Rotterdam school to teach welfare recipients business skills

A school is opening in Rotterdam that will teach welfare recipients how to take the first steps as an entrepreneur. EingenBaas Avondschool (Own Boss Night School in English) is the first of its kind in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.

This free-of-charge night school is a joint initiative of the Rotterdam municipality, benefits agency UWV, ROC and Qredits Microfinanciering Nederland, which has been providing loans to startups and existing companies in the Netherlands since 2009.

The courses start in September and will be held on the Albeda College. By the end of the 10 week course, participants will have their own business plan to pitch to banks, coaches, entrepreneurs and Qredits. Participants will get guidance and lessons from lecturers, experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals. The course will also cover all themes including personal effectiveness, market research, strength-weakness-analysis, social media and financing.

The night school is already popular, with 30 applications already received.

According to Qredits director Elwin Groenevelt, the organization has a lot of experience in helping people set up their own business. "Over the past six years we've granted 8 thousand loans totaling 160 million euros to starting and existing businesses." he said to the Telegraaf "We already have e-learning courses and coaches who guide participants for six months to a year. It seems fine to us to also do that now in a class context so that people can share experiences." Qredits also already offers Own Boss programs to ROC students across the country. "We now converted that for welfare recipients."

Qredits plans to open similar schools in Eindhoven and Almelo. "If this is a success, we want 40 of this kind of night schools next week", Groenevelt said.