We interviewed Kyle Hodgson about his biltong business in the Netherlands. Here’s his story.
What is the official name of your business (as registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce)?
What services/products does your business provide?
Biltong products, Droewors and Boerewors
When did you start your business?
Why did you start your business in the Netherlands? How did your business come into existence?
What started as a little home project due to a lack of good biltong available in The Netherlands, soon a restaurant showed interest in the product for its menu. That restaurant expanded and so did the demand for the biltong. A year later, I found a partner and moved the operation from my home kitchen into a commercial kitchen space and we never looked back. We are now 2 years into operation in a commercial space and our product is still alive and our little company is growing strong.
What have been some of the challenges of doing business in the Netherlands?
Not having a large network. Introducing a relatively unknown product into a European market. Cost of operations.
What advice can you give to fellow South African business owners wishing to start their businesses in the Netherlands?
Do your market research. As South Africans, our Rands were not very strong here and thus made starting tedious. It’s expensive out there and you want to know what you are up against before you waste money on something that may not work. Understand the market, the competition and what advantage you can play off.
Can you provide some words of inspiration to help your fellow South African business owners living in the Netherlands?
Generally, South Africans have a can-do attitude and are not afraid of long hours or hard work. We come from a complex society and are used to things not ‘running smoothly’. On that note, Europe can be a breeze and when things are ‘bad’ here – in comparison to back home, things are not bad at all. I think that’s a real advantage here in Europe. Go out there and show them where you come from. Let your energy do the talking and give the people that wonderful South African spirit that we all have.
The city/town/province in the Netherlands where you’re located:
Our address is:
Amsteldijk Zuid 78A, 1184VE, Amstelveen
How can we get in touch with you?