Government red tape ties up and slows down Dutch start-ups

Cutting red tapeThe government’s campaign to encourage more start-up companies to set up operations in the Netherlands is floundering because of red tape and bureaucracy, the Financieele Dagblad says on Tuesday.

The paper has polled a number of entrepreneurs and found many are unable to take advantage of 30 or so subsidies and other schemes available. The government still has some way to go to achieve its ambitions, the paper says.

Launching the plan in March, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said ‘it is important that entrepreneurs get better access to capital, expertise, innovation, each other and world markets’.

The biggest subsidy scheme is the WBSO which has a budget of €794m and provides subsidies for wage costs during development.

While entrepreneurs praise the scheme in principle, ‘it takes three months before you get a reaction from them,’ said Erik Recter of Kidswatcher, which makes children’s watchs with a gps transmitter.

Another €6.4m scheme to stimulate the development of prototypes is also bogged down with bureaucracy, the paper says. ‘By the time they got round to assessing our application they said we were too far advanced,’ Bastiaan Burgwal of Sparkholder told the paper.

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