Enterprise and innovation

This main section contains 5 sections:

The government supports entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are good for the economy and employment. The government supports innovative startups and helps them grow.

Central government’s policy for entrepreneurs

The government's policy for entrepreneurs aims to:

  • strengthen the Netherlands’ position as one of the world’s top five most competitive economies;
  • increase spending on research and development to 2.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.

Supporting innovative enterprise

The government supports innovative enterprise in a number of ways:

Increasing scope for finance

The government has various financial schemes for:

Promoting cooperation between researchers and the private sector

The government is working with the private sector and knowledge institutions to improve public-private partnership.

Reducing the regulatory burden on entrepreneurs

The government is taking steps to reduce the regulatory burden on entrepreneurs. These include granting permits more quickly – or even automatically – and making greater use of digital technology.

Developing IT tools for entrepreneurs

Providing government services online reduces the regulatory burden on entrepreneurs. IT also offers unlimited scope for new products or for making business processes more efficient.

Helping entrepreneurs access networks

Good networks help businesses grow. The government is using the following tools to help entrepreneurs build solid networks:

Better links between education and the labour market

The government also wants to establish better links between education and the labour market. It is important for young people who have finished their training to find a job quickly and for there to be enough skilled workers for companies.

Better cooperation with the franchise sector

The government and the franchise sector created a code of conduct. An independent disputes committee will also be established. These measures should improve cooperation in the sector and prevent issues like unfair distribution of income between the entrepreneur (franchisee) and the owner of the trading name (franchisor).

Retail Agenda

Customer behaviour and preferences are changing. More and more purchases are being made online. The government’s 2015 Retail Agenda describes these and other developments in the retail sector. It also lists the 20 agreements reached between the government and the retail sector. These include new ideas on combined zoning for shops, cultural establishments and hospitality businesses, and additional training for shop workers.