Skip to main content
Skip to main content
Microsoft in your community

Netherlands community investments

Microsoft invests in local programs that benefit people of all ages. In the Netherlands, our collaborations are organized by our focus areas of Skills for Jobs, Enabling Sustainability, and Empowering Communities.

The following program list contains a sample of the investments Microsoft makes on an annual basis.

Skills for jobs 

Microsoft believes everyone should have access to the skills, technology, and opportunity they need to succeed in a changing economy.

Horizon College—Stichting Regionaal Opleidingcentrum is an organization with a heart that invites you to grow into who you are. The college offers unconventional teaching methods. It’s a community that is part of the broader world.

  • DC Academy e-learning and certification supports Horizon College with funding to: (1) reduce the curriculum cost and make sure more students are continuously motivated and supported to achieve certification ; (2) cover the cost of hardware components that are added to lab fees, so more students (and software developers) can have access, and 3) pilot e-learning support for a selected group of students. Horizon College opened the first DC Academy in North Holland in 2019. The program covers over 200 regular students a year.Horizon College also opens the use of the DC lab for programs and education  to adult learners and   students fromsecondary education institutes.


Humanitas Den Helder divides its projects into a number of themes to meet people’s needs, including money and administration, contact and support, caring for others, and well-being.

  • Maatschappelijke Diensttijd (MDT) helps people between the ages of 18–27 to learn new skills, gain experience to add to their CV, and do something meaningful for someone else. Following  an assessment and conversation with a professional youth coach, MDT offers  a choice of various volunteer positions and the corresponding training courses.  Youth meet regularly in a guidance group led by the youth coach. Planning is an important part of the individual counseling conversations, and MDT also offers time management courses and is flexible about when young people perform their volunteer work. The community also benefits from the program: MDT young people help others in a vulnerable situation. This gives them a helping hand and creates encounters between people who would otherwise probably not meet.


Refugee Talent Hub, supported by its tech arm RefugeeHire, serves as a one-stop shop employment support program. It supports newly settled refugees in overcoming hiring barriers and securing meaningful employment. It equally supports employers so they can easily and efficiently source and recruit refugee talent.

  • Employment and tech skills for refugees includes an ICT support employee / Datacenter Technician class in collaboration with learning partner ITPH. The Refugee Talent Hub takes care of the selection process, a soft skill program, and support in finding a job for the participants through their extensive network. Another focus area offers basic digital skilling workshops, like Office 365, Word, and LinkedIn “How do I apply for a job in the Netherlands” workshops, to local refugee talent. This program uses Microsoft volunteers and where relevant teachers from ITPH to give the workshops, and the Refugee Talent Hub takes care of program management and supports local employers when they hire refugees.


Stichting Clusius Roc Kop is a broad educational organization that helps the young and old grow. It is committed to discovering everyone’s style of learning and working.

  • Noord-Hollandse Bollenbozen implements a learning pathway for pupils from primary education, special primary education, and out-of-school care about growth, flowering, forcing, harvesting, processing, and technology around the cultivation of flower bulbs, bulbous plants, and flowers in North Holland. The learning track offers a broad orientation to the core activities of the bulb industry in North Holland, increasing the orientation towards further education at Clusius College. Many vacancies in the sector remain unfilled and the influx into agricultural education is under pressure; therefore, this program focuses on increasing the number of pupils and students in a shrinking demographic.
  • ICT Talentontwikkeling (ICT Talent Development) is a knowledge workshop within the TekPark campus. Students are given a permanent space to start their own business under the supervision of a teacher. The business offers refurbishing hardware for entrepreneurs, government, education, and individuals; supervising ICT-related activities for primary education (PO) and secondary education (VO); and providing an ICT helpdesk function and workshop for the elderly andremote workers.


Stichting De Codeerschool ensures that primary school students become more digitally literate by deploying skilled teachers and by helping to shape policy.

  • Dreamspace NL DC program provides comprehensive digital technology educational experiences, reaching and inspiring every child irrespective of their socio-economic background. Facilitating every aspect from transportation to course execution, it ensures accessibility to all schools. This initiative not only nurtures digital skills but also fosters technological dreams and aspirations among students, preparing them for a future where these skills are imperative. The commitment extends to developing educators, ensuring the sustainability and propagation of digital literacy.


Stichting IT PerformanceHouse is the IT hotspot in the East Netherlands region. Founded to stimulate IT trends and developments in companies and organizations so that they can perform better through IT.

