Welcome to one of the top countries for startups in Europe

Wherever you’re from, the Netherlands welcomes people from all walks of life. The Dutch have a reputation for being open, multicultural, direct and pragmatic. The UN-sponsored World Happiness Report 2021 has ranked the Netherlands the fifth-happiest nation in the world. With a wealth of culture and a safe, beautiful environment that is never too far from the countryside or seaside.

The Netherlands

With a population of more than 17 million, the Netherlands may seem like a small country in size, but not in terms of height! In fact, with an average height of just under 175.62 cm (5’8”), our small country has the tallest people in the world.


We also definitely stand tall when it comes to the world’s leading universities. The Netherlands is a magnet for international students. The Northeastern Netherlands offers great university cities like Enschede, Groningen and Leeuwarden. 

The Dutch educational system works a bit differently than in other countries, as it makes a distinction between universities of applied sciences and research universities. The difference is mostly in the nature of the programme; a University of Applied Sciences will prepare you for a specific field of work and also to train practical skills, whereas the research universities’ curriculum revolves around critical thinking and transferable skills.

With numerous international schools across the country, the Dutch education system fosters global connections and nurtures bright minds.


With 26.000 students and a wide range of clubs and bars, Enschede has the right to call itself a vibrant student city. Enschede is popular among students because, despite its many possibilities and facilities, it still feels compact and personal. 

Thanks to the many international institutions (and being near to the German border) there are many international students living in Enschede, which of course results in an international ambiance in many of the institutions and the city itself. The University of Twente itself already has over 3600 international students from 105 different nationalities, let alone the rest of the city.


Situated in the north of the Netherlands, Groningen is a popular student city. With more than 50.000 students (25% of the population) Groningen has the highest student population density in the Netherlands. This also makes it one of the country’s youngest cities because most inhabitants are between 20-24 years old. With over 8.250 international students, Groningen is home to lots of different cultures.


With three universities of applied sciences and over 30.000 students, Leeuwarden is a real student city. For many years, Leeuwarden has ranked in the top three of the best Dutch cities with facilities for higher vocational education, when it comes to things like accommodation, nightlife and sports facilities.

Work-life balance

Although the Dutch work hard, we also value our time off. Work hard, play hard. Dutch employers and employees share the idea that a healthy work-life balance keeps everyone motivated and productive. And it shows: our work efficiency is extremely high compared to other European nations, according to the OECD.


Getting around in these regions is a breeze too, thanks to our outstanding mobility and public transportation infrastructure, which accommodates roads, railways and, of course, our world-famous cycling culture. You’ll see them everywhere!


Our healthcare system, ranked No. 1 in the EU, guarantees equitable access to high-quality services for everyone who lives here. The Netherlands requires all residents to take out health insurance, which comes from a range of providers. The government regulates the market, but the insurers are the ones people deal with directly when making their healthcare decisions.

Assuming your insurance policy allows you to see the right specialist, you can expect a high standard of care in the Netherlands.


Life in the Netherlands is generally safe and calm. The Netherlands ranks among the safest countries in global safety indexes. Violent crime and traffic accidents occur less often than in other European countries. Although the Netherlands does have a higher risk of flooding, our country is well protected by the Delta Works.

Dutch cities and villages are equipped with a network of cycle lanes. They are so safe and comfortable, that even young children and the elderly use bikes as their preferred mode of transport. 

Make sure you lock your bike! A large part of the crime rate in the Netherlands is due to the theft of bikes. Not the worst part of crime, but you don’t want to keep on buying new bikes, of course.




By now you probably read the whole website and found out everything there is to know about Startup Visa NL. Are you convinced that you’re a match for us? Don’t hesitate any longer and send in your application. If you still have some questions, we recommended to read the FAQ.

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