Amsterdam, September 16th 2020 – In response to the presented Miljoenennota (EN: National Budget), is Dutch Startup Association (DSA) moderately positive about the plans. The proposed scheme mainly emphasises job retention, whereas there is substantially less concrete information for startups and their value in this scenario. Additionally, their role is insufficiently stimulated. Therefore, DSA would like to invite the authorities to discuss not only the earning capacity, but also the innovative capacity in The Netherlands.

The COVID-19 crisis provides an excellent opportunity for stimulating innovation, as the financial crisis in 2008 demonstrated that it created the economy of the future. In the short run, a wave of dismissal of startups seems inevitable, despite the recently announced third supporting package, the European recovery fund and the financial resources made available in the special scale-up fund and via ROMs. 

The announcement of the Nationaal Groeifonds (EN: National Growth Fund) and the Bedrijvenpakket  (EN: insurance for companies) are a step in the right direction to knowledge development, innovation and infrastructure, but there is still a lack of specific informatie and it seems that the vision is more focused on job retention, rather than job creation. The supporting package would with wide support from European co-investments via EIF’s, as well as local ROMs, invest in new companies and consequently, stimulate the growth of startups.

“All announcements centre around existing companies, such as larger startups and scale-ups, leaving us too little focus to stimulate innovation, the workforce and our international competitive position in the long run. By focusing solely on established enterprise, we will weaken the current ecosystem. The current scheme is aimed at investing in the earning capacity and to recover from the crisis, but it still raises questions about its details. Where is the guts to proceed for the capacity of innovation, by fully investing in companies who create the jobs of our future generation?” – Lucien Burm. 

Hereby, DSA invites the government to discuss how we can, besides the earning capacity, actively invest in the innovative capacity of The Netherlands.

“Startups are the engine, the economy of tomorrow, for which we have to fight collectively. Resilience is a part of every startup’s DNA. If we want to build on a buoyant economy, then we ought to see that startups are the centre of it.” – Burm.

If you have any questions related to the matters discussed on Prinsjesdag, please contact Pieter Veldhuizen (responsible for Public Affairs) by sending an email to

Photo credits: Ministry of Finance