Record number fast-growing companies in NL

Last year the Netherlands counted over 10 thousand fast-growing companies - a new record for the country and a 20 percent increase compared to the 8,500 fast growers in 2017, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday.

A fast-growing company is a company that increased its number of employees by at least 10 percent per year for three years in a row. The company must have at least 10 employees at the start of the growth period. The number of fast growing companies in the Netherlands increased steadily since 2014. In the period 2014 to 2018, they increased by 85 percent from 5,520 to 10,200. 

Percentage wise, the increase in fast-growing companies was comparable for different size companies. In 2018 there were 84 percent more fast-growers with 10 to 50 employees than in 2014. The number of fast-growing companies with 50 to 250 employees increased by 92 percent, and those with 250 or more workers increased by 96 percent. In absolute numbers, the increase is clearly the greatest among the smallest companies as this group contains the most companies. 

Last year, the most fast-growing companies were in business services and trade. These sectors also grew most in absolute numbers, plus 360 to 2,710 and plus 395 to 2,470 respectively. The largest percentage growth took place in the construction industry, 36 percent and plus 210 companies, and in the hospitality industry, 34 percent and plus 355 companies. At a more detailed sector level, the largest absolute growth happened in food and beverage companies with plus 320, wholesale and trade brokerage services at plus 185, employment agencies and job placement services at plus 180, retail trade at plus 150, and specialized construction at plus 130.

In 2017 over two-thirds of the fast-growing companies were run by only men. Only 7 percent of these companies were solely owned by female entrepreneurs, and 26 percent were run by both men and women. 

Last month a group of Dutch investors announced that they will only support companies with women among their executives. The 25 funds together manage an estimated 1.1 billion euros in invested capital - about a quarter of the total assets managed by Dutch venture investors.