Erik Gerritsen, March 2008
The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.
This document is an interview with Erik Gerritsen, Knowledge Ambassador for the city of Amsterdam, regarding the innovative program, One Stop Shop for Hotel Restaurant Café Licenses (abbreviated HoReCa1).
Despite the economic value of the hotel and restaurant sector in Amsterdam, the regulations for acquiring a bar, hotel, or restaurant license in the city were extremely complicated. Especially for nascent immigrant entrepreneurs, the investments of time, money, and energy were prohibitive. HoReCa1, a novel, cross-agency, and web-enabled initiative, dramatically reduced the complexity and costs of licensing-for the entrepreneurs and the government.