The DHI programme can provide grants to Dutch companies preparing to export or invest in foreign markets. DHI focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises from the Kingdom of the Netherlands that have an interest to do business abroad. SMEs that want to invest, develop a business project or demonstrate their technologies, capital goods or services in a foreign country can apply. DHI is a grant programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is managed by RVO, the agency of the Government of the Netherlands.


The DHI programme is open. As of the 15th of January 2021, the programme accepts applications on a rolling basis (first-come, first-served). 


DHI can subsidize up to 50% of the project budget (60% when applications are implemented in fragile states and focus countries). The remainder must be financed by the applicant. The minimum grant amount that can be requested is EUR 25,000 so the study or demo project budget must be at least EUR 50,000. The maximum grant is EUR 200,000 for demonstration projects, EUR 100,000 for feasibility studies and EUR 100,000 for pre-investment studies.


Project focus

DHI focuses on demonstration projects, feasibility studies and pre-investment studies:


  • Demonstration projects to showcase a specific (Dutch) solution (product, technology or service) in the target country, if this is needed to convince potential buyers. The DHI grant (max EUR 200,000) is 50% of the demonstration project budget.
  • Feasibility studies to demonstrate the technical or commercial feasibility of your (Dutch) solution to a foreign buyer and help to financially close the investment. The feasibility study output typically includes a bankable business plan, on the strength of which the buyer can attract additional financing (e.g. from a bank) to acquire the solution. The DHI grant (max EUR 100,000) is 50% of the feasibility study budget.
  • Pre-investment studies to prepare the investment planned by a Dutch company in a new subsidiary or joint venture partnership. The pre-investment study outputs typically include a bankable business plan, on the strength of which the investor can attract additional financing (e.g. from a bank) for the investment. The DHI grant (max EUR 100,000) is 50% of the pre-investment study budget.


Target countries
The programme is available for studies and projects in all countries except for the Netherlands and some countries where international sanctions are applied. Countries that the programme perceives as fragile states or focus countries are: 


Fragile states: Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Eritrea, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Palestine Territories, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Yemen and Zimbabwe.


Focus countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine Territories, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda and Yemen.


Eligible applicants
DHI is only open for small and medium enterprises registered in the Netherlands or on Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, Aruba, Curaçao or St. Maarten. The applicant should have at least 3 employees and an average annual turnover of €100,000 over the past three years.


DHI is a competitive grant programme that follows a two-staged procedure:


  • Stage one: quick scan, which is a short outline of the plan
  • Stage two: full proposal, subject to RVO’s positive evaluation of the quick scan


 Why work with Advance Consulting?

Advance Consulting has successfully assisted numerous companies in developing their DHI application. In most cases, we have also assisted them in preparing a bankable business plan and attracting funding to financially close their export or investment project. Note that Advance Consulting is not affiliated with the programme. Contact for a free assessment to find out whether your plan may qualify for financing through the DHI programme and how we can be of your service.