Research shows that the number of entrepreneurs in the Netherlands is on the rise. A study by Paul de Graaf (TSB) says this is attributable to “the ICT revolution, which has helped to lower coordination costs for economic transactions and has generated networks in the space between major multinationals and smaller businesses. Increasing prosperity, in addition, has boosted demand for individualized and specialized products and services, making it more difficult to maximize economies of scale.” The government has also taken a more active approach to sustaining entrepreneurship. The University, finally, is also convinced that it is vital for all students to develop an enterprising mindset.
Courses and clubs
To that purpose, it offers several incentives: there are business courses; there is an Academic Business Club for students; and there is an annual award for the Best Entrepreneurial Student Initiative. Last but not least, there is the University’s participation in Starterslift, which is an organization that supports knowledge-intensive, technology-based and creative starting entrepreneurs from Tilburg University and the Avans, Fontys and Breda Universities of Applied Sciences. They also support start-ups in the Tilburg-Breda region who are hoping to launch products, services or concepts onto the market. In the 2017 lustrum year, Starterslift moved into Hall 88, an old industrial venue in the Tilburg railway zone that has been converted a into business community complex named Station 88. In its 2016 annual report, Starterslift estimated that the contribution of young, highly qualified entrepreneurs in the region amounted to approximately 68 million euros and that the number of full-time jobs was almost 700. Well over 550 enterprises were admitted to Starterslift programs.