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Access to finance

23 October 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 05 July 2012

There are several paths to obtaining secure finance for a business in the Netherlands. The Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel - KvK) provides an overview of these.


Public finance

Indirect support

Micro-financing is the umbrella term for all financial and similar services aimed at facilitating access to funding for business. The Micro-Financing Knowledge Centre, created by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, aims to promote micro-financing in the Netherlands.


Sound finance can be crucial for building a stable business. There are several ways to obtain it, and the Chamber of Commerce provides an overview of these.

Where can I get funding?

External sources of equity :

Business angels

NYSE Euronext

Dutch Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

Direct support

Subsidies are available to entrepreneurs in a variety of fields, such as innovations and start-ups. There are also incentive measures and tax breaks, e.g. profit exemptions for small and medium-sized businesses and self-employed person's allowances.

The National Budget Advisory Institute (Nibud) informs and advises consumers on money issues. The Moneybook for Entrepreneurs is aimed at business starters, but is also useful for long-established entrepreneurs.

Budget information

If you want to export, expand abroad or start a joint venture, a range of information on different forms of finance is available:

Forms of finance

Information from the Dutch government can be found on the website, which lists at a glance all the various relevant dos and don'ts, e.g. licences and requirements, laws and regulations, taxes and subsidies.

Government information on finance

Access to EU funding

The European Union Structural Funds are designed to support regions lagging behind in order to reduce the gap between them and the EU average. The following Structural Funds are available for this purpose:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): development and support for activities geared to small and medium-sized businesses.

European Regional Development Fund

European Social Fund (ESF): labour market policy, education and training.

European Social Fund

Private finance

External sources of loans:

  • bank loans and guarantee systems;
  • loans from family/friends and the venture capital system;
  • Regional Enterprise Development units;
  • Development Capital companies;
  • start-ups with benefits;
  • local start-up funds;
  • special initiatives such as business angels.

Types of credit

Obviously a business needs to find out which sources of funding are most appropriate for it. The main criterion is most likely going to be the amount of funding required. SME Credit offers businesses a guide to the various available possibilities.

Rules on business funding

Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.

Business support — Netherlands

Source: Your Europe

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