SME Growth subsidy

Who and what is eligible?

Who is eligible?  

The measure is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses in the private sector, with a registered office in the Flemish Region, with an accepted primary activity as well as sufficient verifiable growth ambition.

The size of the business is determined according to the European SME definition.

Only businesses in the private sector with an accepted primary activity are eligible.

What is eligible?  

The SME Growth subsidy offers financial support for acquiring knowledge to realize the growth trajectory. Acquiring this knowledge can happen by recruiting a strategic employee to strengthen the business in those fields where the business lacks knowledge to realize the growth trajectory. A ‘strategic employee’ is defined as a person who practises more than merely operational or executive activities and who also takes part in the strategic decisions of the SME. 

The SME can also choose to gain the advice of a service provider to purchase this lacking knowledge. To be eligible for support, the advice provided by the service provider must concern the current or future functioning of one or more business processes of the SME.  

The choice between recruitment and external service is left to the SME.  

When reviewing the application, the following assessment criteria are evaluated:  

  • Ambition: the applicant should demonstrate that the business has a well-defined and ambitious vision on the growth opportunities they want to utilize in the future. The process translates into sustainable growth or an increase in the company’s competitiveness.  
  • The business is currently at a turning moment: the applicant should demonstrate that the growth trajectory which they want to define and implement offers a substantial and new direction for the current management.  
  • The business has a substantiated approach: the applicant should demonstrate to have a substantiated approach to realize the new growth strategy.  
  • The business has a need for knowledge: the applicant should demonstrate
    • that the business does not possess the knowledge necessary to devise an appropriate growth strategy without purchasing certain strategic knowledge, as well as;
    • that the chosen service provider and/or the to be recruited strategic profile does possess that lacking knowledge.



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