The Brainport region has a few thousand highly skilled International knowledge workers who have traveled to the region with their partners and are looking for a fulfilling job. They specialize in various fields like finance, marketing, or project management, but are missing the connection with the local job market. Large companies are probably already aware of the potential of hiring international employees, but we think that small and medium-sized enterprises do not always consider and are aware of the resources internationals can bring to their company.

Expat Spouses Initiative has been driving and joining the forces to connect SMEs with (local) international talent and vice-versa. ESI, firmly believe that more SMEs should benefit from the skills of international employees.

Expat spouses should also explore the SME job market in the region. SMEs are responsible for most of the jobs in The Netherlands therefore, we should go all out on this sector. Job seekers, should raise their threshold and look beyond International companies, there are tremendous opportunities with small and medium-sized enterprises.

Small And Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or Midden en Klein bedrijf (MKB) is the backbone of any economy. The SME ecosystem is particularly robust in the Netherlands – there are twice as many SMEs here as the United Kingdom and substantially more than Germany. There are more than 1.5 Million SMEs in the Netherlands, accounting for 61% of the Dutch GDP.  

Not surprisingly, SMEs are the job engines of the Dutch economy. Of every 10 jobs, 7 are created by SMEs.  At this moment, there are close to 100,000 (98,200) job vacancies in the SME market. Powering the SMEs, with the right kind of talent will be a gamechanger.

Eindhoven, is responsible for 40% of the Netherland’s R&D, attracts some of the brightest minds from across the world. Many of them bring with them  their partners, or spouses, who find it hard to integrate professionally in the local environment.

Expat Spouses initiative represents a community of nearly 1200 international professionals in Eindhoven region, who followed their partners and a vast number of them are yet to be plugged into the labor market. The number of international knowledge workers is estimated to double in the next three to five years to meet demand.This means almost 2000 more accompanying partners will come into region every year.

SME’s are the future of a global Eindhoven. International talent can strengthen small and medium businesses, accelerate their growth in an increasingly global market, and help them scale-up and become established, stable and large businesses. When a company hires an international, the company will be able to exceed their innovation power. However, many smaller enterprises simply don’t have the resources they need to find the best, and the most qualified candidates. In some of the enterprises, there are generally no human resources departments that can dedicate themselves to hunting out candidates.

Expat Spouses Initiative represents a versatile talent pool. By linking SMEs with International talent and working together on an overall solution, we see that SMEs will be able to make most of the opportunities and potentially expect growth curve similar to large companies but with the agility of an SME. This will create a resilient SME layer in the Brainport region economy which will give a stable foundation that is resilient and thrive against disruptive developments.

Stay tuned as we share with you more insights about the SME Job market and the potential of (local) International talent available in the region.

Why should SME’s hire an International

  • Internationals bring new, locally not available experience.
  • Internationals help in achieving multidisciplinary team ambition.
  • Internationals help you test new markets.
  • Internationals brings diversity to a workplace, introduce a new culture, language, and perspective.
  • Resilient labor market – Adaptivity, Flexibility, Particularly adaptive against Disruptive development.

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Are you an International talent working with the Small and Medium Enterprise or SME interested in knowing about the (local) International talent available? We would love to hear from you, write us at