The fact that Epke Zonderland had extra space to combine his medical studies with obtaining an Olympic gold medal seems the most natural thing in the world, but it is not so obvious to students with exceptional talent for entrepreneurship.
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Along with four other talents from HAN, Gerjan received a so-called TOR status a few weeks ago. A status that allows them to combine their studies with commercial activities. And that this is more than an ordinary odd job, it becomes clear when you ask Gerjan when we can talk to him about this topic. “Then I’ll have to check my calendar.” He sees a first opportunity in a week and a half.
With two other students who, like Gerjan, follow the Sports Sciences course, he started an entrepreneurial activity. With their QR-fit company, they facilitate special exercise routes, which should stimulate exercise in public spaces. Several municipalities and schools, but also insurers and gymnasiums are already part of the clientele.
“I often have several conversations with big names from big companies or city councilors, and they just aren’t that flexible. Therefore, I can’t attend some courses,” says Gerjan. Now that he can use the Top Entrepreneur Program, he will have additional space to, for example, allow these types of deals to continue. “They want to prevent you from stopping your studies.”
Much more than just a chamber of commerce number
The scheme is not new, but according to Karel Rietdijk, project manager for entrepreneurship at HAN, it is not yet widely used. “If you compare it with the advanced sports diet, you see that this diet is used less for entrepreneurs. It is not overwhelming, no.”
But, says Rietdijk, the students really have to do something about it. “It’s not like: I have a chamber of commerce number, therefore I am an entrepreneur, so I obtain this status. Certainly not.”
Students must be able to show that they have a successful business, that they more than intend to continue in the business and that this must also be in line with the training. In addition to space and time, the program offers additional guidance to help students grow as entrepreneurs.