The Delft region is considered to be the best place for entrepreneurship according to research by Utrecht University and Birch Consultants that looked into the  quality of 40 regional ecosystems for entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. The findings are based on the so-called Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Index (EE Index). Thanks to this strong position, the Delft region has a better chance of emerging stronger from the corona crisis.

Economic agility

Regions that score high on the EE Index enable economic agility. This means that they have a favorable climate for economic activity, growth and development. There is room for entrepreneurship: individuals who see opportunities and convert them into value, such as start-ups and innovative projects.

Tu Delft

Delft is followed by Southeast-North Brabant (Eindhoven), Amsterdam, Leiden and Groningen. The common denominator in these regions is the presence of a university. “In these regions, innovation projects are led and networks are driven – two important ingredients for a resilient economy,” the report says. In addition, a university provides highly educated talent in the region, which is also an important factor for an ecosystem of entrepreneurship.

Universities lead innovation projects and drive networks – two important ingredients for a resilient economy

Investing in success factors

The researchers hope to inspire policymakers with the EE Index. Regions with a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem emerged stronger from the financial crisis a few years ago. High-scoring regions on the EE Index are more likely to emerge from the corona crisis economically stronger at this point in time.

The research states this is possible with targeted investments in elements of the ecosystem, such as accessibility, education level, knowledge development, accessibility to services and market demand. “With the index, a region can see where it stands and with the elements see what it needs to do to become more economically agile.”

Economy as a dynamic network

The EE Index is based on the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Within this approach, the economy is seen as a dynamic network. In it, ten elements together determine how good entrepreneurship is facilitated: formal institutions, entrepreneurial culture, infrastructure, demand, networks, leadership, talent, financing, knowledge and services. For each of these elements, a region is given a grade, which, when added together, leads to a position in the ranking. The index is based on data from 2019.