30 Oct 20
30 Oct 20
Inspiring stories Port4Growth Interview to ELITE Ambassador Joop de Jong | Owner at Port4Growth
What does "entrepreneurship" mean to you?
For me, entrepreneurship is freedom and being able to realize a dream. My dream concerns bringing entrepreneurs together and helping them as a confidant in finding the right organizations that can support them.
What drives me is the challenging issue that on the one hand we have built up an impressive global infrastructure with the internet and on the other hand can hardly find each other.
As an entrepreneur I feel this is a challenge to be solved, an enormous opportunity to ensure that every entrepreneur quickly and easily finds the right party, be it a colleague entrepreneur or organization, to provide him with the right solution. There is no shortage of expertise, in my opinion we mainly have a challenge to connect the right people.
This is also one of the reasons to be an ambassador at ELITE and to jointly build the network that realizes my dream.

What was the most significant experience or lesson you acquired during your career?
I've learned that persistence pays off. Many people, and especially large companies, quickly drop out if it does not work immediately. Finding the right people around you is also an important learning experience. Go for people you share your dream with. Having certain expertise, being a top player in his or her field is not enough. Do you feel a certain click, what is your gut feeling?
I have also learned that many people want a free ride. As an entrepreneur, you have to determine very quickly whether someone is really contributing or whether he belongs to the category of followers. You learn that you have to say goodbye to these people quickly and in a neat way.
Finally, you really become wiser. You look at yourself and at people with more compassion. And as my first boss said, don't take it all too seriously. After all these years I understand better and better what he meant.
How does your company stand out in the competitive landscape?
Port4Growth, the platform for growth entrepreneurs, is one of the longest active entrepreneurial platforms in the Netherlands with more than 15 years of existence. In the landscape of growth programs, we have one of the highest-rated programs with the Growth Accelerator Program. On request of the Dutch government this program was evaluated by an independent research firm, with positive results. The OECD compared the program with international growth programs and concluded that our program had the highest measurable impact on the performance of participating entrepreneurs.
With a network of 5000 Dutch growth companies, it is also one of the largest networks.
What is your personal and professional motto?
The motto I have actually comes from the New Testament. A father gave his three sons one, two and three coins respectively called Talents. The assignment was to do something good with it. The son with 3 talents had started to use them and lost all three. The son with 2 talents put them underground and came back with 2 talents. The son with 1 talent multiplied his talent to 3. The father was only disappointed in his second son. The motto - and my motto - is: always use your talents. Win or lose, both is good, but never put your talents underground to be on the safe side.

What kind of entrepreneur do you represent within the ELITE network?
I am an experienced entrepreneur who likes to use my contacts, knowledge and experience for colleagues in the worldwide network.


If you want to discover more on our ELITE Ambassador Port4Growth, click here