TOPondernemingsregling (TOR)

Topondernemersregeling (TOR)

Enabling students to successfully combine studying with running a business

Entrepreneurship among students is on the rise and more and more ambitious student entrepreneurs are discovering that successfully combining studies and running a business can prove challenging. Student entrepreneurs either spend less time on their startup or study resulting in dropouts or bankruptcy. While Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Dutch Pieter Zwart (Coolblue) have been highly successful despite dropping out of college, this will not be the reality for many student entrepreneurs. This begs the question: how can we help ambitious student-entrepreneurs to successfully combine academics and running a business?

The Erasmus University Rotterdam was the first university in the Netherlands to start a speciality support programme for student entrepreneurs: in 2012 it launched the Student Entrepreneurs Excellence Programme (StEEP), a ‘topondernemersregeling’ (TOR). The programme has seen much success in achieving its goal of supporting student entrepreneurs in running their businesses successfully due to their study and not despite of their study to prevent drop-outs. In the following years, other schools and universities followed with similar programmes.

DutchCE and StartupDelta are committed to stimulate the “Topondernemersregeling” (TOR) and encourage programmes to support student entrepreneurs. On this page you will find all the information about the TOR and existing initiatives.

The information provided on this page is part of the handbook Topondernemersregeling, published by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and DutchCE. Click here to download the handbook (in Dutch).

What is a TOR?

A “topondernemersregeling” (TOR) is a specific arrangement for student entrepreneurs within an educational institution, offering them flexibility and support to combine their studies with running a business. The setup of this arrangement can differ per educational institution: in some cases, a TOR merely offers the possibility to miss out on classes, whereas other institutions offer a personal study counselor and training. The term ‘TOR’ is therefore used to refer to all arrangements that aim to help students successfully combine study and entrepreneurship.

A “topondernemersregeling” (TOR) is a specific arrangement for student entrepreneurs within an educational institution, offering them flexibility and support to combine their studies with running a business

Educational institutions offering a TOR*

Erasmus University: StEEP

This programme enables students to simultaneously study and run a business and helps them overcome barriers they might face. Academically speaking little changes for the student. A personal study counselor helps StEEP participants to plan properly to avoid a drop-out. The StEEP programme also focuses on maintaining a connection between the student entrepreneur and university and encourages entrepreneurs who dropped out to return to university to finish their degree.

Read more here or contact

Hogeschool van Amsterdam: Graduation track

The Hogeschool teamed up with the Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE), to offer students the option to graduate based on work experience within their own business, to the satisfaction of many of their student-entrepreneurs. The student entrepreneurs get individual coaching, a “buddy card” for consultation and access to services of ACE. The main focus of the programme is to allow student entrepreneurs to graduate or do an internship within their own business.

For more information see here or contact

Landstede: Business Boost

Landstede Business Boost supports and inspires student entrepreneurs. Participants benefit from support by a casemanager, entry to events, workshops and network opportunities, a workplace and the opportunity to complete an internship or thesis project within their own company. Admission criteria include a registered company, a detailed business plan, minimum revenue of 7,500 euros and at least 3 clients.

For more information watch this short video or contact

Hanze Hogeschool: Topondernemersregeling

The programme at the Hanzehogeschool supports 10 to 20 talented student entrepreneurs yearly. They are offered a wide range of facilities, such as internal and external coaching, dedication of minor, internship or thesis to their business, and additional opportunities to resit exams. Student entrepreneurs need to demonstrate a good business model, a detailed business plan, and a prognosis to break even within 3 years.

For more information see here or contact

Windesheim: Innovatieve topondernemersregeling

This programme helps entrepreneurial students at Windesheim to succesfully combine studying with running their business. Student entrepreneurs need to make a certain amount of revenue in order to be eligible for the programme. Based on the needs of the entrepreneur, the programme offers flexibility in their curriculum. It is also possible for the student to do an internship for or write their thesis related to their own company.

Hogeschool Leiden: Top talent policy

Hogeschool Leiden has a special arrangement for student entrepreneurs, offering a custom curriculum with specific exemptions. The opportunity to do an internship within their own business is currently being explored. Criteria for admission include an annual report and business plan, ‘substantial’ revenue and a concrete product or service.

Read more here

*Is your programme not listed on this page? Please send us a message.

Questions or do you want more information? Contact us.