business and educational circles. Apart from being the owner and President of EU Business School, Dr. Dirk Craen is UNESCO Chair in International Relations, Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. In 2016, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy.
His journey to success was not an easy one however. He likes to say it was marked by several long days and countless nights burning the midnight oil – something he expects his students to understand and accept.
EU Business School was established in 1973 and in 1998, Dr. Craen had enough credentials to “buy out the management” of what was the early rudiment of the university. The University celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013 – marking four decades of quality dedication and family unity.
Under Dr. Dirk Craen's presidency, EU Business School underwent comprehensive structural and brand-related changes, becoming the reputed international organization that it is today. Representing over a 100 nationalities form across the world and being home to over 25,000 distinguished alumni members, EU Business School currently has campuses in Munich, Barcelona, Geneva and Montreux.
The term “President” brings to mind images of sternness, figures, numbers and a fierce display of power. However, a talk with Dr. Dirk Craen reveals there are other sides to the EU Business School President and UNSECO Chair. A loving family man, caring husband, proud father of three and a dutiful son, Dr. Craen adds an element of love, harmony and family integrity to his post.
Dr. Dirk Craen believes “investing in the children” to be the key to a brighter future. Keeping in line with his vision, EU Business School currently focuses on Bachelor's degree programs. However, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and helping manage family business are two issues close to his heart.
The Craen family has been a pillar of support for EU Business School for four decades now – something Dr. Craen knows well enough to teach. As for the entrepreneurs, Dr. Dirk Craen lists passion, patience and persuasion as the three key ingredients of entrepreneurial success.