Netherlands investing in startups and scale-ups

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Henk Kamp (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). Henk Kamp (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

The Netherlands is investing in the startup and scale-up ecosystem in the country. Next year the government is investing 50 million euros, partly into relaxing the rules for the customary wage scheme for new companies and partly into startups and small and medium sized businesses themselves, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs and State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance announced on Tuesday.

"Internationally the Netherlands is becoming more and more known as a startup country", Kamp said. "We have risen to the third fastest growing startup ecosystem in Europe. But we are not there yet, our growth ambitions remain high. It is important that innovative start- and scale-ups have sufficient investment capital and financial strength so that they can grow faster. So that the Netherlands remains a breeding ground for new products, services and business models."

The additional government investment consists of two parts. Firstly 27 million euros will be invested in relaxing the customary wage rules for innovative startups. Instead of having to pay themselves a taxable income of 44 thousand euros a year, owners and shareholders of innovative startups will be allowed to pay themselves minimum wage salaries for the first three years. Which means that more money will be available to push into the company.

Then the government is making 23 million euros available to invest in startups and small businesses along with private investors.

Between 2011 and 2014 fast growing Dutch companies provided 70 thousand extra full time jobs, according to a study by the Erasmus University. The fastest growing company in Europe is Catawiki in Assen. Last year the online auction site got 75 million euros in investments and created 300 new jobs.

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