team behind De Ondernemer



magazines & SIM

Boosted by a quality drive and new content strategy, De Ondernemer continued to grow in 2023. It’s the number one business platform for the SME and SME Plus segments, something Robert van den Ham is very proud of indeed. “A whole new role has emerged for us,” says the Director of Content & Creation, who will be launching BusinessWise with Leonie Reindertsen and Thijs van der Zande later this year.

In the early days of the pandemic, De Ondernemer’s editorial team decided to embrace the role of news source. “The NOW scheme, the TVL scheme, the government’s press conferences – what is this going to mean for your shop, for your people, for your business? We started translating background and context into news,” says Van den Ham.

Informing turned into advising, often thanks to input from entrepreneurs. With this new content strategy, De Ondernemer was able to add much more value to its news, turning the platform into a distinctive brand. The many blogs, written by around 30 experts, contribute to this as well. “By bringing those people in as voices of authority, they also become our ambassadors and help spread the word.”


This year, DPG Media Zakelijk, to which De Ondernemer belongs, is launching a new media brand: BusinessWise. The platform was conceived and developed by Robert van den Ham, Leonie Reindertsen and Thijs van der Zande. “The target group for BusinessWise is anyone with a C-level adjacent position in the business world,” Robert van den Ham explains. “From marketing and HR to sales, IT and finance – people with ambition who want to grow and develop.”

The focus is on video and audio. “Videos, podcasts, live radio, presented by household names like Roelof Hemmen, Constantijn van Oranje and Annemarie van Gaal. They’ll be discussing current affairs with experienced professionals and business experts, cleverly linking news stories to valuable lessons for our target audience.”

De Ondernemer’s increased visibility and authority helped to drive growth. “We saw that online traffic suddenly went insane. We used to get around 800,000 monthly page views – that’s gone up to around 1.3 million.”

Four years ago, the decision was made to focus more on audio. “Podcasts, but also live radio. We’re still doing that. Our online station New Business Radio has been airing De Ondernemer Live for years, on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. That’s another channel where we let experts explain their business or industry, and we’re still seeing growth.”

De Ondernemer’s editorial team consists of four editors, supported by ten freelancers. Van den Ham: “We give people opportunities to try things, to experiment. “There’s always room for innovation. For example, we created a newsletter with a text-to-speech feature, so you can have it read to you by a virtual voice. Before we knew it, we had 10,000 subscribers.”

In 2023, De Ondernemer had 12.5 million page views. Every week, the online radio programme drew 700,000 listeners and viewers.

Looking back at 2023, Van den Ham mentions several highlights, such as De Ondernemer Kiest, the election programme the platform made together with AD and the regional newspapers. “We also developed two new awards together: the National Entrepreneur Award and the Pioneer.” The latter led to something very special. “We were nominated for a Cross Media Award, in the Innovation category. Our award was nominated for an award – that’s quite remarkable.”

On top of that came the interest shown by the board of the Koning Willem I Prize. “That’s the most prestigious entrepreneurial business prize in the Netherlands,” Van den Ham says. “The board is chaired by DNB president Klaas Knot, and Queen Máxima is the honorary chair. They wanted to know if we were interested in having the winner of our award automatically be nominated for the Koning Willem I Prize. I was absolutely gobsmacked. The partnership we set up is something to be proud of – for me, it’s one of the highlights of the past year.”