Who will win the Koning Willem I Prijzen 2024?

Applications for the 'Oscars of the Dutch business community' open soon

Applications will open on 1 September 2023 for the prestigious Koning Willem I Prizes 2024, the 'Oscars of the Dutch business community'. The 3 awards recognise organisations that excel in courage, decisiveness, perseverance, sustainability, innovation, diversity, and inclusion. The biennial awards will be presented by Her Majesty Queen Máxima in May 2024.

The King William I Prize (Koning Willem I Prijs) is the ultimate crowning achievement of good entrepreneurship. It is the Netherlands' most prestigious and independent entrepreneurial prize, awarded in 3 categories.

The President of De Nederlandsche Bank, Professor Klaas Knot, chairs the Board of the Koning Willem I Foundation: "We are proud of our entrepreneurs! They are the pillars of Dutch prosperity, each of them with their own story, their own unique history. And however different their fields of activity, it is precisely those stories that bind them together and shape the business climate in our country."

Awards for large companies, SMEs, and sustainable organisations

There are three awards: for the best Large Company (more than 250 employees), Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (up to 250 employees), and the Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Companies that stand out in terms of courage, decisiveness, perseverance, sustainability, innovation, and diversity and inclusion are cordially invited to apply, the organisation said.

"The Koning Willem I Prize has been highlighting the importance of good and healthy entrepreneurship for Dutch society since 1958. With it, we draw attention to positive developments in the economy," said Romy Blankenspoor, director of the Koning Willem I Foundation. "It is the most prestigious award for courageous, resilient, and sustainable entrepreneurship. With the awards, we stimulate creativity and innovation and strengthen mutual ties between companies."

Winners' dinner

On Wednesday 20 September, the winners of the 2022 edition - NXP (winner Large Business), Maan Group (winner Small and Medium Business), and MUD Jeans (winner Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship) - together with the Koning Willem I Foundation will organise a dinner for the board, partners, former winners and stakeholders of the Koning Willem I Prizes. This evening full of inspiring speakers marks the start of registration and will take place at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam.

What does winning the Koning Willem I Prize mean?

Winning the King Willem I Prize has a major impact on organisations and their plans, former winners confirm. For NXP, the award acted as a valuable calling card at important meetings with external parties. “Winning the Koning Willem I Prize strengthened our image as an innovative and successful company. It attracted a lot of attention from our international management and Board of Directors, which helped to emphasise our Dutch roots and the importance of the Netherlands as our home country," Jean Schreurs said.

For Mud Jeans, winning the 2022 Koning Willem I Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship has been an extraordinary recognition of their commitment to sustainability and innovation within the fashion industry, says Bert van Son. “The recognition from the King Willem I Foundation has strengthened our commitment to a circular and sustainable approach to fashion. It has not only put us in the national spotlight but has also drawn international attention to our innovative approach to producing and reusing jeans."

Winning the King William I Prize brought many benefits for the Maan Group: praise, a proud team, brand awareness, and recognition. “Suddenly, we were fully in the spotlight. In the region, we were known as 'that company that does something with glue', but that only scratches the surface. Winning the enterprise prize sparked the curiosity of various target groups. For example, the number of open applications rose exponentially, and our foreign partners and customers in particular were very impressed by Queen Máxima's visit," said Bart Oude Wesselink and André Jansen.

Entries are open until 17 December 2023

Dutch companies can apply until 17 December at Following this, the regional selection committees and the plaque jury will nominate 12 companies per category. These companies will then make a live pitch outlining why their organisation deserves a Koning Willem I Award. The professional jury will then select three finalists per category and the Foundation Board will choose the winners. The awards will be presented in May 2024 by honorary president Queen Máxima and Chair Klaas Knot.

The King William l Foundation is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. "We are moving with the times. We have been proudly awarding the Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship for more than 10 years. During that time, awareness of sustainable entrepreneurship has become increasingly important. In the current spirit of the times, it is fitting to put the topic of diversity higher on the agenda. In doing so, we look at ourselves and at the Dutch business community. To this end, we have decided to add diversity and inclusion to the existing assessment criteria from now on," Klaas Knot concludes.