Scale-up Research

The Crucial Role of Rapid-Growing Companies in the Economy


The ScaleUp Dashboard is an annual research that answers various questions surrounding the phenomenon of scale-ups. How many scale-ups does the Netherlands have and what is the impact of these fast-growing organisations in terms of job creation and the Dutch economy?

The Scale-up Dashboard 2017 shows that:

  • The number of scale-ups in The Netherlands has increased to 3237. This means that the number of scale-ups increased by 5.4% in the past year compared to the previous year.
  • The number of startups becoming scale-ups rises tremendously. Over the past two years, this has increased by no less than 220%. One in ten scale-ups in the Netherlands arise from a start-up.
  • Top sectors count relatively many scale-ups. The top sectors Energy, High-tech and Life Sciences & Health are at the frontrunners.
  • An increasing number of companies in the Netherlands are hardly, if at all, growing. Almost a third of Dutch companies are even shrinking.

“The ScaleUp Dashboard is the first list that truly takes into account and measures all companies in the Netherlands with more than 10 FTE. There are more lists about scale-ups available, but those give limited insights because companies have to register themselves or the lists are focused on specific sectors. Insight in which companies truly belong to the Top of scale-ups is missing and that is what we hope to achieve by creating and launching this Top 250 Scale-ups (Top 250 Groeibedrijven) – of over 3000 scale-ups – in the Netherlands.” – Prof.dr. Justin Jansen


A scale-up is defined as a company with at least 10 employees that has grown by at least 20 per cent per year over a three-year period (OECD, 2007). An organisation is considered fast-growing when it can be defined as a development-stage business, that is looking to grow in terms of market access, revenues, and number of employees.

Why do some startups develop into scale-ups and others not? Which factors are indicative of successful fast-growing organisations and which barriers of expansion exist? Prof. Justin Jansen (Academic Director ECE and Professor of Corporate Entrepreneurhsip at Rotterdam School of Management) conducts research regarding the success-indicators of scale-up prosperity.

Scale-ups play an important role in the job creation process and thereby substantially influence the regional economy. Our research shows that the Top 250 Scale Ups of 2017 already created over 10.000 jobs. These high-growth firms are strongly dependent on their local economic context. In order to stimulate the labor market and economy, scale-ups need to be understood and supported.


The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship conducts research on scale-ups on a regional level, on commission for organizations such as the Brabantse Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (BOM), Innovation Quarter (IQ) and the city of Rotterdam. Also for non-governmental and commercial organisations, our database and studies can be adapted to region or sector, reveiling all companies with a reliable 3-year top growth record.

Get an overview of scale-ups in your region or sector

By using our database, get adapted information about the amount of scale-ups your region or sector. As an example, you can download the Rotterdam report below.

Download The Rotterdam Report

Find out how to best support and promote scale-up growth

Improvement starts with knowledge. Derive this knowledge by using insights in our scale-up research and encourage companies to scale up!

Download ScaleUp Dashboard

Create new jobs in your regional economy

Fast-growing companies substantially influence the employment opportunities. By better understanding scale-ups, all kinds of benefits for the labor market arise.

The Top 250 Scale-Ups


Prof.dr. Justin Jansen

Prof.dr. Justin Jansen

Academic Director

Prof. dr. Justin Jansen is the academic director of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and professor Corporate Entrepreneurship at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. His research provides new insights into the roles of leadership, the organizational design as well as the development of novel capabilities as to improve long-term viability and performance. The ScaleUp Dashboard is conducted by Prof. dr. Justin Jansen in which he answers various questions regarding the phenomenon of scale-ups.


Every year the Top 250 Scale-ups (Top 250 Groeibedrijven) is published. This list is based on our ScaleUp Dashboard and gives insights into which companies truly belong to the Top of scale-ups.

The companies in the Top 250 together created over 10.000 jobs!

TOP 250 SCALE-UPS 2019

Are you a scale-up and do you want to become part of the Top 250 Scale-ups 2019?


Based on FTE growth & nett job creation over 2014-2017


Annual growth 2016-2017: 68%

New jobs created 2014-2017: 936

2. Rituals

Annual growth 2016-2017: 44%

New jobs created 2014-2017: 2448

3. Coolblue

Annual growth 2016-2017: 50%

New jobs created 2014-2017: 2040


Marleen Bax

Marleen Bax

Project Manager Education

Curious to learn more about the ScaleUp Dashboard and our research in the area of fast-growing organisations?

Get in touch with our Project Manager Research.


Phone: +31 10 302 1331

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