1 in 400 new businesses grow to gazelle status in the Netherlands

1 in 400 new businesses grow to gazelle status in the Netherlands

Roughly 1 in 400 new businesses in the Netherlands experience rapid enough growth to qualify as a gazelle, according to new figures from CBS.

Of the 161.000 Dutch businesses founded in 2010, 410 of these enterprises, or 0,25 percent, grew fast enough to receive the highly desirable status of gazelle by 2014 or 2015.

What makes a gazelle?

Not to be confused with a unicorn (a private company valued at more than one billion US dollars), CBS defines a gazelle as a young, fast-growing company with at least 10 employees that is able to sustain annual employment growth of at least 10 percent over three or more consecutive years.

Other sources, such as the Financial Times, define a gazelle as a high-growth company that is able to increase its revenue by at least 20 percent annually over four or more years.

Starting with an initial revenue base of at least one million US dollars, a gazelle is effectively able to double its revenues over a four-year period.

Gazelles can vary in size from small start-ups to large companies and are considered great employment generators and sources of wealth creation.

Best chance for fast growth in hospitality

For individuals and entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in the Netherlands it is interesting to observe the industries that exhibited the strongest, or weakest, growth.

CBS found that the highest proportion of Dutch gazelles were to be found in hospitality, or HORECA, with 60 out of almost 4.500 restaurants, cafes and cafeterias founded in 2010 experiencing notably high growth. That is a gazelle rate of one in 73, or 1,4 percent.

At one in 189, new companies in transport and storage made up the next biggest sector to reach gazelle status, while for businesses in health and wellbeing the rate was one in 310.

New businesses in the cultural and recreational sectors exhibited the slowest rate of growth with one out of 1.700 companies becoming a gazelle.

Highest numbers with temping agencies

In terms of absolute numbers, recruitment agencies (uitzendbureaus) boasted the greatest number of gazelles, with a total of roughly 80 gazelles recorded in 2015.

This was followed by restaurants and cafeterias (60), childcare businesses (30), cafes (20) and aged and handicapped care (20).

Although employment agencies exhibited the highest numbers, this success rate cannot be specifically attributed to the HR sector, as employment agencies recruit and outsource workers specialised in a wide variety of fields.

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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