International success for forty entrepreneurs from the Hague region thanks to the Internationalization Program IMEC

23rd December 2022

On Thursday afternoon, December 15, InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency looked back at two years of International Market Entry Coaching (IMEC) in Spaces ‘Rode Olifant’ in The Hague. In two years, IMEC guided forty entrepreneurs from the The Hague region to the British, German and Danish markets. The program prepares SMEs for international success in nine months and thus improved the competitive position and employment of the region. IMEC was part of the SME deal ‘International business for and by SMEs’ of the municipality of The Hague and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Saskia Bruines, alderman for Economy of the municipality of The Hague, emphasizes the importance of this internationalization program and shared her pride in the achieved objectives. “The program has helped all kinds of entrepreneurs: from family businesses to entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry. The success, the knowledge gained and shared experiences show that internationalization is still high on the agenda of the broad SME sector in The Hague. For many entrepreneurs, this was the first time they had entered a foreign market. In neighboring countries, yes, but with a different culture, business rules and language. The success has of course been achieved in the first place by the entrepreneurs themselves. But with valuable support from the governments, THBA, IQ and the partner council. Due to great success, we continue to encourage entrepreneurs to operate internationally.” In 2023, the guidance of ten SMEs will start to markets in Germany, Denmark or Sweden. To make the program future-proof, further regionalization will be pursued from then on.

Participating companies

Prior to the announcement, the alderman spoke with Robert van der Zwan and Annette Wijering, Director of International Business at the RVO. Participants of the latest IMEC class received their diplomas and shared their experiences and acquired knowledge and insights in a panel discussion. The companies that received their diploma were: BBBLS, BonCode, Buro BRAND, ePay, Hop & Stork, Human Insight, InnoSer, Interactive Robotics, Iron Roots, Isuna, Laveen, Logsign, Lytho, Naìf Good Care, Novasole, Quattor P , Semansys, Six Dogs, Tiller, vBoxx, Wholy Greens and Zarttech. The end-of-year event was concluded with a networking drink in the atrium of the Red Elephant.

Dinesh Persad, Interactive Robotics: company focuses on the possibilities of robotics in healthcare and in the classroom: “The IMEC program has prepared me well for my first interviews in Germany, so I know exactly what is going on in the German market. Our market entrance strategy differs completely from our approach in the Netherlands. IMEC has saved us a lot of time, I could never have figured this out on my own in such a short period of time.”

Want to grow across the border?

Are you an SME entrepreneur in the region of The Hague and do you want to take the leap abroad after reading this message? InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency help ambitious entrepreneurs with a free business boot camp for a flying start on the international market. For 2023 we are looking for 10 SME organizations from the Hague region. More information via innovationquarter.nl/imec