For centuries, the Low Countries had an open door policy with regard to foreign entrepreneurs. A considerable part of the affluence in the Golden Age came from foreign business owners who were allowed to settle in the Netherlands, start a company here, and then made it big. Things have changed considerably. These days, most non-EU or non-EEA entrepreneurs have to jump through considerable hoops before they are allowed to legally reside here.
There is some good news, though. The focus now is on attracting ‘human capital’. With that in mind, the Dutch cabinet has decided to partly re-introduce its open door policy, and allow easier access for one subset of foreigners; the start-up entrepreneur. Ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs are of importance to the Dutch economy as a source of innovation, new jobs, globalization and increased productivity. The start-up entrepreneur policy change is meant to create an attractive environment for business and establishment.
Patrick Rovers: firstname.lastname@example.org