Career Profile: Business Development Advisor at Ministry of Econ
Business Development Advisor at Ministry of Economic Affairs, Specialization European Integration
EVD NL International is a division of Agency NL, part of
the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs,
Agriculture and Innovation. The organisation focuses on sustainability, innovation, international
business and cooperation. It is the contact point for businesses, knowledge institutions and government
bodies. It supports entrepreneurs in realizing their international ambitions. This involves the provision of
information, funding and networks. The institution focuses mainly on enterprises in the Netherlands and
abroad. It takes up the task to support enterprises, in particular SMEs, in international markets and to
help them grow. This entails, amongst others, providing information, advising of projects, grants, loans
and positioning in foreign markets.
As a business development advisor, you assist Dutch entrepreneurs who are interested in doing business
in the United States. It is quite similar to the work employees execute at the economical department of
Embassies, Consulate Generals and Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSOs). It is mainly about
supporting entrepreneurs, such as answering their questions, introducing them to potential business
partners and organizing events.
Pro’s and con’s
Interesting aspect is that you are always working with entrepreneurs. Especially the entrepreneurs who
want to export to the United States are usually very imaginative, inspiring and passionate people. In
addition, the organization offers its services to all kinds of industries, this makes the work very varied.
For example, you can be working for a trading company in fruit on one day, and for a producer of
medical imaging software, the next day. Also enjoyable is working with the network of Embassies,
Consulate Generals and NBSOs.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs are not very interested in politics, or in corporate social
responsibility. This is understandable, but you could sometimes miss the sense of social responsibility
that comes from studying for instance IRIO.
Important competencies and/or skills you need for this function:
• You need to understand business. Understanding business is something that I've picked up on the
job. Listening to entrepreneurs and learning from other advisors has been essential.
• You need to understand all the aspects involved when going international; legal, cultural,
economical, etcetera. Studying International Relations gives you an excellent preparation for the
latter. The different legal courses offer the comprehension required to wade through complex
legalistic lingo and filter out what is relevant for a certain enterprise.
Obviously, a solid understanding of economics is also required. Especially the hands-on courses within
IRIO have helped me with that. Moreover, language skills are very important. The language courses I
have followed have helped, but studying and living abroad has been more essential to improve these
In this function you coordinate events, research trips and the process of finding business partners.