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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.10 Promotion of entrepreneurship culture

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Special events and activities
  2. Networks and partnerships

Special events and activities

Young entrepeneurs

The business foundation Jong Ondernemen (Young Entrepreneurs) plays an important role in promoting entrepreneurship for young people. The foundation Young Entrepreneurship aims to inspire young people and challenge them to build an enterprising future. This happens through educational programmes and experience based projects for all education levels. Young Entrepreneurs cooperates with private organizations like the ABN AMRO Bank and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Examples of the activities of Young Entrepreneurs:

  • Young Entrepreneurs is the Dutch partner of the global Social Innovation Relay programme in which secondary education pupils are challenged to develop a socially innovative concept that addresses a social or environmental problem and contributes to a better world. After a classroom programme and an assessment of the concepts developed, the top 20 teams are supported by a mentor of financial services company NN Group to turn their concept into a feasible plan. The best team from the Netherlands will participate in the global competition.
  • Schools for secondary vocational education (MBO) can participate in the SPEED-You-UP entrepreneurship programme, which is supported by the European Union. The objective is to reduce the number of dropouts and NEETs. Students participate in teams and discover their talents, experience what it is like to start their own business, develop entrepreneurial skills and develop their own business idea that meets the needs of their environment. Teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals offer guidance and coaching.
  • During Student Company, students at universities of applied sciences set up and run their own company during one academic year. They divide positions, determine the target group, brainstorm about their product, write a business plan, sell shares and keep financial records. Students experience in a practical way what it is like to run their own business. They discover their talents and develop important skills. Students participating in the programme can also participate in events like the Start-Up Festival and Pitch Battles.


For more information about the activities of Young Entrepreneurs please see programma’s and events.


Contest for young entrepreneurs

Each year, young entrepreneurs from the northern provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe compete to receive the Young Entrepreneurs Award (Jonge Ondernemersprijs). The award comes with extra prizes, such as a master class, an advisory programme and membership of the Young Northern Entrepreneurs network (Jonge Noordelijke Ondernemers). Part of the contest programme are video pitches, assessments and business visits. The contest is sponsored by the provincial authorities, municipalities, businesses and service providers for entrepreneurs.


Networks and partnerships

The Dutch government (in English) is helping entrepreneurs to access networks because good networks help businesses grow. All entrepreneurs are offered access to (Ondernemersplein), the online place where entrepreneurs can access services from a range of agencies like the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) and the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). Specific information is offered to young entrepreneurs, like students.


Another important network at the national and regional level is the largest employers’ organization VNO-NCW (in English). VNO-NCW represents the interests of Dutch business and industry and provides a range of services to its members. VNO-NCW strives to represent its members' interests by promoting a high quality business environment and investment climate in the Netherlands, with a view to boosting the competitiveness of Dutch industry. VNO-NCW also maintains special links with a variety of other organizations. These include the five regional employers' associations affiliated to VNO-NCW. These associations represent regional business interests, provide services to their regional members and encourage networking between those members.