OKB: support for entrepreneurs

Your business is going through a rough patch. Why not turn to Stichting Ondernemersklankbord (OKB)? OKB has been around for 42 years, helping entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with their expertise, network, knowledge, and experience. OKB is one of the partners in the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK ecosystem. Some 300 ex-entrepreneurs and business experts coach businesses. They support you in starting and growing your business, but they also offer help if your business is in financial trouble. "When times are hard, you need support. Share your troubles with us", says OKB director Frank van Santen. "Our volunteers listen and offer hands-on help."

If it hurts, see a doctor

You call a doctor when you feel ill, because they can help you. A similar system exists for entrepreneurs. Do you feel 'entrepreneurial pain' due to financial problems? The KVK Advice Team is your frontline assistance point. They have the know-how to help you and know the experts they can refer you to, if your situation requires specialist help. “KVK regularly refers entrepreneurs to OKB”, says Van Santen. “Our volunteers have expert knowledge and time to spend: they have either retired or sold their business. This means our advisors can give you personal attention for a longer period of time. On average, we help 3,000 entrepreneurs per year. The fee for this used to be 200 euros, but since we are still dealing with the after-effects of the corona crisis, our consultancy is temporarily free of charge."

Contact within 2 days

A referral to OKB takes little time. Within 2 working days of KVK referring you, OKB will get in touch. The sounding board process that you enter into lasts for 6 months. "Our advisors are divided into 17 regional teams. We assign a volunteer near your business. That way, it is easy and convenient to plan the sounding board discussions. At your kitchen table, or online."

Many types of support

OKB helps entrepreneurs in all manner of sectors, in different ways. If your finances are in order, you can start growing by making investments, and possibly hire extra staff. If your business has financial problems, you need to look for different solutions. "Right now, many entrepreneurs have a large burden of debt, caused by deferred tax payments, unpaid rental bills from their landlord or suppliers, and having to repay excess corona support money they received", Van Santen explains. "Our advisors help you make a plan to deal with this, but they also help you talk to creditors, drawing up payment arrangements, and legal procedures, if necessary."

OKB team

The OKB team consists of a variety of highly experienced volunteers, who are ex-entrepreneurs, marketing experts, retired KVK advisors, and bank managers. "That mixture of knowledge means we can offer the entrepreneur high-quality advice", Van Santen knows. "You don't just throw away years of built-up knowledge and experience. OKB uses it to support active entrepreneurs by answering their questions."

Not everyone can become a volunteer at OKB. "Our screening is strict. OKB advisors must be incorruptable and know their stuff. They also have to be able to listen really well and take away the entrepreneur's stress. Those are the ingredients the entrepreneurs who come to us for help need the most."

KVK - OKB collaboration

Is your business in financial trouble? Do not wait too long. Contact KVK. The KVK Advice Team will help you find a way forward, for example the OKB sounding board process. You are in good hands with the OKB advisors.