Attracting international talent to Dutch cities

18 Aug 2017 | Genoveva Geppaart

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The Netherlands is attractive for international start-ups. However, there are still missed opportunities to attract and keep international entrepreneurial talent in cities. For this reason, the cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Groningen, together with the national government, made in 2016 a City Deal Warm Welcome for Talent. The aim is to give cities the opportunity to decide what kind of international entrepreneurs they want in their city. These entrepreneurs must be able to grow their business even if this means that they need to recruit staff from abroad.


Customer satisfaction analysis

 A working group made a customer satisfaction analysis. They looked through the eyes of an international entrepreneur at the process of settling in the Netherlands. The working group also asked how international entrepreneurs experienced this process.



Based on the findings of the customer satisfaction analysis, recommendations have been made and discussed with the target audience.

The recommendations are divided into the following categories:

  • Scouting talent and branding: promote the Netherlands actively as the place to be for international entrepreneurial talent.
  • Information services: improve information about doing business and living in the Netherlands
  • Entry to and residence in the Netherlands: allow cities to have a say in entry and residence, by improving existing regulations and creating extra facilities for start-ups.
  • Coaching: ensure a national contact point where coaching can be arranged and ensure a soft landing in the Netherlands.
  • Doing business and growing a business: help international entrepreneurs to do business in the Netherlands and increase the possibilities to hire staff from abroad.
  • Living and working: Foreign entrepreneurs are very happy with the quality of life in the Netherlands. Therefore, there are no recommendations in this category. However, international employees were not included in the customer journey. It is possible that this group would have recommendations such as availability of international schools.



 In order to ensure that the recommendations will be carried out, it is advised to continue with the working group and meet on a regular basis. The Ministry of Economic Affairs could be in charge and take action with parties that are not involved in this cooperation.


The full report can be read on  (in Dutch, but with a summary in English)

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