From education to employment

Main launches scholarship for software developers together with The Hague University of Applied Sciences

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Software-investor Main Capital Partners (“Main”) today announce the launch of a scholarship for students, HBO-ICT (major in Software Engineering), in collaboration with The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS), through its newly formed ‘Main Social Institute’.

From today, leading talent and highly motivated students who, due to personal circumstances, encounter hurdles in completing their higher education qualifications, can now apply for this high value scholarship. This valuable and enabling financial support and expertise will be provided by the ‘Main Social Institute’ moving forward.

The ultimate goal is to help and support these students to get their degrees in an easier and faster manner. This opportunity and its ability to fast track qualifications is extremely important, as there is a severe shortage of software developers in the Netherlands and surrounding geographies.

Charly Zwemstra, Chief Executive Officer at Main, commented:

“Numerous personal and unforeseen circumstances can delay or even prevent a student’s graduation. The employment market simply cannot afford the number of degree dropouts we are witnessing today. This is a significant waste of potential talent that is desperately needed in the software industry, for it to grow and develop to its full potential. The lack of financial support or the simple absence of mentoring and relevant professional support networks can play a role in hindering or entirely eliminating a student’s progression. Main wants to support successful candidates in the best way possible, using our capital and operational network to give them the best chance of success in the working world.”    

Sandra van Steenvelt, Education Manager HBO-ICT at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, added:

“We regularly see motivated students being delayed in finishing their studies, simply because of their personal situation. For example, students who have to also work a in addition to their studies in order to make ends meet. Furthermore, students with a vulnerable home situation are more likely to drop out. A scholarship will not solve their problems entirely, but it does help to give them a solid platform and stabilise their income. Ultimately, this allows them to spend more time studying and getting good results. In addition, access to a professional network is an extremely important stepping stone that can make a significant change in a student’s professional career outlook.”

Financial and personal support

In terms of the criteria, all first-year students can apply for the Main scheme. The scholarship, which consists of a financial contribution of up to EUR12,000 per year, will run from the second year of college right through until final graduation. Main plans to provide the scholarship to three students per year initially. Students will also receive a designated mentor from Main’s network of software portfolio companies. Participating software companies include the likes of KING Software, Enovation Group and Qics.

Mattijs Wilms, CEO at KING Software (accounting & ERP software), supports the initiative of Main and the HHS. He himself studied Computer Science at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and did an internship at the company, where he now holds the top position.

Wilms commented:

“It was a wonderful learning experience and personal development from which I could start applying everything I had learned in my future employment. In my training as a professional, I benefited greatly from the guidance of my mentor, the former owner. From him I learnt the importance of the commercial side of the software business and what commitment is required on the work floor operationally. He always said “Mattijs, you can’t leave until you’re ready. Well, I’m still there.”

Jeroen van Rijswijk, CEO at the Enovation Group (healthcare software), added:

“The shortage of IT talent is a real global issue. If we can give aspiring software developers a boost in their education, through internships, lectures or career guidance, we are extremely happy to be able to do so. In addition to the financial support from Main, we hope to be able to offer students the stability they need to successfully complete their studies.” 

Mark Velthuijsen, CTO of Qics (software for planning and invoicing, among other things), commented:

“There are young people who, due to external circumstances, have difficulty focusing 100% on their studies. It is great that we can help these students move forward with our guidance and knowledge of the sector. We will provide this guidance personally, tailored to his or her needs.”

Zwemstra at Main, concluded:

“We have been investing in software companies for over 20 years and have enjoyed great success in the process. We have grown with the market and now manage more than 30 software groups across Europe. We look forward to sharing this success and future journey through the ‘Main Social Institute’, by giving back to society in a way that is connected to the sector we are passionate about and operate in. We note how much the attraction of IT talent is playing a role across the sector today and for its evolution. Companies and training institutes need to work together to find a solution to address this limitation of talent.”

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