Xian Wang on starting a business in the Netherlands
Chinese expat Xian Wang discusses the positives and negatives of the Dutch business environment for starting a company in the Netherlands.
Name: Xian Wang.
Country of residence: The Netherlands.
Name of company: Chinese at Ease.
Date of company launch: 18 November, 2011.
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
Chinese at Ease provides simple and cost-effective solutions to individuals and companies pertaining to Chinese Language and culture training. With our unique learning methods, we help people to master Chinese language (Mandarin) and understand Chinese culture in an effective and fast way.
Our business is growing quickly. We are very happy to see many ambitious professionals and companies making significant progress in learning Chinese language and culture.
What do you like about doing business in the Netherlands?
The environment is tolerant for foreign entrepreneurs. The procedure of setting up a business is quite easy. The Dutch Chamber of Commerce provides a lot of help and assistance to young startups.
In addition, our clients are diversified. They are open-minded and ambitious professionals coming from all over the world who are now working in the Netherlands. It's great fun working with people from different cultural backgrounds.
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in the Netherlands?
The tax system is complicated. It takes some time and effort to get a complete picture on how the tax works here.
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
The setting up process was smooth. I didn't really encounter big issues. Once the business is set, it's all about how you run it and make it work.
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
Very often, crisis also means opportunities. I see more and more people are thinking to live/work in Asia, where the economy is booming. This is what I see as an opportunity for Chinese at Ease. We have increasing number of individuals who are following courses from us.
As for companies, I notice they are very careful with their budgets these days due to the economic situation. They are reluctant to invest in things that’s not for now. It takes more effort to convince them with our services.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up businesses in the Netherlands?
Be brave, be confident and be patient. The beginning is the toughest. Give your business some time to get really started.
How does running a business in the Netherlands compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
The Netherlands is the first country where Chinese at Ease operates. I'm sure I will have more experience to share when Chinese at Ease enters markets in other countries.
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