  • Filling the ICT labor market gap in North Holland, Stichting IT PerformanceHouseoffers two programs to train candidates in digital skills and to be an IT Support Engineer and guide them to a job in the region. The program works closely with Horizon College and uses the Datacenter Lab for practical lessons to give the participants datacenter experience and organizes guest lectures with datacenter employees whoshare their practical work experience.


Stichting Techno Challenge promotes interest in teenagers for technical studies, to maintain enough people with technical skills in the working population.

  • STEM in education in North Holland aims to stimulate context rich education by connecting education with business. To facilitate this connection, the program organizes events and activities throughout North Holland to enthuse children aged 6 to 16 for technology and science, including 12 Promotional Events Technology (PET) for primary education, two career days for secondary education, and various tech labs at schools. Teachers receive training to follow up on these events in the classroom. It also offers schools guest lectures from Microsoft employees using Cloudcraft.


VHTO: Landelijk expertisebureau meisjes/vrouwen en bèta/techniek (VHTO) works to encourage more girls and women to get involved in science, technology, and ICT in the Netherlands. VHTO covers the whole spectrum from primary education to secondary education, science/technology and ICT courses in secondary vocational and higher education, and the workplace.

  • Women & Digital Inclusion holds code events with different Dutch high schools at the Microsoft Datacenter Lab in Horizon College/KnN, where girls meet women role models who work in STEM and work on their digital skills during programming workshops. They can build confidence, develop interests in IT, and broaden their career perspective. The program also trains high school teachers to teach STEM subjects in an inclusive manner and support all their students in developing STEM interests and skills. The impact of this training is beneficial not only to current students but also future students. Further, the program educates mothers/guardians together with their daughters on digital skills, improving the position of these mothers/guardians in the labor market and encouraging their daughters to explore careers in IT.


Vrijwilligerspunt stands as an independent expert in volunteering for quality, continuity, connecting parties, and making volunteering and language accessible to everyone.

  • Lesgroepen laaggeletterdheid put together extra classes to help students with their language question, promoting their digital skills with the aim of becoming independent. Taalhuis Westfriesland and the ROC Kop van Noord-Holland have been working closely together in the implementation of the WEB (Education and Vocational Education Act) on behalf of WerkSaam and the seven West Frisian municipalities. Due to this successful collaboration, the demand in West Friesland currently exceeds the supply. The extra classes have helped to significantly reduce the wait list. Depending on the level and the request for help, the lessons consist of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and digital skills. In addition, teachers coach students to apply learnings into everyday life through regular or extracurricular assignments. The lessons are given at various locations in the West-Friesland region. To make the location as accessible as possible for the target group, the lessons take place in community centers and schools.

Enabling sustainability 

Climate change requires swift, collective action and technological innovation. We are committed to meeting our own goals while helping communities to do the same.

LTO Noord is an interest group of farmers and horticulturists. By helping farmers and horticulturists with entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability, it takes them into the future.

  • AMS FarmBeats is a five-year partnership between Microsoft and CRM Partners (part of Fellowmind), in close cooperation with CAV Agrotheek and LTO North, to help farmers to raise productivity, optimize their inputs, and produce more sustainably by reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. The project has expanded to gather additional datapoints from satellite images, sensors, and weather stations on potato and onion fields. Besides gathering data, it calls for active participation from the farmers. Farmers obtain field information  using a Farmbeats PowerApp that  asks for feedback on their actions and observations of the crop and field.


Stichting biomimicryNL is the biomimicry expert in the Netherlands and facilitates nature-inspired innovation, biomimicry education, and training for professionals.

  • The Biomimicry Education Community Program trains primary and secondary educators by offering biomimicry modules and a “biomimicry experience” day so both teachers and students learn to apply essential biomimicry skills for creating their regenerative future. It also installs tiny and edible forests on school grounds to boost biodiversity and creates a knowledge bank enabling teachers and students to learn from nature in their own school surroundings. The program adds biomimicry knowledge to existing and new recreational walking routes through physical or digital signposts, identifying interesting organisms sharing what their role is in the ecosystems, and communicating bio-inspired information to the general public. Together with the community, the program develops and organizes outdoor activities to reconnect with nature and each other.


Stichting Clean2Anywhere uses the construction of 17th-century ships from recycled plastic to discover the building blocks for a cleaner future and make unexpected encounters happen. People with a distance to the labor market, students, status holders, pensioners, CEOs, and many others meet each other at the construction site in its mission: “Let everyone discover, throwing away is a shame!” While experimenting, they challenge each other to embrace the discomfort. In this way, people discover the clean route to a circular and inclusive environment together!

