Do you have an SME registered in the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Have your international activities been affected by the coronavirus crisis? With the Kickstart voucher, you can hire an external advisor to help you limit the consequences of the crisis on your business abroad. The Kickstart voucher is an online voucher. You can use it to pay your chosen advisor. It covers 80% of the costs and can be used for a maximum of 2,500 euros excluding VAT.
You can apply for the Kickstart voucher:
- if you have a business in the Netherlands with less than 250 employees;
- from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten;
- if your business is active abroad and your activities abroad have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Does your business qualify as an SME?
To check if your business meets the criteria of an SME, use the online English test from the European Commission. After having taken the test, you save or print the results. You have to upload the test results with your application.
Kickstart voucher conditions
We provide 1 Kickstart voucher per SME. If your SME belongs to a group, the voucher is for the whole group.
The external expert you hire must:
- have at least a university of applied sciences level of education;
- work for an advice company that has an international network;
- have at least 3 years of experience advising SMEs on international business; and
- have recent experience or knowledge related to the purpose of the request.
- You cannot use the voucher:
- for services that you need regularly;
- to cover the time you spend on the consulting process;
- travel and accommodation costs.
Read this before you apply
- Read the conditions and take the SME test to see whether you can apply for the Kickstart voucher.
- Look for an external advisor that meets the conditions.
- Apply for a Kickstart voucher via the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
- Work with your chosen advisor.
- Once your advisor’s services are complete, give them the Kickstart voucher.
- The advisor submits the voucher to us.
- We pay the voucher’s value to the advisor.
How to benefit from the Kickstart voucher
A recognised expert can help you with:
- improving international production, supply chains and logistics;
- creating a new international sales and marketing plan;
- researching new international incomes models, for example, digitalisation; or
- organising money matters and process management from a distance.
The budget for 2020 is 3,450,000 euros. This is the joint budget for the Kickstart voucher, Brexit voucher and SIB vouchers.
How to apply for the Kickstart voucher
Follow these steps to apply for the Kickstart voucher:
- Look for an advisor who can help you with your question. Ask them for a quote and a CV. The quote should specify which services the advisor will carry out and how much they cost per part. After you have received the quote, you have 1 month to apply for the Kickstart voucher.
- If you are applying for the voucher from the Netherlands, you need eHerkenning level 1. If you do not have this, please first request eHerkenning. It will take a few days before this is processed. If you are applying for the Kickstart voucher from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, you do not need eHerkenning.
- Apply for the voucher on mijn.rvo.nl. There are different forms for applying from the Netherlands and applying from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Choose the right form, complete it, and then send it to us with the quote and CV you got from the advisor. The application forms are in Dutch. We trust your Dutch colleague to help you with them.
After your application
We will process applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. Your application date is the date that you sent the complete application. We will decide on your application within 13 weeks.
If we decide that you meet the conditions, you will get an online voucher. The voucher is valid for 6 months and you must use it in this period. You can also request to extend the voucher by 6 months. You cannot give the voucher to someone else.
How to report changes
Do you want to change something in your Kickstart voucher application?
- If you applied for the voucher from the Netherlands, go to mijn.rvo.nl. Click on the Beheren button and log in with eHerkenning level 1. You can then make changes to your application. We trust your Dutch colleague to help you with this.
- If you applied for the voucher from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, you can send your changes via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to give the Kickstart voucher to your advisor
When your advisor’s services are finished, you can give them the Kickstart voucher.
- If you applied for the voucher from the Netherlands, go to mijn.rvo.nl. Click on the Beheren button and log in with eHerkenning level 1. Then go to Overdragen and complete the Voucheroverdracht. We trust your Dutch colleague to help you with this.
- If you applied for the voucher from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, click ‘Kickstartvoucher - Caribisch deel van het Koninkrijk overdragen’. Download the form, complete it and then send it to email@example.com.
How to redeem the Kickstart voucher
Once you have given your advisor the Kickstart voucher, they can redeem it. The advisor will get an email once the voucher has been transferred to them. Advisors then go to mijn.rvo.nl without logging in. Then go to ‘Kickstartvoucher for foreign experts’.
TIP! Make sure to redeem the voucher in time
Advisors must redeem the voucher within 3 months of it being transferred. This period cannot be extended. If you do not redeem the voucher in time, it will expire and you will not be paid the voucher’s value.
Good to know
We carry out random checks on requests to redeem the Kickstart voucher. If your request is checked, we will ask you to give us extra information. We will decide on your request within 13 weeks.