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Factsheet for measure NL-2020-18/2086 – measures in Netherlands

Corona Bridging Loan for start-ups and scale-ups

Corona Overbruggings-lening voor start-ups and scale-ups (COL-Regeling)

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 29 April 2020 – 16 May 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Thomas de Winter (Panteia) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 December 2021 (updated 23 March 2022)

Background information

According to the Impact report by Techleap , since the beginning of the pandemic, it was difficult for start-ups and scale-ups to continue operating when they do not have the financial resources to support their initiatives or are not supported by a loan capital. Furthermore, this group does fall within the eligibility criteria for measures provided by the government for entrepreneurs and businesses. As a result, on 29th of April 2020, this measure was introduced to aid start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative SMEs. This measure was created because of a collaboration between the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK), the joint Regional Development Corporations (ROMs), and TechLeap, as well as Invest-NL.

The Dutch government has made €300 million available for this measure.

Content of measure

The Corona Bridging Loan (COL) facility, as declared by the cabinet, is aimed at start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative SMEs. These are businesses that are mostly funded by external equity. Furthermore, except for a limited bank current account ratio, the COL facility is open to SMEs who have financed their growth in recent years using internal equity, such as retained earnings, and that have no bank financing arrangement.

This measure provides a loan to start-ups and scale-ups, it consists of three forms of loans:

  • A Bridging loan of €50,000 to €250,000. On this form, there is a 3% interest payment.
  • A Bridging loan of €250,000 to €500,000. There is a 3% interest payment and 25% of the loan should be generated shareholders, for example existing shareholders
  • A Bridging loan of €500,000 to €2 million. There is a 3% interest payment and a premium of 2% per year. Additionally, 25% of the loan should be generated by shareholders, for example existing shareholders.

This bridging-loan is executed by Regional Development Agencies (“ROMs”) in the Netherlands. The agencies are responsible for the assessment of applications. In partnership with Techleap (a non-profit publicly funded organization) who is responsible for the application portal.

The assessment of the application is based on the four-eye principle, this refers to each application being reviewed by at least two assessors. In some cases, additional information is required, and a request is made to the applicant.

Use of measure

Based on the analysis provided by Techleap , starting from April 29th 2020 until July 1st 2020, there was a total of 2,276 applications made by a diverse group of companies. The total amount for applied bridging loans was €634,990,729, with an average of €359,564.

Applications per Category: Start-ups account for almost half of the application with 1,330 applications. There were 505 applications made by Scale-ups. A total of Innovative 351 SMEs applied and 90 SMEs without banking finances applied for the loan. Based on the applications, eleven sectors were identified. Out of these eleven, the following list provides the approval percentage per sector:

  • Softtech (42%)
  • CleanTech & Energy (54%)
  • High-tech systems (53%)
  • Medtech (50%)
  • Agritech & Food (36%)
  • Life Sciences (56%)
  • Logistics & Maintenance (46%)
  • Fintech (16%)
  • Bio-Based (44%)
  • Chemistry & Materials (40%)
  • Other (30%)

Furthermore, over half of the 2,276 applicants are from either Noord-Holland (32%) or South-Holland (21%). The ROMs in the region Zeeland (7.2%) and Flevoland (68.8%) have the highest application approval percentages.

The vast majority of applicants (74%) requested a bridging loan between €50,000 and €250,000, with a median of €240,000.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Not available.

Views and reactions

Not available.



Eurofound (2021), Corona Bridging Loan for start-ups and scale-ups, measure NL-2020-18/2086 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.