GEN Announces Acting Managing Director to Guide Development of New Affiliate in the Netherlands
Photo Credit: HSE University
Wray Bradner
14 Feb 2018

Hein Roelfsema to guide GEN Netherlands to strengthen international connections and implement new programs, initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network has appointed Hein Roelfsema as managing director of GEN Netherlands. In this role, Roelfsema is responsible for expanding collaboration among the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders and connecting them to their counterparts in more than 170 countries.

Roelfsema said the Netherlands has a global mindset that facilitates “early internalization of startups,” and the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem provides a positive environment for growth and scalability.

“From our top rated universities such as Delft, Eindhoven and Twente that pump out innovative startup on a large scale, to global competition like the Get in the Ring challenge, the Netherlands has quite a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem with cities like Amsterdam bustling with entrepreneurship,” said Roelfsema. “My personal aim is to use – and position – GEN Netherlands a core connector of Dutch startups and ecosystem actors around the globe.”

At the global level, GEN operates in more than 170 countries. It fuels healthier start and scale ecosystems by fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives that engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurship support organizations.

GEN Netherlands aims to strengthen the ecosystem by focusing on:

  • Supporting founders and their startups through pitch competitions and expert feedback, such as the global Get in the Ring challenge,
  • Raising awareness of the resources available to Dutch entrepreneurs through already existing programs, such as the How to Get There Summit, as well as strengthening Global Entrepreneurship Week events across the country, and
  • Sharing knowledge on ecosystems and entrepreneurship education across the globe using the GEN platform.

Alongside his role as GEN Netherlands acting managing director, Roelfsema also serves as the director of the Utrecht Center for Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

About the Global Entrepreneurship Network
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth.  For details on the programs that make up GEN, visit and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter. 


Jessica Wray Bradner

Marketing Manager | Local Entrepreneur

Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she created daily… More