The Dutch government supports you with your export plan
The Dutch government has a number of subsidy arrangements for exporting companies. Most of them are awarded in rounds, and you have to submit extensive plans, but the Starters International Business arrangement is relatively easy to apply for.
The Starters International Business (SIB) coaching voucher entitles you on support from an export advisor for the worth of 2,400 EUR. Mostly this is done in 4 coaching sessions, including preparations and sometimes some research.
Alliance experts is accredited to provide the SIB coaching
Alliance experts is one of the parties accredited by RvO to do the coaching. We currently work with two advisors in the Netherlands, Alfred Griffioen, based in Utrecht, and Judith de Leede, based in Den Bosch. Alfred is more into financial issues and technical industries, Judith has a focus on retail and industries like fashion and cosmetics. We have no problem doing the coaching sessions and reporting in English with you.
Since Alliance experts is a network of export advisors in over 30 countries, both can tap onto the knowlegde of their colleagues and involve them in the coaching sessions. This way you will get your information first hand. It also means that we are not biased and try to get you to the country where we have experience. We can offer you a broad choice.
Advisory sessions and market reseach
The goal of the arrangement is to help you with your export plans. In order to do so, we will do four sessions of approximately two hours with you, in which we will focus on the following:
- What is the background of your company and how does international business fit in this?
- What is your strongest product or service, what is your target group and can do you have a distinguishing value proposition for abroad?
- Which countries are the most feasible to export to? Will you work with partners or do you want to set up your own sales, online or offline?
- What are the steps to realise your international ambitions and what does this mean in terms of investments and revenue?
Apart from this we search with you for concrete market data. Here we can use our worldwide network, for example to get a first impression of the chances of your product in a specific country, or to have a closer look at your competition. If your plans are already more concrete than this is mostly more useful than just coaching meetings.
The full procedure to apply for a coaching voucher
You can apply for the voucher on the website of the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RvO). Just follow the steps below:
- First apply for e-Herkenning. This is a digital way to identify yourself. There are a number of e-herkenning providers in the Netherlands, but only Digidentity offers the complete application in English. You need e-herkenning on level 1 at least, which will cost you 9 EUR per year.
- Go to the RvO web page on individual coaching (here). On the right hand side click 'Aanvragen en beheren'. Beware it doesn't work so well with the Safari browser.
- You will then have to login with your e-herkenning, and will be redirected to an application page. In the top-menu of the window that pops up, choose 'Aanvragen'
- Select the third button 'Aanvragen', for the SIB coachingsvouchers
- Select 'Aanvrager' and click 'Verder'
- You will see your company details. Click 'Verder'
- Choose you 'Vestigingsadres' (office address) and fill out your personal details.
- You have to be an 'mkb-onderneming', and SME, according to the EU guidelines (at least having less than 250 employees). If you are part of a cluster of companies, then you will have to look at the total. The main legal entity has to be in the Netherlands.
- The SBI code indicates what the primary activity is of your company. You can see the full list in English here.
- You will also have to indicate the percentage of turnover that your company gets from abroad. As this is an arrangement for starters in international business, this should not bee too high.
- Fill our whether you are registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce for longer (Ja) or Shorter (Nee) than three years.
- Fill out whether you are in financial problems or a bankruptcy procedure (preferably 'Nee')
- Fill out whether your company or any company in your group has already participated in this arrangement (should be 'Nee').
- You can then choose a project name for your application. 'Opstellen exportplan' is always a safe choice, or an English title.
- You will have to indicate what your question is that you want to answer with this subsidy arrangement. Please note that the arrangement is meant for orientation on export, not for direct acquisition or finding business partners. The description can be in English.
- You wil then have to select a company that will coach you, the 'Uitvoerder', and this can be Alliance experts. If you want us, and you don't see our name as an option under 'Uitvoerder', then select 'Nieuwe organisatie toevoegen'. In the field that appears select 'Ja', and then add the KvK number 59595906, and click 'Gegevens ophalen'. You should be able to select Alliance experts BV now.
- For the 'Contactpersoon', just select (only the mandatory fields)
- The next two questions you can answer with 'Ja', since we are already accredited by RvO
- Just tick the box if you think you are a decent company that does not violate any laws
- On the question 'Is er al eerder steun verleend' you can answer 'Nee' and leave the 'Toelichting' open, at least if this is the first time that you ask for subsidy for your export plans.
- Tick the boxes under 'Verklaring'
- Select 'Ja', that the contact person also is the one who signs this application.
- Then press 'Versturen'
You should get an approval letter within two weeks, and this means that you can start with the project. It would be great if you would notify Judith or Alfred that you have made the application, then we can already plan the first session.
Contract with Alliance experts
Alliance experts will then ask you to sign a short additional contract with us. The two main things in this contract are:
- You will have to pay 21% VAT over our services, so on a total of 2400 EUR this will be 504 EUR. The voucher covers only for 2400 EUR, so you will have to pay the 504 EUR to us. No worries, if you have a VAT (BTW) registration, you can deduct this amount from the VAT that you have to pay.
- In case for any reason you don't finish the coaching trajectory, or the voucher expires, or there is any other reason why RvO won't pay out the subsidy, you will still have to pay us for the sessions so far.
We will be happy to explain all this in detail.