Start your business wherever you are
Are you ready to make your business idea a reality with our support?
We offer a full incubator program for entrepreneurs with a refugee background, taking you from an early-stage business idea to the start of your company. The program consists of three steps:
1st of September 2021 – November 2021
The Digital Entrepreneurship Program is a 10-week online course.
Participants are granted access to a curriculum focused on developing their business fundamentals, digital skills, and general cultural understanding. The program includes 60 hours of video instruction accompanied by lesson plans, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and weekly progress meetings with a Forward coach designed to keep the participants on track and accountable for their progress.
02. Forward Incubator
November 2021 – April 2022
Forward Incubator consists of a selection of participants from the DEP. Approximately 30 participants with the strongest business concepts will be asked to join an intensive 6-month curriculum designed to successfully launch their business. Each aspiring entrepreneur will be supported by a team of experts and student consultants while participating in regular workshops facilitated by our corporate partners.
(previously known as “Core Incubator”)
03. Growth Program
April 2022 – July 2022
The Growth Program is dedicated to assisting those who’ve successfully completed the FI program with establishing, nurturing, and expanding their business concept. The implementation of the feedback gathered during their pitch will remain central while in aftercare. These entrepreneurs in the making will have limited monthly access to Forward’s resources, with the end goal being that they become self-sufficient.
(previously known as “Aftercare”)
DEP 10 weeks
In the 10-week Digital Entrepreneurship Program you will learn the principles of entrepreneurship, digital skills and about the local professional context. This program is online and self-paced. The goal is to understand how to develop your business by applying entrepreneurship concepts.
September - November 2021
After completing the DEP, we select up to 30 startups based on the potential of the entrepreneur and the business. We also assess you on your performance in the DEP, their development and coachability. We match you with a business coach and student consultants, who form your team for the next 4 months.
In the 4-month Core Incubator Program you follow workshops from the best trainers and attend events with experts, companies and investors. You work with your coach and student consultants to end the program with a presentation at our Demo Day with a validated business idea. You are ready to start your business!
November 2021 - April 2022
After the Core Incubator program we select up to 10 entrepreneurs fully dedicated to starting their business to the Aftercare Program. We select entrepreneurs based on their commitment, their progress in the Core Incubator Program and the potential of the business.
The Aftercare Program lasts for 3 months, in which we structurally support entrepreneurs to further develop their business. Afterwards, you remain part of our network and you keep having access to our services. The goal of the Aftercare Program is that you are able to run your business completely on your own.
April - July 2022
Forward’s Accelerator Program is the right place to grow a successful business fast. We support refugee-owned businesses with marketing, investor introductions and events, and business development. Do you have a startup with a first working product and/or your first customers? Then Forward’s Accelerator is the right place to grow.
Our Recipe for Success
To ensure your success you will work with a team of a business coach, two student consultants, and a facilitator from Forward Incubator
You will attend workshops organised by professional experts, corporate partners, and experienced entrepreneurs
We provide you with a localised network and cultural understanding
From day one you are a member of a vibrant startup community
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.
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.
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 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.
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 4 years of experience with helping entrepreneurs with a refugee background to set up their business in the Netherlands. We have successfully launched over 47 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.”