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Several interesting industry opportunities in the Netherlands

Updated on 19 February 2024

If you choose to start or continue a business in the Netherlands, you are lucky enough to choose from several very successful industries. The Dutch are well known for their innovative spirit, their architectural prowess as well as their openness to new ideas. In short; the Netherlands are a true heaven for any starting entrepreneur.

1.     Service & design

Both the design sector and the service market are firmly rooted in the Dutch economy. It’s profitable to open an online business in the Netherlands, due to the high accessibility to many clients who are mostly bilingual. The design sector has also seen an expansion, since it now also encompasses strategic advice, policy development and combining already existing products and services. Amsterdam still holds one of the most advanced design industries in the world, excelling in branding and technology.

2.     Lifestyle market

Next to design, there is also a very active lifestyle sector in the Netherlands. This particular sector is very dynamic, since its foundation consists of rapidly changing customer behavior. This goes for both in-store purchases as well as online purchases, although the latter categorically falls under e-commerce. There is a multitude of fashion and lifestyle businesses in the Netherlands, meaning you can easily get your unique brand off the ground. Many small businesses focus on a very specific niche, making it easier to sell unique and handmade products.

3.     Education and technology

Dutch citizens in general have a high level of education, which is why they are amongst one of the world’s most skilled work forces. There is currently a lack in certain fields, such as part-time education and properly educated teachers. If you have always dreamt of progressing in the field of education, there are plenty of opportunities available. Next to that; education is becoming digitalized which means there are many interesting possibilities of digitalizing education further.

4.     E-commerce industry

The e-commerce sector has seen an enormous growth during the past few years. More and more people buy items online, from the comfort of their own houses. Although there are already some very successful big players such as Bol.com and Coolblue.nl, there are always opportunities available in unique niche markets, such as ecological or hand-made products. Combine this with a solid supporting tech industry, and you have a firm basis to establish your company upon.

5.     Digital transformation

The Netherlands is on the forefront of digital transformation. This sector covers many different digital experiences, such as digital handling, e-government services and e-commerce. It is also considered a key investment opportunity for many corporate and governmental organizations. Digital transformation substantially reduces the amount of raw materials used and hence, has a positive influence on our carbon footprint. Many industries are yet developing digital transformation processes, giving you a forefront position if you have a good business plan.

6.     Clean tech and clean energy

Especially in the Netherlands, the clean tech industry is highly innovative and developed. Due to the large demand for green energy and more conscious consumption, there is a massive need for more renewable energy and resources to support our current system. There are many interesting ideas, such as Smart City initiatives and other innovative possibilities to turn the world green again. The Netherlands also aims to quicken the transition from gas to CO2 natural resources by 2025. Sustainability as well as a highly reduced CO2 emissions are prime targets, meaning you can easily profit from many potential sectors to invest in. Of course interesting new ideas are very welcome.

7.     Sustainability and smart buildings

Next to overall sustainability, the Netherlands also focuses greatly on smart buildings. Smart buildings are aimed at making the best usage of a building possible; whether it’s linked to energy, data or IoT related devices. Initiatives are aimed at factors such as climate control, comfort and utilization whilst also holding sustainability in high regard. There is currently a high demand in constructional, mechanical and digital professionals, who want to contribute to this ideal with their own experience and knowledge.

8.     Sustainable and smart farming

Next to the digital world, Holland also excels in sustainable and smart farming. The Netherlands currently holds a position within the top 5 of food producers in the world, by focusing on a combination of technology and optimization of production facilities. The Netherlands also has a very active ecological farming movement, in general focusing on self-sustainability and progress towards a healthier and cleaner environment. The farming business will definitely see an evolution in the next decade, so you are sure to find a niche market that suits your preferences.

9.     Hospital solutions and healthcare

The hospital and healthcare business is also being improved, with a staggering amount of 100 million euro being used to implement innovative hospital care. In this story, digitalization also takes a great part. Digitalization leads to reduced costs, whilst efficiency is greatly improved. If you are interested in a healthcare business that offers unique solutions to existing problems, you can find a lot of common ground in the Netherlands.

10.     Architecture

The Netherlands is known for its splendid architecture, which shows its efficiency next to a very natural environment. The way the Dutch are able to form a symbiosis between nature and man-made structures is impressive, which means you have almost total freedom here as an architect. Rotterdam is a prime example of a variety of architectural buildings existing together in unison.

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