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Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands

the top sectors

As part of the presentation of three OECD reviews concerning The Netherlands, a new edition of Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands was also handed out. This eleventh edition deals with top sectors and their importance to the Dutch economy. In 2010, the Dutch government introduced a new policy framework regarding the business sector. Besides generic measures to strengthen the business environment for all companies as a whole, there is also a specific policy track to improve the performance of a number of important business sectors by building good eco-systems of government, knowledge institutes and businesses. Products and technologies produced by these sectors are important because they can provide solutions for societal problems.

In a special break out session of the event, two of the authors Sander Wennekers (Panteia) and Dirk Pilat (OECD), gave a short lecture about entrepreneurship and business dynamics from an international perspective, paying specific attention to the implications for the Dutch business sector policy, including the role of the top sector approach.

Sander Wennekers showed that in 25 years entrepreneurship in the Netherlands has grown drastically. The share of start-ups in the Netherlands is nowadays amongst the highest on the TEA-index (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor). Despite this however,, the ambitions of Dutch starters are rather low. Starters are often solo entrepreneurs with a prevalence for entrepreneurship. A large share of starters is also not, in principle, favorable to the economy and a certain balance in business dynamics is needed to keep the economy fit. Dirk Pilat stated that international comparisons deliver the indisputable evidence that start-ups create most jobs, more than old firms, even in recession. In the context of the ‘top sector policy’ it is important that these developments are also studied at the sectoral level and, where necessary, policy should be adjusted. Another important point of attention is access to finance for start-ups and small enterprises, banks are nowadays prudent in granting credits. The government can enhance the entrepreneurial climate by introducing fiscal measures and stimulating alternative forms of financing.

The presentation was held on Thursday 24th of April at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague.

Please download the publication ‘Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands: The topsectors’ here.

OECD also has the following reports::
Links referenced
OECD Economic Survey of the Netherlands
OECD Review of Innovation Policy in the Netherlands
OECD Territorial Review of the Netherlands



Go directly to our dataset section with information about COMPENDIA and The Global Entrpreneurship Monitor.