  • Werkboten met betekenis is building a 17th-century freighter not from wood, but from waste plastic. It tackles the world’s biggest problem because if we see plastic not as waste but as building material, that building material is there for the taking. Waste is a major global problem and a direct result of habitual behavior. The project doesn’t build these ships alone; everyone can participate, because everyone has potential if they just want to discover it. For example, workboats are built with volunteers and people with a distance to the labor market. A large part flows into paid work, studies, or experiencing great personal growth—building ships is not only for society as a whole, but also for the development of the people within that society.


Stichting Landzijde facilitates farmers, organizes care, and as a contract partner guarantees the quality of care. Together, it invests in the development of care agriculture to be of value to its participants every day and for an accessible, green, and social countryside for everyone.

  • Biodiversity at care farms helps make a valuable contribution to rural nature and a healthy, biodiverse living environment. In this project, field coordinators of the Agrarian Nature Association, together with the farmers, are looking for possibilities to increase biodiversity on the farm. A “company nature plan” is drawn up on the basis of a farmyard scan, research into the natural and cultural history of the farmyard, and the wishes of the farmer. This results in concrete plant advice and activities that increase biodiversity at these locations in the context of the cultural history of the landscape and in relation to the Netherlands Nature Network. In addition, the project is developing a tailor-made learning path around biodiversity and nature management.

Empowering communities 

Microsoft is committed to strengthening communities and empowering the organizations that help them thrive. Whether affected by a recent emergency or decades of challenges, we use data, technology, and strategic investments to restore and support them for future generations.

Designathon Works empowers children everywhere to design a better world.

  • Eating is Learning, the Designathon Works Hollands Kroon Health Literacy project, will enable children aged 8–12 in Hollands Kroon to make healthier dietary and lifestyle choices. The Designathon Works team will conduct four lessons in which children go through a complete idea design and development process on the theme “Healthy Food, Healthy Life.” The aim of the project is to position children as central to the identification of classroom-based and school-wide innovations in support of healthier dietary choices amongst youth. As a design-driven, problem-based, and child-centered methodology, the Designathon method used in the project will foster the development of learning environments conducive to the development of 21st-century skills, thereby building the future readiness of classrooms in the Hollands Kroon municipality.


Stichting Cultuurschuur is developing, managing, and using the former town hall of the municipality of Wieringermeer in the context of the welfare, history, and culture in the Wieringermeer.

  • Bezoekerscentrum geschiedenis Wieringermeer is augmenting existing murals on the current Cultuurschuur with a digital history of the Wieringermeer on tablets mounted on the railings and columns of the tower. The efforts of museum experts from the region, experts in IT and networks, as well as volunteers from Het Historisch Genootschap Wieringermeer created an exhibition whose quality is guaranteed in the long term. Interference sensitivity is reduced to an absolute minimum by the choice of hardware and software. The display presents the plans for reclamation, the actual reclamation, the inundation during the war years, the administrative structure, and recent developments and current land use.


Stichting Hollands Kroonse Uitdaging stimulates projects and partnerships between the business community, educational institutions, healthcare institutions, and social organizations. This can take place by means of knowledge, hands, or equipment in principle on the basis of a closed exchange.

  • Community grant program Hollands Kroon runs a hyperlocal mini fund with grants focusing on digital inclusion, health, and greening of community areas. It also grants two or three bigger projects with the same focus areas. Many small organizations and initiatives apply for a small grant which makes a big impact in the Hollands Kroon region.


TechSoup Global builds a dynamic bridge that uses technology to enable connections and innovative solutions for a more equitable planet.

  • Nonprofits Digital Transformation Journey builds the digital resilience of EMEA nonprofits through the delivery of information, guidance, digital skills training, IT services, and access to technology products and solutions through a partnership with Microsoft. The project raises awareness about the benefits of digital transformation and helps organizations move towards a standardized posture across the six digital capability areas in line with the TechSoup digital capability framework.


Vrijwilligerspunt stands as an independent expert in volunteering for quality, continuity, connecting parties, and making volunteering and language accessible to everyone.

Community grant program West-Friesland runs a hyperlocal mini fund with grants focusing on digital inclusion, health, and greening of community areas. It also grants two or three bigger projects with the same focus areas. Many small organizations and initiatives apply for a small grant which makes a big impact in the West-Friesland region.