Dutch startups are the #1 job growth engine in the Netherlands

Dutch startups account for more than 109K jobs in the Netherlands, 25K of which were created in the last three years.

The second edition of our report on Dutch startup jobs in partnership with, Techleap.nl and CBRE finds that startups are the number one job growth engine in the Netherlands. Startups account for higher job growth than any individual sector, and have shown strong resilience during Covid-19.

Report - Dutch startups are the #1 job growth engine in the Netherlands

Key stats

  • Dutch startups account for 109,000 jobs, 25,000 of which were created in the last three years, an average of +8% annual growth
  • Startups are the #1 job growth engine, creating jobs faster than any individual sector
  • Startup job growth has shown resilience at +4% during Covid-19, higher than any sector
  • 57% of new startups jobs were created by companies under 5 years old
  • Startup jobs are spread all over the country, 60% of the start-up jobs are located outside of North Holland
  • Investment-backed startups grow 3x faster than their peers

#1  for job growth

Dutch startups account for 109K jobs, and continue to be the leading job growth engine in the Netherlands. With 8% annual growth over the last three years, startup jobs are growing faster than any individual sector.

Startups are still hiring – Covid-19 has had an impact on jobs in every sector, but startups have shown the most resilience.

While many sectors have frozen hiring or contracted headcount in 2020, startup jobs are still growing, with openings up 4% year on year in Q2 2020, more than any individual sector. In the last three years, startups have created more than 25K new jobs. 

Beyond unicorns and Amsterdam

While $1 billion+ startups get much of the attention, startup jobs are evenly spread across large, medium and small startups. The top 10 startup employers account for 77% of ecosystem value, but just 14% of jobs.

57% of new startup roles in the last 3 years were created by companies less than 5 years old. 

While Amsterdam leads for startup employment, startup jobs are spread across the whole country – 60% of startup jobs are based outside of Noord-Holland.

Investment fuels growth

Investment-backed startups and scaleups hire bigger and faster than non-funded startups. Investment shows high-growth returns in terms of job creation. Venture-backed startups grow their teams 3x faster than their peers.

There is strong evidence that the Dutch startup ecosystem would benefit from more investment.  Compared with peers elsewhere in Europe, Dutch startups are significantly less funded.

Sector specialization

Diving beyond the headline figures reveals a nuanced picture of regional sector strengths for Dutch provinces.

In Gelderland, foodtech startups are taking off in the vicinity of one of the world’s leading Food Science research centres, Wageningen University. The Hague, synonymous around the world with the legal sector, over-indexes in creating impact, legal and security startups. Rotterdam, one of Europe’s largest ports has doubled down on energy, industrial tech and manufacturing in Zuid Holland. And the home of Dutch semiconductors is in Noord-Brabant, centred around Brainport, Eindhoven.

Together the Dutch provinces make up a complementary, diversified tech ecosystem.

Report - Dutch startups are the #1 job growth engine in the Netherlands