Start your business in the Netherlands

Are you ready to make your business idea a reality with our support?

Program Overview

We offer a full incubator program for entrepreneurs with a refugee background, taking you from early stage business idea to the start of your company. The program consists of three steps:

  1. Digital Pre-Incubator
  2. Core Incubator Program
  3. Aftercare Program

1. Digital Pre-Incubator

September 2020 – November 2020

The focus during this part of the program is on learning and open to anyone with a refugee background. Here we focus on delivering you with valuable content on Business & Entrepreneurship Literacy, Digital Skills, and Cultural Understanding. Everything will be based on self-paced online learning, which means that you can take your time to get everything done from wherever you are.

2. Core Incubator

November 2020 – March 2021

Those who successfully complete the pre-incubator program and complete a strong business concept are selected to join the incubator. The emphasis will be on actually getting your business off the ground. You will be teamed up with one business coach and two student consultants helping you to accelerate your progress. Dedicated experts, corporates, and masterclasses are completing this program.

November 2020
Month #1

The core incubator program starts with a matchmaking event where you will meet your business coach and student consultants, who will be composing your team for the next 4 months.

The goal is to quickly define your critical assumptions and set-up experiments to start testing your business.

November 2020
December 2020 till January 2021
Months #2 & #3
Now it is time to validate your business model through testing in the market with real customers. Continuous experimentation allows for crucial pivots in the business idea.

The goal in these months is to find a problem-solution fit.
December 2020 till January 2021
February 2021
Month #4
You will be writing your business plan, working on your financial plan and define an investment proposition, if ready.

The goal of this month is to have a first, real, customer and deliver a strong pitch on Demo Day.
February 2021
March till August 2021
Months #5 to #10
The Aftercare Program lasts for 6 months, in which we structurally support selected participants. Afterwards, you still remain part of the Forward Incubator network and you keep having access to our business services.

The goal during these months is that you become a self-dependent entrepreneur.
March till August 2021

3. Aftercare Program

March 2021 – August 2021

After successful completion of the incubator you have the chance to be selected for the aftercare program. In the aftercare program, you will get prolonged support by the Forward Incubator team for a limited amount of time per month in order to further help you grow your business.

Our Recipe for Success

01. To ensure your success you will work with a team of four

02. You will attend workshops organised by professional institutions

03. You will get professional coaching by successful entrepreneurs

04. From day one you are a member of a vibrant startup community

Forward Team

More than seven full time members of the Core Forward Incubator Team will assist you with your business on a weekly basis by providing you with strategic guidance and regular feedback. They have experience in setting up businesses in a wide range of sectors, from international trade to social enterprises.

Accredited Training

Trainers will give you workshops in the program. We have trainers that give workshops on lean startup, business plan writing, marketing, legal and tax, pitching, finance, investments, personal skills, cross cultural communication, and negotiation.

Business Coaches

Our program offers 1 on 1 coaching by one of the 30 selected experienced professionals. Coaches will provide you with strategic guidance, network, and personal feedback.

Student Consultants

Student consultants will work with you for 8-12 hours a week for three months. You will have weekly meetings with them, where you discuss progress and challenges. They will assist you on topics like marketing, finance, sales and much more.

Expert Support

Forward Incubator offers an expert support network that can help you with challenges on a variety of topics: law, finance, sales, and marketing. Example experts are: Sthree, DLA Piper, Mazars, Dentons, Heidrick & Struggles, Heineken, Philips and many more.


Forward Incubator facilitates the relationship between you and your municipality. This means that we keep in touch with your case manager and assist in filing a BBZ-social welfare application.

Our Past Participants

Forward Incubator has over 2 years of experience with helping entrepreneurs with a refugee background to set up their business in the Netherlands. We have successfully launched over 30 businesses thus far. Listen to what our previous participants have to say about our program:

Blaise - Participant 2019

“After this program someone feels like they have been in the Netherlands for 10 years; because whatever questions you may have, you know who you can ask.”

Murat - Participant 2019

“The program increased my self esteem for a new beginning in Netherlands. I am introduced to many new people through the program.”

Sign up for our program

Our next incubator programs will take place starting:

  • October 2020 in Amsterdam
  • October 2020 in Rotterdam
Application round closed

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