5 factors to consider when choosing a topic for your business idea in the Netherlands

Are you thinking of setting up a business in the Netherlands with the Startup Visa? Do you already have a business idea to start with? If so, great! If not, no worries. There are a few things you can consider to brainstorm and select business ideas that are suitable for you and the Dutch sector.

1. 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.

  1. Horticulture and propagation materials

  2. Agri-food

  3. Water

  4. Life sciences and health

  5. Chemicals

  6. High tech

  7. Energy

  8. Logistics

  9. Creative industries

Make sure to keep these sectors in mind when developing your topics!

2. Innovative product or service

The product or service is innovative if it has at least 1 of the following 3 aspects:

  1. The product or service is new to the Netherlands

  2. It involves new technology for production, distribution or marketing

  3. 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)

  • Self-developed new products or services

  • New product-market combinations

  • Social responsible enterprises

  • Original approach to energy conservation

  • Original approach to environmental/sustainability issues

  • Smart and creative adaptions or combinations for the purpose of cross-sectoral applications

  • Creative or innovative market approach

  • Social innovation

In other words, the scope is big and there are a lot of rooms for you to discover and

create innovation!

3. Value and Interest

Think about the work you have done in the past. When are you most motivated? What kind of things in your life have been pervasive for years? What kinds of things have you quickly gotten bored with?

List down some of your top motivating factors and some of your biggest boredom factors. Try to understand what drives you.

Now think about different groups of people you identify with, feel drawn to, or want to help and serve. Who are they? What do they need or want in their lives that you might be able to provide?

List down those groups of people. Try to understand the different groups of people you identify with.

4. Expertise and skills

Now let's go through your expertise and skill.

List down 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.

5. Business boosters

Business boosters are simply unfair competitive advantages that might make your life building your business much easier.

List down 1-3 topics that fit within each of the category below, plus feel free to make notes on any other potential business booster 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 breath this)

  • Booster #4: A topic that you know important/influential people within

  • Booster #5: The wild card: Other topics with business boosters you can think of

That was a good start!

That is it. The 5 factors to consider when choosing a topic for your business idea in the Netherlands and to kickstart your process of the Startup Visa application!

Need help in brainstorming and identifying the building blocks for your business idea (i.e. value proposition, target customers, channels, revenue structure, cost structure, differentiators, etc)? Or feeling overwhelmed by the Startup Visa application process?

No worries, we got you covered. Shape of Green Business offers framework and guidance to help with your business idea generation and development for the Dutch Sector. We are also specialised in business coaching and application process for your Startup Visa. We can provide you with the strategic shortcut to help you reach your goals with your Startup Visa application in the Netherlands in a guided and orderly manner.

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