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The fastest growing companies in the Netherlands are mostly located in North and South Holland provinces, sustain growth, and a third of them have at least one woman in the top positions.

The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) recently presented its annual report on the top 250 fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands. The paper is a snapshot of the Dutch high-growth firms (HGF), which grew on average by more than 20% annually in full-time employees (FTEs) over three years and with at least 10 employees at the beginning of the measurement period.

Fastest-growing companies sustain growth

The paper, highlighting the top 250 fastest-growing businesses in the country, showed that the average age of the listed companies is 16.4. This number has risen considerably from the 2023 edition, when it was 13.4. The ECE report notes how only 6% of the companies included in the list are startups, whereas most of the high-growth firms are between six and ten years old. Furthermore, 131 of the 250 firms are new entrants to the list, while 93 maintained their high-growth status.

21% of the featured companies operate in the enterprises and business software sector, and 12% are in the advisory, business, and information services sector. The energy and water domain claims third place, with 9% of the firms.

Geographical division and women leadership gap

North Holland remains the leading province with 104 fastest-growing firms- a decline from last edition’s 114 – and South Holland is the runner-up with 51, growing considerably from 35 in the last edition. North Brabant comes third with 30 firms, surpassing the Utrecht province.

A third of the companies on the list have at least a woman founder or C-level manager – top positions such as CEO, CFO, or COO. Although numbers are growing, the paper underscores the need for greater gender diversity and inclusion in leadership roles.