A businessman standing in the woods

Northern regions largest growers in Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Index 2024

The three largest growing ecosystems in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Index 2024 are northern regions. The index, published annually by Birch and Utrecht University, measures the vitality of entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Netherlands based on 10 criteria, including leadership, funding, networks and talent.

What does the EE Index entail?

The entrepreneurship ecosystem is seen as a dynamic network of actors and factors, where entrepreneurship is viewed as the process by which individuals identify and exploit opportunities to create new value. The concept of the "ecosystem" emphasizes the interdependence of the actors involved and the role of context in facilitating entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are crucial players within this ecosystem, leveraging local resources and actors to foster productive entrepreneurship. The index often shows a positive correlation between the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the presence of innovative startups and scale-ups.

Importance for policymakers

The role of government in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is critical: it can strengthen or weaken the ecosystem through policy interventions. Thinking in terms of entrepreneurship ecosystems gives policymakers tools to formulate effective policies. All three of Drenthe's sub-regions are showing growth, and the province of Groningen saw one sub-region strengthen, Overig Groningen (the city region of Groningen) growing into one of the strongest ecosystems in the Netherlands. Northern regions benefit from increased investment in knowledge and innovation led by strong actors in the Groningen City Region, as well as improved access to funding.

Role NOM

NOM has played an important role in this positive development. With initiatives such as "Gold of the North," ecosystem development within the green chemistry, energy, water technology, maritime, Life Sciences & Health, smart manufacturing and agrifood sectors, and a significant volume of funding, NOM stimulates cooperation in the region.