Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises: the future of Amsterdam’s economy

With a package of 13 new deals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) will support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing municipalities and provinces with the resources required to help them. In Amsterdam, this initiative takes shape in the Digitalization Offensive, which has been designed to help SMEs adopt and use technology.

Across the Dutch capital, SMEs are responsible for roughly 60% of employment, making them a vital part of the local economy. However, they often have difficulty adapting to the accelerating rate of digitalization. Research conducted in support of the programme showed that many fear missing out on new opportunities, but don’t know how to make the changes required to benefit from them. 

The city is also home to many innovative companies with digitalization expertise. The offensive will bring their knowledge to SMEs in need, helping them innovate, go international and handle the challenges brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Digitalization Offensive Amsterdam

Victor Everhardt, Alderman for Finance and Economic Affairs, signed off on the Digitalization Offensive on 26 November

A joint effort to equip entrepreneurs with digital skills and knowledge

Various organisations came together in support of the new offensive, including StartupAmsterdam, MKB Amsterdam, Ready to Scale and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. By uniting these players, the offensive aims to create a community in which entrepreneurs can share their experience and ask questions.

The programme will also incorporate existing offerings, such as MKB Digital Workspace and Ready2Scale, which provide tailored guidance to SMEs through coaching and intensive training.

Speaking about the new offensive, Joël Dori, startup liaison at StartupAmsterdam, said, “The aim of our organisation is to help entrepreneurs take advantage of the possibilities that new technologies bring. While most startups are used to working with digital tools, many SMEs aren’t aware of how to utilise them and make their companies more efficient. By bringing these groups together, this programme makes them aware of the digital solutions startups can offer and how to use them. This is how we digitalize and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Amsterdam.”

Read more startup news or this article (in Dutch) about the new programme.