News shows highest annual growth, founded in 1999, tops the list of 250 best Dutch growth companies. The list was presented by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE), Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the public-private collaboration nlgroeit. created 936 new jobs and exhibited the most rapid growth in the period spanning year-end 2014 to year-end 2017, with the company actually doubling in size multiple times. Its CEO, Jitse Groen, was awarded first prize in the presence of Dutch Queen Máxima and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer, and RSM Professor Justin Jansen. The award ceremony took place during nlgroeit’s annual event held at SugarCity in Halfweg on Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Altogether, the 250 companies on this list generated 32,000 jobs in a three-year period; the top 10 alone created 17,446 of those jobs.

To make the list of Top 250 Growth Companies 2018, a company has to employ the equivalent of at least 10 full-time employees (FTEs) or have a turnover of at least € 5 million. Companies also have to realise a minimum of 20 per cent growth in the number of FTEs and turnover in the period of December 2014 through December 2017. The top 10 is compiled from companies that have created the most jobs in this period and shown the highest average growth in the FTEs.

Rapid expansion for most

Fifty-two per cent of the companies in the Top 250 Growth Companies 2018 were small companies with 25 employees at the end of 2014. Through rapid expansion, most of these companies entered the category of 25 to 49 employees or 50 to 149 employees. More than 40 companies on the list are less than five years old. Making it into the Top 250 Growth Companies is an exceptional achievement for these companies.

ScaleUp Dashboard

For its annual survey of rapidly growing companies in the Netherlands, the ScaleUp Dashboard used various sources of data including existing public data sources as well as its own research.

RSM’s Professor Justin Jansen led the research. “The ScaleUp Dashboard is the first list to evaluate companies in the Netherlands with more 10 employees. This overview of the Netherlands’s 250 best growth companies not only shows which companies generate the most jobs, it also singles out the ones that are the most productive,” said the academic director at ECE and professor of corporate entrepreneurship at RSM.

The top 10 of the Top 250 Growth Companies 2018 was compiled as follows: the 10 companies were ranked twice. Once for the number of jobs generated in the period stated, and once for their average annual growth in FTEs. The average of these two rankings was used for their final ranking in the top 10.

If two companies finished with the same ranking, the proportional growth of both companies in relation to both criteria was assessed. The one exhibiting the most growth was then ranked higher.

Top 3:


CEO and founder: Jitse Groen

Established: 1999

Number of jobs created: 936

Average annual growth: 68%

Location: Amsterdam

2. Rituals

CEO and founder: Raymond Cloosterman

Established: 2000

Number of jobs created: 2,448

Average annual growth: 44%

Location: Amsterdam

3. Coolblue

CEO: Pieter Zwart

Founders: Pieter Zwart, Paul de Jong and Bart Kuijpers

Established: 1999

Number of jobs created: 2,040

Average annual growth: 50%

Location: Rotterdam

Overview of top 10:

Takeaway, 936, 68%

Rituals, 2448, 44%

CoolBlue, 2040, 50%

Action, 9000, 24%

Catawiki, 500, 82%

YoungCapital, 605, 59%

BasicFit, 755, 20%

Adyen, 356, 35%, 533, 20%

Dynagroup, 273, 20%

More information

Professor Justin Jansen (1976) is professor of corporate entrepreneurship at RSM and academic director of ECE. His research on strategic leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and rapidly growing companies has been published in leading international academic journals. He has been named as one of the top 100 leading professors in the field of entrepreneurship who play a crucial role in the development and guidance of future entrepreneurs.

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) is the leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe. Fuelled by the belief that entrepreneurship is a primary driver for innovation, the centre strives to embed entrepreneurship in people’s mindsets. ECE does not create companies. It creates entrepreneurs through Erasmus University Rotterdam’s network and knowledge: a university that was founded more than a century ago by entrepreneurs. ECE has a clear idea of the factors needed to successfully start and grow a company. ECE monitors and conducts research into rapidly growing companies and presents these results in the ScaleUp Dashboard.

Nlgroeit is an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Chamber of Commerce, NLevator, and NL2025. The multi-year programme aims to increase growth among small and medium-sized enterprises by raising awareness of growth opportunities among entrepreneurs through coaching, training, and a mentor or programme. More than 450 growing entrepreneurs have been successfully matched with a mentor through Nlgroeit.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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