curriculum vitae




Personal information




Van der Horst, Robert Edward



Bredewater 26, NL-2715 CA Zoetermeer













Date of birth


2 April 1947


Work experience


Dates (from – to)



Name and address of employer


EIM, Bredewater 26,  2711 CA Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Type of business or sector


Applied social and economic research

Occupation or position held


Director of EIM Brussels, 5, Rue Archimède, Box 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Executive Director of the European Network for Social and Economic Research ENSR

Immediate Past-President of the ICSB: International Council for Small Business, Washington

Main activities and responsibilities


Acquisition of projects; managing large international research projects; policy advice; managing European network ENSR;  representation of EIM and ENSR in Brussels.


Dates (from – to)



Name and address of employer


NEI (Netherlands Economic Institute) Rotterdam

Type of business or sector


Applied social and economic research

Occupation or position held


Researcher/senior researcher Department of Regional Economics

Main activities and responsibilities


Executing and managing applied economic research projects


Education and training


• Dates (from – to)



• Name and type of organisation providing education and training


Erasmus University Rotterdam

• Principal subjects/occupational

skills covered


Regional Economics

Major subjects: Economic geography, Theoretical regional economy, Applied regional economic research, Mathematics, Macro-economic theory.

Secondary subjects: Urban economics, Statistics, Environmental economics

• Title of qualification awarded


Masters degree

• Level in national classification

(if appropriate)




Personal skills

and competences

Acquired in the course of life and career but not necessarily covered by formal certificates and diplomas.


Mother tongue




Other languages





Reading skills



Writing skills



Verbal skills







Reading skills



Writing skills



Verbal skills







Reading skills



Writing skills



Verbal skills




Social skills

and competences

Living and working with other people, in multicultural environments, in positions where communication is important and situations where teamwork is essential (for example culture and sports), etc.


Managing research unit. Managing international projects with people from many countries.

Establishing, extending and managing the European Network for Social and Economic Research (ENSR): bringing together organisations and people from 32 countries. See:

Past-President of the ICSB: International Council for Small Business, Washington

Member Lions Club Delft Princestad



Organisational skills

and competences

Coordination and administration of people, projects and budgets; at work, in voluntary work (for example culture and sports) and at home, etc.


10 years experience of managing an SME research unit, more than 15 years experience in international SME and entrepreneurship research and consultancy for policy makers in almost all EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Russian Federation, South Africa, Dubai and USA. From 1992 to 2004 responsible for the overall management and co-ordination of the Annual Reports of the Observatory of European SMEs (19 countries, since 2003: 32 countries).

Since 1992 responsible for establishing, managing and extending the European Network for Social and Economic Research ENSR, bringing together research organisations in 32 countries. Since 2007 Executive Director of the ENSR.



Technical skills

and competences

With computers, specific kinds of equipment, machinery, etc.


Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint


Artistic skills

and competences

Music, writing, design, etc.




Other skills

and competences

Competences not mentioned above.


Membership of professional bodies:

-      ECSB: European Council for Small Business

-      ICSB: International Council for Small Business, Washington

-      AIREPME: Association Internationale de Recherche en PME

-      Advisory Board to the Dutch Association for Public Procurement

-      Past member of the Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development (Environment Directorate General of the European Commission)


Driving licence(s)









-                          Cost-benefit analysis of new towns in The Netherlands (with J.A. van der Vlist), Netherlands Economic Institute, Series Foundations of Empirical Economic Research nr. 1982/5, Rotterdam.

-                          Grenzüberschreitendes Aktionsprogramm für das Gebiet der Euregio, (Cross Border Action Programme for the Euregio area), NEI (Netherlands Economic Institute), Rotterdam, 1985.

-                          Zimbabwe Coal Transportation Study for the World Bank, NEI (Netherlands Economic Institute), Rotterdam, 1985.

-                          De Europese uitdaging (The European Challenge), Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises and the completion of the internal market, EIM, Zoetermeer, 1988.

-                          Innovation Processes in Small and Medium-sized Companies (with Jaap Docter and Casper Stokman), Entrepreneurship & Regional Development I, 1989.

-                          SME Policy and Organisations in The Netherlands and Hungary (with H.J. Docter, J.A.H. Snijders and Z. Román), Zoetermeer/Budapest, 1991.

-                          Western Small Business Experiences beneficial for Eastern European Small Business Economics (with H.J. Docter, J.A.H. Snijders and Z. Román), Zoetermeer/Budapest, 1991.

-                          The Volatility of the Small Business Sector in The Netherlands, OECD, Montreal, 1992.

