Report: successful growth companies focus on improvement and customer satisfaction

Justin Jansen, Professor of Corporate Entrepreneurship and Tom Mom, Professor of Strategic Growth and Implementation at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), have been involved in the preparation of the annual report of the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship. The report was handed over to State Secretary Mona Keijzer of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate on 8 October 2019, in the presence of Queen Máxima.

The motto of this annual report is Ondernemers Investeer! Zeker nu het nog goed gaat. (Entrepreneurs, invest! Certainly now that everything is still going well.) The annual report shows that a small group of front-runners do not only invest in the skills of their staff, but also invest in the renewal of management practices, product and process innovations, digitisation and increasing sales opportunities.

Based on their research among fast-growing companies in the Netherlands, such as, Coolblue, and YoungCapital, the researchers argue that the pursuit of new growth opportunities and the increase in the added value of SMEs are mainly due to leadership skills and the quality of the management team.

Core values

It is also striking that successful growth companies do not focus on financial indicators. For them it is mainly about customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. In addition, it appears that successful growth companies make their core values ​​explicit at an early stage. They are clear and inspiring values ​​in which entrepreneurship, autonomy and solidarity are given space.

During the panel discussion with State Secretary Mona Keijzer, Prof. Jansen emphasised that there are two major challenges for the growth capacity of Dutch SMEs.

“First of all, we need to ensure that more companies from the pack, which are currently lagging behind in growth and productivity, are taking steps forward and being able to realise new opportunities for growth. In addition, it is important that we support growing companies in maintaining rapid growth. It turns out that two thirds of the fast-growing companies in the Netherlands are losing their growth or even going bankrupt. That's a shame. We must experiment with new policy instruments that can solve these challenges,” Jansen said.

"The contribution to the annual report is a good example of how we as RSM and the Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship (ECE) convert research into valuable recommendations for the government and thus contribute to the development of innovative policy," said Professor Tom Mom. "In the coming years, we will continue to work with the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to strengthen the sustainable growth potential of SMEs."

More information

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