The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010, published in late August, seems at first glance to paint a very positive picture of entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. According to the Monitor, the Netherlands now has the highest number of start-up businesses in Europe. In 2010, no less than 7.2% of the adult population was involved in establishing a start-up business or managing a business that had been up and running for less than 3.5 years.
So on the face of it, entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in the Netherlands. In fact, it’s healthier than it has been for decades. However, the Monitor also notes the shortcomings – or weaknesses – of the Dutch entrepreneurial world. Foremost among these is the modest level of product and business innovation. Partly as a result of this lack of innovation, the Netherlands has at best an average score in terms of the number of fast-growing businesses.