Government as a Bridge for Innovation

How might we boost Haarlem’s and Zandvoort’s entrepreneurial climate via technology?

As part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, currently one of Europe’s top 5 economically strong regions and projected to reach top 3 by 2025, the Municipalities of Haarlem and Zandvoort aim to be an entrepreneur-friendly region. This project aims to gain insights on the needs of local entrepreneurs and discover how technology might be utilised to best support and connect with them.

In the last months following the outbreak of COVID-19, more than 5,000 entrepreneurs have sought financial help at Haarlem and Zandvoort municipalities. The overwhelming majority of them had never been in contact with the municipality before. This striking number of professionals that would normally have no contact with their local municipality illustrates a missed opportunity to foster entrepreneurship in the area. It also sheds light to a deeper issue: the limited communication channels between local government and local entrepreneurs, whose interaction revolves only around bureaucracies for businesses, such as licensing.

Through this project, the two municipalities aim to discover how their role can change from merely a practical facilitator to a trusted advisor that actively nurtures the entrepreneurial climate of the area through supporting services and partnerships.

This project focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals: