Shape of Green Business helps non-EU entrepreneurs with approachable business coaching for the startup visa application (incl. business modelling, development of step-by-step plan document, introduction and pitching to startup facilitators) and providing practical guidance until the submission of the startup visa application to IND.
Are you a non-EU national who is looking to set up a business in the Netherlands? Congratulations! In 2015, the Dutch government passed a startup visa regulation to make it easier for non-EU nationals to start their own businesses in the Netherlands. In order to be eligible for the Dutch startup visa, one of the requirements is that you must have an innovative business idea.
But, what does "innovative" mean? The word may sound overwhelming, but not to worry - in this article, we will lay out the things you should consider when brainstorming, developing and selecting business ideas for you and the Dutch sector.
Relevance to the Dutch top sectors
The Netherlands' innovative top sectors are among the world's best. In order to be eligible for the startup visa, your idea has to be related to one of the following top Dutch sectors:
- Horticulture and propagation materials
- Life sciences and health
- High tech
- Creative industries
Make sure to keep these sectors in mind when developing your topics!
Innovative product or service
The product or service is innovative if it has at least one of the following three aspects:
- The product or service is unique / new to the Netherlands
- It involves new technology for production, distribution or marketing
- It involves an innovative organisational procedure and method
Examples of innovative product or service include the following:
- Business activities stimulated within the context of the Dutch Top Sectors (See above)
- New / creative product-market combinations
- Socially responsible enterprises
- An original approach to environmental / sustainability issues
- Smart and creative adaptions or cross-sectoral innovations
As you can see from the list above, the scope is big and there is a lot of room for you to discover and create innovation!
Value and interest
Think about the work you have done in the past. When are you most motivated? List some of your top motivating factors and some of your biggest boredom factors. Try to understand what drives you.
Now, think about the different groups of people you identify with or feel drawn to. Who are they? What do they need in their lives that you might be able to provide? Note down those groups of people. Try to understand them.
Expertise and skills
Now, let's go through your expertise and skills. List everything you are good at or everything you could become good at (that could be a business). Remember: it is also fine to choose a topic that you are not yet already an expert in. You will learn more about it along the way.
Business boosters are simply "unfair competitive advantages" that might make your life while building your business much easier.
List 1-3 topics that fit within each of the categories below, plus feel free to make notes about any other potential business booster ideas you might have.
- Booster #1: A new and fast-growing topic
- Booster #2: Something you are already an expert at
- Booster #3: Something you love, almost in an unhealthy way (you eat, sleep and breathe this)
- Booster #4: A topic wherein you know important / influential people
- Booster #5: The wild card: other topics with business boosters you can think of
In short: innovative ideas are everywhere
Do not get overwhelmed by the word "innovation" as one of the Dutch startup visa requirements. Pause and think: what is your biggest source of satisfaction? What is your biggest source of frustration? What problem do you think the world needs to solve in 20 years time?
Do you need help in brainstorming and further sharpening your business ideas for the Dutch startup visa application? Or do you simply want to learn more about the business coaching and hand-holding support for the Dutch startup visa application for non-EU entrepreneurs? Do not hesitate to contact Priska Prasetya from Shape of Green Business. Get your FREE 30-minute chat now.