On the picture Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
By Joe Ray.
Hundreds of Dutch entrepreneurs gathered in The Hague on 9 September for the second annual National Entrepreneurs’ Day hosted by ONL, voor Ondernemers (Entrepreneurial Netherlands).
The day began with an international breakfast, attended by ambassadors and embassy representatives from a diverse group of countries. Guests were introduced to ONL by its co-founders, Hans Biesheuvel and Mirjam Bink, who explained that the organisation seeks to build bridges between businesses and facilitate entrepreneurship in the Netherlands and beyond.
For additional pictures, please open the following link: http://gallery.twycer.nl/album/onl-nod2016#1.
The highlight of the morning was a speech by HRH Prince Constantijn, ONL special envoy. The Prince began by observing that entrepreneurship and innovation drive the economy and create jobs for the future. National Entrepreneurs’ Day is a wonderful occasion for bridge-building, he added.
It is not easy to start or grow a business, and many start-ups do not succeed in the long term. But ONL brings the best entrepreneurs together, and arranges missions worldwide to develop networks and help entrepreneurs make the right connections.
Breakfast was followed by three masterclasses, featuring expert analysis on global economic trends and corporate social responsibility. Meanwhile, a ‘speed-dating’ session provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect directly with participating embassies and organisations.
The morning concluded with a presentation on tomorrow’s entrepreneurial economy by Pieter Waasdorp, director of entrepreneurship at the Department of Economic Affairs.
After lunch the programme proceeded with a range of workshops and a presentation from Minister of Economic Affairs, H.E. Henk Kamp. There followed a discussion forum with the parliamentary leaders of four of the Netherlands’ political parties. Then came the launch of Megatrends MKB, a new book by Adjiedj Bakas and Hans Biesheuvel exploring the latest and most important trends among small and medium enterprises in the Netherlands.
Next on the agenda was the much-anticipated announcement of the National Entrepreneur of the Year 2016. This prestigious award was presented to Marco van Zijverden of Dutch Flower Group, who was congratulated on the success and continual growth of his family business since 1999.
The programme concluded with an appearance from Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who took the stage for a discussion with ONL co-founder Hans Biesheuvel before the floor was opened to questions from the audience. After a lively Q&A session with the Prime Minister, attendees enjoyed a networking reception which brought the event to a close.
Diplomat Magazine is honored of having sponsored this magnificent event, we are looking forward to see you again in 2017.