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Internationaal ondernemen

International Business

The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter offer SMEs in The Hague region a roadmap to successfully enter the German or British markets.

The deadline for applying has passed. If you want more information or pre-register for the next programme, please contact Elisa van Maanen, Project Manager Internationalization & Trade via e.vanmaanen@thehague.com or 06-12367036. 

International market entry support for SMEs in The Hague

Is your business based in The Hague region and ready to take a leap across borders? Are you dreaming of lucrative success with our German neighbours or tapping into the market potential of the United Kingdom? We offer ambitious SME entrepreneurs a unique programme to help them flourish: International Market Entry Coaching and (IMEC). Intensive, personal guidance with workshops and relevant contacts to make that successful international step. The IMEC programme is part of the SME deal, comprising regional support for SMEs in the Hague region. The initiative is run by InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency on behalf of the Municipality of The Hague. Participation is free of charge.

“To stay ahead of the curve, it is of utmost importance for software developers to grow user numbers. For that reason, we wanted to set foot in the German market. The legal guidance within the IMEC programme was especially important and helped us make a flying start in Germany. We now have a team of four employees covering the German market.” 

~ Thomas van den Ende, Dyflexis  

Expand across borders

Is your business based in The Hague region? Would your product or service be relevant beyond the Dutch market? Perhaps you are reaching your earning limits in the Netherlands. Then taking a step towards the international market is the next logical move, for instance by exporting or setting up a subsidiary in the country of your choice. For SME entrepreneurs with their sights set on Germany or the United Kingdom, we offer the International Market Entry Coaching programme.  

Why these markets? Let us take a closer look. 

Germany & United Kingdom

Win the hearts of the Germans 

  • More than 80 million people 

  • Third largest economy in the world 

  • Traditionally, an important trade partner with NL 

  • Trade volume NL/DE in 2020: 172 billion euros 

  • Innovative companies 

  • Qualified and motivated workforce 

  • Excellent infrastructure 

  • Exceptional performance in research and development 

  • Open border with NL 

“Germany offers Dutch entrepreneurs a treasure trove of opportunities to spread their wings. We look forward to guiding another enthusiastic group of SMEs in The Hague towards the German market.” 

~ Günter Gülker, Director of the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce 

Capitalise on the historic trade ties with the British

  • More than 66 million people 

  • Top-5 trade partner with NL 

  • Long history of trade relations 

  • Many Dutch companies already trade with British partners 

  • Good investment climate 

  • Minimal language barrier 

  • Comparable business culture 

  • Highly educated, qualified and motivated workforce 

  • Nearby and easily accessible from NL 

“The United Kingdom is an interesting country to do business with. It’s a wonderful thought that the fifth largest economy in the world is on our doorstep. Thanks to centuries of trade relations, it is quite easy for the Dutch to find their way in the UK.” 

~ Lyne Biewinga, Members-Director at the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce 

IMEC: nine months of business bootcamp  

The International Market Entry Coaching programme prepares you for successful business entry to Germany or the United Kingdom in just nine months. Experts from The Hague Business Agency, InnovationQuarter, the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce present joint workshops and offer personal guidance. The ultimate goal is to help you plan for optimal success, rather than being thrown in at the deep end. Does that appeal to you?  

IMEC Programme

Joint workshops 

  • Marketing and PR 

  • Cultural awareness 

  • Legal and taxes

Personal guidance

  • Country strategy planning with native experts  

  • Market analyses 

  • Marketing strategy 

  • Legal and fiscal advice 

  • Contact with trade representatives and importers  

  • Contact with marketing and PR agencies 

Extra benefits

  • The guidance programme is free of charge 

  • Access to networking events 

Participation conditions 

We help to maximise your business success. But we expect certain things from you in return. Although participation is free of charge, there is a time cost. You can expect to spend two or three half-days per month on different parts of the programme and we would like you to be present for the joint elements. If there is absolutely no way for you to attend, we request that you are represented by a decision maker from your company. We also anticipate that you will share your experiences through interviews or short presentations to inspire other entrepreneurs in The Hague region.  

Who are we? 

The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter are running the SME deal on behalf of the Municipality of the Hague and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The aim is to boost regional initiatives and projects that strengthen SMEs in The Hague region. 

International entrepreneurs are often more innovative and invest more in R&D. With access to a larger sales market, they are also less dependent on local market developments, have greater resilience and are better able to compete. All sound reasons to support companies in The Hague region with their cross-border ambitions.  

The knowledge and international networks we can offer via the International Market Entry Coaching programme help bolster SMEs, both locally and internationally, from The Hague region. 

Apply before 31 May! 

All SMEs in The Hague region with serious cross-border ambitions can apply for the International Market Entry Coaching programme. Do not be deterred just because you think certain sectors have a better chance of success. The programme is open to all products and services. You can apply online for the programme until 31 May. 

Selection of participants 
To become successful in Germany or the United Kingdom, you need more than a dream and a good dose of entrepreneurial flair. The selection committee assesses applications based on the following criteria.  

  • Overall impression of business activities  

  • Motivation of the entrepreneur 

  • Feasibility and potential for the German or British markets 

  • Fit between the ambitions of the entrepreneur and the programme 

  • Current business indicators 

  • Scalability of the product or service 



For more information please contact Elisa van Maanen, Project Manager Internationalization & Trade via e.vanmaanen@thehague.com or 06-12367036.