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The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences starts a course for founders of startups and scale-ups. Bert Bos, a business consultant with 35+ years of experience in helping businesses grow, will help founders get a hands-on impulse to make them grow their company in the Mastercourse Start-Up Scale-Up Business.
“The course will be taught in Dutch and is all about connecting theory and practice, offering useful advice that the participants can actually use to keep control of their business and focus on the success factors that makes their business grow”, Bos explains.
Making business grow
The course will focus on companies from all industries with a potential to grow. “For eighty percent, these companies face the same challenges, problems, and solutions – since they all are specialized in their own field of business and have a founder that wants to upgrade his or her business to a next level. Of course, we notice the growing interest in (fin-)tech companies and alike, but this course also focusses on the not-digital economy, which still accounts for a fair share of the employment in the Netherlands and Amsterdam.”
Support from MKB Amsterdam
MKB Amsterdam, the branch organization for Amsterdam’s SMEs, supports the course and warned in a recent interview that if Amsterdam companies do not live up to their potential, potential job opportunities and welfare will be lost. Bos: “And when companies grow to about 10 FTE’s, they tend to feel accomplished – which can be disastrous. That is why this course is so important: it is not hard to start a business, but to maintain it and make it grow is actually quite difficult. It is all about having an overview. Entrepreneurs tend to be creative. In this course, they will learn to take the next step by discovering how their positioning or organization can be distinctive and help them grow.”
Ten factors of success
Bos follows international research on successful businesses already for multiple years and discovered ten different factors that determine whether a business will be successful or not. These factors are team, timing, idea, business model, finance, agility, absorption, network, attitude, digitality, and sustainability. These factors will be taught and explored during the course which consists of three Fridays in one-quarter of a year. The course will take place every first, second and fourth quarter of the year, where after participants will receive an official certificate of the AUAS.
“Participants tell us that this master-course adds value in two different ways. First of all, it is up-to-date on the matter of relevant research on business strategies. That saves entrepreneurs lots of (valuable) time. Second of all, by participating in this master-course, founders are somewhat forced to ask themselves relevant questions, like: “where is my company in regard to the life cycle, how am I doing on the matter of planning and control, how do I make sure my business maintains and grows?” By asking yourself these questions, you will develop new insights that were otherwise never developed.”
Network of alumni
“However, the course does not end when it is over. Participants can still make use of the expertise of the AUAS on matters of legal, HRM, marketing and sales – via the AUAS guest lecturers that will give interactive lectures in this master-courses. “Additionally, they are always invited to reach out to me whenever they want to discuss issues they face, for instance, if their mission statement is well-defined or if their HRM organization is working to its fullest extent. That saves founders time and costs on expensive consultants.”
The alumni of this course became a community, which flourishes thanks to the periodical events. By 2018, this community will consist of about 100 founders – with diverse backgrounds.
The first upcoming master-course will start in October. More info via this website.