Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in A...
Improving conditions for start-ups in the Netherlands18 November 2013, by Alexandra Gowling
The Dutch House of Representatives has agreed to act on a proposal from ruling coalition party VVD to improve the climate for start-ups in the Netherlands.
VVD representative Anne-Wil Lucas, who presented the agenda, called startups "a secret force in the Dutch economy," pointing to fast-growing companies like WeTransfer and Booking.com as examples of their potential.
Dutch Minister of Economics Henk Kamp declared at a debate on the subject that "Startups prove to be an important vehicle in solving social problems."
This is an acknowledgment that start-up entrepreneurs differ from other kinds because they need to take more risks as they are investing in completely new products and services.
The VVD’s agenda is designed to grow a few more successful start-ups in the Netherlands and really making the whole Dutch economy more innovative.
The agenda included a number of measures designed to make it easier for people to start their own company in the Netherlands, whether they already live here or are planning to move.
› Access to capital
New forms of credits, crowd-funding and various government programmes.
› Access to innovation subsidies
As well as retaining funding organisations WBSO (to promote development and research) and RDA (for research and development), they propose that top institutes for knowledge and innovation include start-ups in their road maps.
› Access to knowledge
Including access to results, open data and stimulating universities to share their intellectual property.
› Relaxed visa criteria
Creating a special visa for start-ups to enable these companies to recruit talent from abroad.
› Access to tax department
Involving giving more information to start-ups and removing some restrictions, such as the minimum salaries for company directors.
› Access to each other
Measures to use universities as hubs for start-ups.
› Access to the world
Giving start-ups access to trade missions and creating a start-up ambassador.
Given that the Netherlands was rated fourth in the 2013 Global Innovation Index and Amsterdam is considered one of Europe’s hottest start-up capitals, this further commitment to innovation and flexibility for creative talent is good news for anyone with a vision to make something new.
The House of Representatives plans to present more concrete measures by spring 2014.