Self-employed people crucial for innovation.

The social democrat and liberal conservative party in the Netherlands want to abolish the self-employed person’s allowance, arguing that self-employed persons are not innovative. Apparently, the self-employed are in most cases leading and driving innovation projects in large


The strength of self-employed persons is the fact that they make their expertise available within an organization for a limited time. It is not uncommon for specializations that large companies cannot afford in permanent employment. This concerns knowledge that is occasionally required. In those cases, a company will not establish a permanent position for this purpose and will use the self-employed market when necessary.

Product and knowledge innovation

A clear example is the ICT sector with its almost endless specializations in the field of software development, programming, system management, etc. It is impossible for companies, including multinationals, to have all that knowledge in-house.

The self-employed, driven by the market, bring up-to-date knowledge to an organization and are able to deliver more value than the organization had in mind. Often solutions and possibilities that the company had not taken into account or was not at their disposal.

Self-employed people also have the great advantage that they come to many companies in a relatively short time and can determine best practices. This allows them to achieve the best possible results for any organization, making it easier for companies to survive.

Operational Excellence

Agility, or the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, is becoming increasingly important for companies. Self-employed people are seen as “change agents”. This means that they have the ability to adapt quickly and to deliver quality. Self-employed people appear to be more effective because they have less to do with the internal politics and syrupiness of (large) organizations and are therefore better able to contribute to the results.

Social innovation.

Self-employed people have been seen for years as few fellow citizens who show solidarity, who refused to contribute to all kinds of social provisions in order to put the money they saved with them into their own pockets. However, that seldom appears to be the reason to become a self-employed person. On the contrary. The essence of self-employed people is freedom: being able to do their job in their own way when and for whom they want.

The benefits of self-employed people for the Netherlands are much greater than many realize. a.o .;

The self-employed person can better combine different tasks, such as work, children, elderly care, voluntary work
The productivity of the self-employed is significantly higher than that of permanent employees
Self-employed people are constantly working to keep their knowledge up-to-date.
Self-employed people keep health care and welfare more affordable because their average demand for these products is much lower.

Self-employed people clearly demonstrate that all kinds of dogmas that underlie our laws and regulations, our vision of management, and people’s well-being are not valid for large groups of people. The mentality of self-employed people in particular could form the basis for important social innovations. It is often assumed that there should be a division between private and work. Self-employed people do not separate privately and work at all, but integrate them. Something that you now also see more and more with the youngest generations.

Crisis management

As the crisis progresses, the role of the internal flexible shell as a cost-saving tool has played out and the need for companies is increasingly shifting to expertise and not so much extra capacity. During the outbreak of the crisis, the capacity issue was mainly addressed by the self-employed. Self-employed people have thus made a major contribution to absorbing the first blows of the crisis

Innovation for the future.

After all, this phase of the crisis is increasingly about developing new products and services for new markets. Especially in view of the fact that customer demand continues to diversify and the time to market is getting shorter.

This means that companies are looking more for innovative concepts and solutions. And much of the knowledge required for this is available to self-employed persons who, due to their intrinsic motivation and competitive pressure, continuously receive additional training and who have the latest knowledge of their field due to the many projects. The network model that is available within the independent market also plays an important role for companies. It offers companies the opportunity to quickly access and scale up their organization with specialists.

Self-employed people will therefore play a crucial role for the Dutch economy in the coming years. Although they do not innovate their own companies, they are the engine that ensures that the Dutch economy continues to innovate. Since the austerity knife is going to turn out to be a capital error.

Rapport ABN AMRO