Peter Bongaerts

Peter Bongaerts


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“A business climate does not change automatically”

'It takes a lot of effort to convince the relevant decision makers and stakeholders that conditions need to be different to make room for entrepreneurship as a driver of growth and jobs and as a solution to societal challenges. But it is possible. I have experienced this myself in the 20 years that I have been active in Dutch employers’ organisations and with entrepreneurship policies.

Employers’ organisations are in a position to influence these decisive factors. The knowledge and experience we have in the Netherlands with the polder model and with maximizing the economic potential of a small country can be useful for employers’ organisations in developing countries. What appeals to me about DECP is that we offer help in a demand-driven and very practical way, not by telling others what is good or bad or publishing extensive reports full of abstract recommendations, but simply by providing practical training, for example in negotiation skills together with Mondiaal FNV or CNV Internationaal, and stimulating our partner organisations to put these skills into practice.

The DECP programme is very ambitious. DECP has realised great successes, such as contributing to the establishment of a Foundation of Labour in Peru. But of course we also encounter setbacks when situations develop more slowly or different than we had intended. Nevertheless, the optimism of building positive change always dominates and leads to interesting results.'