New record: More than two million businesses in the Netherlands

New record: More than two million businesses in the Netherlands

According to figures from the Netherlands’ Chamber of Commerce, since the start of this year, the Netherlands is home to more than two million businesses. Never before have there been so many companies in the Netherlands.

Increasing number of businesses in the Netherlands

Last year, the number of businesses went up by 100.000, an increase of five percent. According to the Chamber of Commence, the number of self-employed persons increased especially. In fact, there are now more than one million self-employed people in the Netherlands who are working full-time. Next to this, there are 282.000 self-employed people who work part-time - less than 15 hours per week for their own business.

The share of entrepreneurs who were not born in the Netherlands has also increased by one percent to 16 percentage points, so one in six entrepreneurs. Last year, almost a quarter of the people starting a business were not born in the Netherlands. The majority of these entrepreneurs work in the hospitality, logistics and construction sectors. Many of these migrant-entrepreneurs are active in the provinces of North-Holland, South-Holland and Flevoland.

When it comes to the sectors that experienced the biggest growth in the number of companies, the construction and health sector jump out. The number of businesses in these sectors increased by eight and seven percent respectively. The most popular provinces were Flevoland and South-Holland, with company increases of seven percent. Limburg saw the least growth in business numbers, with only a three percent rise.

More young people starting businesses

The average age of entrepreneurs in the Netherlands has been around 46 for years; however, the average age of entrepreneurs just starting out is falling. In 2018, the average age of starting entrepreneurs was 36 and 35 in 2019.

More and more young people are starting a business, illustrated by the fact that the number of starting entrepreneurs aged 18 and under has more than tripled in three year’s time. Last year, there were 6572 young entrepreneurs. These young entrepreneurs often start their own webshop and many are active in the creative sector, for example in advertising, photography, film and performing arts.

The proportion of male to female entrepreneurs last year remained unchanged compared to 2018. Around 64 percent of entrepreneurs are male and 36 percent are female. When we look at starting entrepreneurs, we see that the percentage of women has decreased slightly from 38 percent in 2018 to 37 percent in 2019. 


Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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