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Factsheet for measure NL-2020-22/982 Updated – measures in Netherlands

Start-up loans for the cultural sector

Cultuur Opstart Lening

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 May 2020 – 30 June 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia)
Measure added 13 July 2020 (updated 12 September 2022)

Background information

The Dutch government presented a package of emergency measures to support businesses and workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The cultural and creative sector appears especially badly hit by the crisis and this has led to extra measures being taken. On 27 March, the Minister for Education, Culture, and Science sent a letter to Parliament explaining the need for and content of the planned measures.

Following this first letter on plans to initiate a package of measures, a few weeks later, the announcement was made (after lobbying form the cultural and creative sector), that more support was needed. The Minister for Education, Culture and science announced on April 15th that more financing would be provided to the sector, in the amount of €300 million.

Several plans were later published in May 2020 which indicated what the extra financial injection would be used for.

Content of measure

This particular measure targets enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors who cannot make sufficient use of the generic governmental support measures. The loan is meant for the development of publicly orientated productions, programmes, exhibitions, performances or projects. The loan can also be used in combination with a loan from a bank. The interest on the loan is 1% and can be paid back early (without any financial consequences attached).

The government has made €30 million available to finance these loans. An institution may receive a minimum of €10,000 to a maximum of €500,000 per loan application. One institute can take out a maximum of two loans.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 June 2022

The deadline to request this loan is now set on 30 June 2022.

10 December 2021

This loan is now also available for self-employed in the cultural sector and is currently open ended.

26 November 2021

The deadline to request this loan was 1 July 2021.

18 May 2021

See case NL-2020-23/1042, Start loans for the cultural and creative industries as they are linked.

11 May 2021

Loan applications can be made until 1 July 2021.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
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 Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, the government has had regular and close consultation with the social partners. Together the national level social partners and the government arrived at the first and second packages of emergency measures, announced March 17th and May 20th respectively. Social partners for the cultural and creative sectors lobbied for extra support for their sectors given the early and far reaching effects which were already visible for these sectors.

Views and reactions

The social partners for these sectors appear satisfied with the extra and specific measures for the cultural and creative sectors.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Start-up loans for the cultural sector, measure NL-2020-22/982 (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.