-                          Interfirm co-operation in The Netherlands (with Cinzia Mancini), in: Co-operation & Competitiveness; Interfirm Co-operation- a means towards SME Competitiveness, Proceedings International Conference, Lisbon 6-8 October 1993.

-                          Feiten over samenwerking door Nederlandse bedrijven (Facts and Figures about International Co-operation by Dutch SMEs), in: Samenwerken met bedrijven in Europa (Co-operating with businesses in Europe), Alphen aan den Rijn/Diegem, 1995.

-                          The role of SMEs in networking and subcontracting (with Cinzia Mancini), Business, Growth & Profitability, December 1995.

-                          A comparison of SME policy in the EU Member States (with Karin I. de Lind van Wijngaarden), Business, Growth & Profitability, March 1996.

-                          Entrepreneurship in Western and Eastern Europe, in: Industrial organisation and entrepreneurship in transition, Varna, Bulgaria, June 1995.

-                          Mittelstandspolitik in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten (SME policy in the EU Member States; with Karin de Lind van Wijngaarden) in: Mittelstandsförderung in der Praxis (SME support in practice), Cologne, 1996.

-                          The European Observatory for SMEs (with Karin de Lind van Wijngaarden), in: Hans Landström, Hermann Franck, José M. Veciana, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research in Europe; an ECSB Survey, Avebury, Aldershot, 1997.

-                          The State of Small Business in The Netherlands 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, EIM, Zoetermeer.

-                          Het Nederlandse MKB in Europees perspectief (Dutch SMEs in European perspective; with Karin de Lind van Wijngaarden) in: D.P. Scherjon and A.R. Thurik (ed.) Handboek Ondernemers en adviseurs in het MKB (SME Entrepreneurs’ and Advisors’ Manual), Deventer 1998.

-                          Presentazione di un’indagine sulla tassazione e la creazione di imprese in alcuni Paesi europei (Presentation of a study on the taxation and creation of enterprise in some EU

-                          Member States) in: Costruire un contesto fiscale europeo per la crescita delle PMI e dell’artigianato (Creation of a fiscal context for the growth of SMEs and craft firms), CNA, Brussels 1997.

-                          How to collect good information on working and employment conditions in SMEs? Job quality within the perspective of overall HRM policy (with Eric van Straten), Paper presented at the Workshop “Employment Conditions in EU micro firms”, Dublin, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, September 1998.

-                          UEAPME and EIM in: Liber Amicorum Jan Kamminga, President UEAPME 1994-1998, Brussels, March 1999.

-                          Regulatory Policies and their Impact on SMEs in Europe: the case of Administrative Burdens (with André Nijsen and Selcuk Gulhan) in: Donald Sexton and Hans Lundström, Handbook of Entrepreneurship, Malden (USA), 2000.

-                          Supporting enterprises throughout their life cycle: current policy work on the business environment, for the Conference “Small enterprises in our economy”, European Commission, Enterprise Directorate-General, Brussels, 23 May 2002

-                          The Observatory of European SMEs, EIM and European Network for SME Research (ENSR), Zoetermeer, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Reports, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004.

-                          Rob van der Horst, Sandra King-Kauanui, Susan Duffy (ed.), Keystones of Entrepreneurship Knowledge, Published on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the International Council for Small Business ICSB, Blackwell, Malden/Oxford, 2005.

-                          Ruud Hoevenagel, Guido Brummelkamp, Anna Peytcheva and Rob van der Horst , Promoting Environmental Technologies in SMEs: Barriers and Measures, Editors: Josefina Lindblom and Luis Delgado, EUR Number: 22769 EN, Publication date: 5/2007.


Project activities


1990 – date                     During this period completed the following project activities:



-                          Estimation of the export potential of Dutch SMEs;

-                          Annual reports on the State of Small Business in The Netherlands;

-                          SME policy in The Netherlands (for the Swedish government);

-                          The utilisation of Community Structural Funds by SMEs in The Netherlands (commissioned by the European Commission).

-                          Assessment of the “Business Related Services” sector, project commissioned by DG V of the European Commission to Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.

-                          Evaluation of IntEnt; a programme financed by the Dutch government supporting the start-up of enterprises in Ghana and Surinam by people from ethnic minorities

-                          Organisation of the 29th International Small Business Congress ISBC, October 2002 Amsterdam (assessment of abstracts and papers)



-                          Extension and maintenance of the ENSR (European Network for Social and Economic Research), co-ordinated by EIM; regular missions to all Member States of the European Economic Area (EU-15 together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland. Since 1992 about 25 international meetings have been organised and chaired, bringing together members of the ENSR from 19 countries (in October 2003 the first meeting with 32 countries was held).

