Incubator Opens the Door to The Netherlands for Refugees

– Setting up a business leads to a residence permit faster.

The foundation Incubators for Immigrants wants to help refugees to build a new economic and independent existence in the Netherlands. The foundation, a true Incubator, offers the refugees knowledge, support and assistance with the set-up of their own private Dutch company. In this way, the chances of a quick residence permit is more likely to happen, these people will have a goal which they can focus on and they will deliver an economic contribution to the Dutch society,” Dennis Vermeulen said – initiator and co-founder of the foundation.

Vermeulen finds the hopelessness of the flood of refugees troubling. The image that the refugees are a burden to our society, is increasing fast. Vermeulen: “The word refugee is starting to have a negative connotation. We think of it as a group, but they are all people and individuals with different backgrounds and capacities. What we want to do, is to give the entrepreneurs in this group a chance to give their lives a meaningful existence in the Netherlands.”

As the CEO of INCO Business Group, Vermeulen assists Dutch entrepreneurs who go abroad for tax reasons daily, but he (especially) assists foreign companies who wish to establish a business in the Netherlands. The idea to help the refugees came up through this example. The Dutch law provides enough possibilities for foreign start-ups to settle down in the Netherlands. The foundation eliminates the bureaucracy that’s involved in this process. This will allow the refugee to focus on his business, while the Foundation takes care of most formalities, including the application of the required temporary residence permit. This makes this foundation an incubator. Once the fundamental is set, the enterprising refugee has to stand on his own feet,” Vermeulen stated.

Vermeulen doesn’t take part in the board, because the board must be able to operate independently. He found Arthur van de Graaf, Sonja van Alphen and Rikko Voorberg as volunteers for the board. With this, the foundation has a solid experience to start with. Van de Graaf was the former CEO of SEEDS/ABN-Amro, Van Alphen earned her spurs in the field of marketing communications at several large companies and Voorberg was, among other things, the founder of the Vluchtkerk.

To give the foundation a good start, Vermeulen chips in and gives the foundation a chance to begin. For each tax refugee Vermeulen helps to start a company abroad, Vermeulen’s company donates the amount of money that the foundation needs to help a political refugee in the Netherlands.

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