Freelancers: the Key to Fostering Innovation & Entrepreneurialism?

Tina Amirtha looks at whether hiring a more flexible workforce is the key to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the Netherlands.

At one time, the phrase “going freelance” might have been something that you would have heard from a disgruntled colleague who had just been let go and was secretly plotting to take all of her ex-boss’s best clients.

Now, freelancing is a regular phenomenon, no matter in what part of the world you live. (Check out this infographic.) What was once a synonym for being unemployed is now a valid occupation. In a place like the Netherlands, where the national discussion is searching for ways to stimulate innovation in the economy, this is a good thing.

” Just how can the Dutch business climate foster entrepreneurship and innovation? A good answer is: hire more freelancers. “

A recent report, published last month by the European Commission, found that compared to the rest of the EU member states, the Netherlands finished as an “Innovation Follower”, in fifth place overall. The Netherlands trailed behind the pack of “Innovation Leaders” but led other Innovation Followers Luxemburg, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The Nordic member states dominated the Innovation Leaders bracket, with Sweden, Denmark and Finland taking the first, third and fourth spots, respectively, with Germany coming in second.

The Netherlands’ high ranking within the followers group is a result of its strong research system. The Dutch spend generously on public research and development programs, attract foreign doctoral students and produce internationally co-authored scientific publications.

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