-                          International comparative research into the international strategic orientation of SMEs in manufacturing industry (INTERSTRATOS);

-                          International comparison of SME-policy of the governments in the 12 Member States of the EC;

-                          Organisation of the European Small Business Seminar 1992;

-                          International comparison of government policy on information and advice;

-                          Consultant to the OECD (Paris) in setting up an SME-databank and an SME research programme;

-                          International comparison of statistics on the demography of firms (initiated by ANCE, Paris);

-                          An international comparative study in eight European countries on competitiveness, autonomy and business relationships;

-                          SME policy in the 12 EC Member States compared with the SME policy of the EC (for the Department of Trade and Industry, United Kingdom);

-                          Europe’s 500: survey and analysis of 500 fast growing firms in Europe (commissioned by DG III, DG V and DG XXIII of the EC);

-                          Consultant to UNIDO (Vienna) to develop the methodology for an ‘SME Observatory’ for developing countries;

-                          Consultant to the OECD (Paris) on Regulatory Reform and SMEs.

-                          Feasibility study European Observatory on Industrial Change (EC DG V);     

-                          Independent expert to the OECD and the Italian government concerning the preparation of the Ministerial SME Conference, Bologna 2000;

-                          Preparation of the International Small Business Congress 2002 in Amsterdam (a.o. with the Conference Introduction Paper “Small Business, Big Markets, One World”);

-                          The 'Observatory of European SMEs': a research project, running from 1992 till 2004, on the structure and development of the small business sector in 19 Western European countries. Position: project director of the study, carried out in the last phase by 32 research institutes. The project was commissioned by the Enterprise Directorate General of the European Commission. Since 1992 eight series of reports have been prepared (in English, French and German). In the frame of the project 15 workshops have been organised (and chaired) in Brussels with representatives of European business associations. See:


-                          Support services to micro enterprises and sole proprietors (EC, Enterprise DG)

-                          International comparison of organisation and tasks of Chambers of Commerce in 15 EU-countries, the USA and New Zealand;

-                          Representativeness of European SME organisations (EC, DG Enterprise);

-                          SMEs and Alternative Dispute Resolutions (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          Promoting craft and SMEs in the area of Standardisation (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          Promoting Environmental technologies in SMEs (EC, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville;

-                          Self- and Co-regulatory Practices in the EU (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          Best Practices in the area of Social Protection for New Entrepreneurs and their spouses (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                                  Self- and Co-regulatory Practices in the SANCO policy areas (EC, DG SANCO);

-                                  Access to Standardisation for SMEs (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          SME and entrepreneurship policies in the EU-27 for the 2008 Competitiveness Report of the European Commission;

-                          Cyclicality of SME finance (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          Internationalisation of EU SMEs (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);

-                          Annual review of EU SMEs (EC, Enterprise & Industry DG);



-                                  Comparative Dutch-German regional survey on the success of start-ups of entrepreneurial teams.


-                                  Measuring the costs of administrative burden in several domains in Flanders.


United Kingdom

-                                  Oral and written evidence for the House of Lords about the Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe, issued by the Enterprise DG, European Commission.



-                                    Study on the nascent private sector in Bulgaria, resulting in an action programme (PHARE);

-                                    Investigation into the need for credit of the Bulgarian private sector in the frame of the establishment of a Credit Guarantee Scheme;

-                                    Role, functions and internal organisation structure of the SME-department of the Bulgarian Ministry of Industry;            

-                                    Organising a study tour to SME institutions in The Netherlands and Portugal for Bulgarian SME officials;

-                                    Setting up an information system for the Private Industrial Activities Division (SME policy) of the Ministry of Industry.


                Central and Eastern Europe

-                                    Privatisation in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

-                                    Consultant to the OECD about Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in the Baltic Rim


Candidate Countries

-                                    Extension of the European Network for Social and Economic Research (ENSR) with partner-institutes in all 13 Candidate Countries.


                Czech Republic

-                                    SME Observatory for the Czech Republic (PHARE).



-                                    Demonstration project for Hungarian SMEs and SME-policy makers.



-                                    Developing an SME policy for the national government (PHARE)


                Slovak Republic

-                                    Evaluation of the PHARE Programme “SME Development in the Slovak Republic”.

-                                    Consultant to UNIDO as an international SME expert for the SME project (financed by USAID).


                All PHARE countries

-                                    Feasibility study to investigate the possibilities of setting up an SME Observatory project (research on the structure and development of SMEs).


                Russian Federation

-                                    Short-term expert in the TACIS SMERUS9803 project: developing an SME Observatory for the Russian Federation.

-                                    Organising a study tour for Russian SME officials.

-                                    Short tern expert in the TACIS SMERUS9803 project: commenting on the final report “SME Observatory for the Russian Federation”.


