KIN Helps: Helping Small Businesses Alleviate Negative Consequences from COVID-19

COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on the economy. Particularly hard hit are small businesses and startups that have traditionally operated in-person, not online. Many of these businesses have had to switch their operations as best they can, coordinating by phone or through remote work. For some, going online is a lifeline to survive. However, the business may not have the time, knowledge or resources to implement an online model quickly. Even after stay-at-home orders have been lifted, many consumers will still prefer to go online. Lees Nederlands artikel

At the same time, many students in information systems, digital innovation, and related fields are eager to become active and vest their skills to do good in these turbulent times. They are looking for work and/or educational opportunities that align with their professional interests. They have valuable digital and project management skills and an interest in helping society.

The KIN Center for Digital Innovation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam joins an international initiative by the Association for Information Systems that seeks to help small local companies solve technology problems by connecting them with students. Businesses can submit proposals for projects that students can apply to. Our goal is to complete all projects within four weeks, so that we can quickly help as many businesses as possible. All work will be done in an accountable, responsible way. The service is offered at no cost.

The services include but are not limited to:

  • Create or modify a website
  • Building or updating a database
  • Create or modify a digital storefront
  • Enable remote operations for staff or customers

Apply as a small local business

Project proposals from local, small businesses can be submitted to Proposals will be screened by an organizing committee from KIN. Those selected will be made available to suitable student volunteers. Proposals will be rejected if they are too ambitious, not feasible, or not critical to business. Some projects may be too big or may not fit the skill sets of the students we have available. Proposal submissions should include name, contact details, and a short description (100 words or fewer) of your business problem and assistance sought.

Apply as a student

Students that wish to participate can express interest in available projects by sending an email to with a short description of why they are suitable to work on the project. Students can also apply in teams. We believe this initiative will have value for local small business in and around Amsterdam. It will also help our students acquire important practical business experience in solving real-world problems. We also believe this will have value to KIN and VU as a whole by showing our commitment to our Amsterdam community.

For read here more about the current projects that are now open to students: