Orion is a network organisation of collaborating knowledge institutions in Gelderland, which assists start-ups with innovative and scalable ideas to launch their businesses. This assistance consists of, among other things, expert guidance in the field of business development and competence development, as well as finding investment. In addition to VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL), the educational institutions of HAN University of Applied Sciences, ArtEZ, Saxion and Radboud University are also part of this partnership, as are the province of Gelderland, Rabobank, Oost NL, Kiemt and Generation-E.
The collaborating partners within Orion offer start-ups their expertise in the form of training courses, workshops, and events on various themes such as business, marketing, and personal development. The Green Entrepreneurship Centre (GEC) is the initiator within VHL University of Applied Sciences. The GEC is a knowledge centre that trains and supervises enterprising VHL students, alumni and (future) entrepreneurs. The GEC supports start-ups and projects aimed at sustainable and innovative entrepreneurship. Within Orion, the GEC addresses the themes of marketing and financing with a management game in an international framework.
Enterprising students who want to start their own business can, via Orion, also apply for one of the twenty starter vouchers or loans made available annually by Stichting Fondsbeheer Gelderland Valoriseerd. Because the initial phase of an innovation is often risky, it is sometimes difficult to obtain financing from a bank. The starter vouchers partially overcome this problem.
More information about Orion, the participating partners, the offer and examples of successful start-ups in the Gelderland region can be found at orion.co.uk. If you would like to know more about the possibilities offered by the Green Entrepreneurship Centre, please visit hvhl.com or ask Rien van der Velde or Jitse Schaafsma.