Business Development Advisor at Ministry of Economic Affairs
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, which 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. In the function of Business Development Advisor, you coordinate events, research trips and the process of finding business partners. Tasks 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 An interesting aspect of this job 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. Workingwith the network of Embassies, Consulate Generals and NBSOs is also very enjoyable. 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. Competencies 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 language skills.
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