From startup to scale-up (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Worthhog) - Credit: From startup to scale-up (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Worthhog)
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 10:50
Research: Netherlands should boost growing firms, not just startups
Researchers at Erasmus University think that the government should focus more on fast-growing businesses, instead of only on startups. The 2,800 fast-growing companies in the Netherlands created some 70 thousand jobs over a period of three years. "They are therefore the backbone of our economy", lead researcher Justin Jansen, professor of entrepreneurship, said to ANP. The study ScaleUp Dashboard was done by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus Center of Enterpreneurship, ANP reports. The ScaleUp Dashboard is a new yearly study into fast growing companies in the Netherlands. A company is considered a fast-growing company if it shows a sales growth of at least 20 percent in a period of three years and has at least 10 employees. According to the ScaleUp Dashboard, the fast-growing companies in the Netherlands managed an average sales growth of 119 percent and employment growth of 125 percent between 2011 and 2014. On average, a fast growing company grew from 20 to 45 full-time employees in this period. The researchers noticed that much attention is paid to startups in the Netherlands. "Although startups are important for the creation of business and innovation, we must realized that starting a company is very different than achieving rapid growth", Jansen said. The Netherlands must do more to boost fast growing companies, for example by making it more fiscally attractive to invest in such companies, or even urging pension funds to put more money into them. According to the study, the Netherlands scores above average when it comes to the percentage of fast growing companies, compared to other EU countries like France and the UK. But the number of fast growing companies is rapidly decreasing. Over the past seven years, the percentage of fast growing companies decreased from 11 to 5.4 percent. Jansen calls this "alarming". "To maintain the lead we will have to focus more on stimulating and facilitating fast growing companies. They currently often fall through the gaps: there is a lot of policy for startups and policies for existing top sectors. But these regulations are often inappropriate for companies that are in-between, while they are the ones ensuring job growth."