                South Africa

-                                    Feasibility study regarding the establishment of an SME information system and an SME policy and research unit for the Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency, Department of Trade and Industry.

-                                    Feasibility study into the establishment of a local office in southern Africa.

-                                    Consultant to the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) and the Afrikaanse Handels Instituut (AHI).

-                                    Advisor to the Department of Trade and Industry in the frame of the Second National Small Business Conference (Durban, November 1997).

-                                    Business Impact Assessment of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 (facilitator of several workshops in the countryside).

-                                    National Small Business Regulatory Review, NTSIKA Enterprise Promotion Agency, Pretoria.

-                                    Technical Assistance to the Policy and Research Division, NTSIKA Enterprise   Promotion Agency, Pretoria.

-                                    Developing an Entrepreneurship Strategy for the Department of Trade and Industry, Pretoria (workshops in Johannesburg).

-                                    Advice about an SME Advertising strategy for the Standard Bank of South Africa.


               South America

-                                    Feasibility mission to investigate the possibility of establishing an SME Research Network and an SME Information System in the Andean Countries, based on the experiences gained with the European Observatory for SMEs, Bogotá (Colombia). Workshop with SME researchers and statisticians from the Andean countries, IDB and CEPAL.


Latin America and the Caribbean

-                                  -                                   Study into the possibility of setting up a Latin American Observatory for SMEs project in 26 countries for the Inter-American Development Bank. Mission to Jamaica.


Netherlands Antilles

-                                  Development of an economic SME model for the government of Curacao.


               United States of America

-                                Consultant to IBM for its 1998 Small and Medium-sized Business SAM Leadership Institute, New York.


               Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

-                                Developing a strategy for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)

-                                Setting up an enterprise research programme and an enterprise database for DCCI.



-                                Consultant to IDRC (Canada) for a workshop on setting up an SME research programme. 

-                                Consultant to IDRC (Canada) for a workshop on the relation between SME policy and SME research in the MENA region.



-                                Consultant to the National Development & Reform Commission for the support new and growing businesses in Chengdu.


               OECD countries

-                                Consultant to the OECD SME Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (1992-2004, ongoing).

-                                Consultant to the OECD for the preparation of the Ministerial SME Conference, June 2000, Bologna.


1986 – 1990                   During this period completed the following project activities:



-                                Innovation, diffusion and information in Dutch small and medium sized industries;

-                                Evaluation of a Dutch export information system;

-                                Commercial policy of small manufacturing companies acting as subcontractors to large enterprises;

-                                Effects of technological development in the field of flexible production automation and new materials on SMEs;

-                                The need for training in the metal working industry;

-                                Analysis of strong and weak points of SME in the building trade;

-                                Impact of the completion of the internal market in 1992 on Dutch SME in general;

-                                Analysis of strong and weak points of SMEs in the sector of building services;

-                                Impact of the completion of the internal market in 1992 on the sector of building services;

-                                Determination of qualifications for export analysts;

-                                Preparation of a guide for trans-national co-operation by SMEs;

-                                Survey of the structure of the trade in the sector of blinds and shutters;

-                                Innovation in manufacturing firms in the province of Overijssel;

-                                The role of commercial banks in the innovation process of manufacturing SMEs;

-                                Market study into the sector of the building service industry (Dutch partner in the European Building Service Study of BSRIA and Kienbaum);

-                                Impact of the completion of the internal market in 1992 on the export performance of the yacht building industry;

-                                Logistic management in manufacturing industry;

-                                Impact of the completion of the internal market in 1992 on the sectors of painters, stonemasons and plasterers.



-                                Information systems in an innovative branch of manufacturing industry: the environmental production sector (commissioned by the Task Force "European Year of the Environment", DG XI of the EC);

-                                Longitudinal panel study on innovation, in co-operation with research institutes in Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France.


               United Kingdom and Italy

-                                Participation of manufacturing SMEs in exporting outside the European Community (commissioned by the EC).


1976-1986                      During this period completed the following project activities:



-                                Economic aspects of urban renewal;

-                                Urban planning at municipal level (population, employment and traffic forecasts, housing, migration, etc.);

-                                Physical planning: cost benefit analysis of new towns versus extending old towns;

-                                Impact of offshore developments on local economy and on the environment;

-                                Decentralisation of national traffic policy;

-                                The need for office accommodation;

-                                Financial consequences of alternative housing programmes;

-                                Regional consequences of closing down university faculties;

-                                Consequences of demographic trends on environmental pollution;

-                                Economies of recycling waste material.


               Zimbabwe and Mozambique

-                                Coal transportation (feasibility) study for the World Bank.



-                                Regional action programme for a Dutch-German border region in the frame of the EU
Structural Funds.