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Bank financing for every type of enterprise Flanders

Government support for start-ups in Flanders can be distributed through a number of banks active in Belgium. Here are several of the support initiatives offered.

Starteo: start-ups younger than 4 years

  • Available to start-ups younger than 4 years.
  • Subordinated loan of 5, 7 or 10 years with Belgian prime interest rate of 3%.
  • Allows for the possibility of capital investment reimbursement exemption from 1 to 2 years.
  • Entrepreneurs must contribute at least 10% of the global investment, with a maximum of EUR 250,000 limited to the amount provided by the financial institution and/or 4 times the entrepreneur’s input. 
  • Maximum of EUR 350,000 in shares acquisition, limited to 35% of the value of the transaction if this amount exceeds EUR 250,000.

Optimeo: in business for over 4 years

The same as Starteo, only available to self-employed people, SMEs and professionals who want to finance the expansion of their business, which has been active for over 4 years.

Investeringskrediet EIB: (in)tangible investments within the EU

  • Offered by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its partners, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING and KBC.
  • Involves tangible and intangible investments within the EU of less than EUR 25 million, not including purchase of land, pure financial transactions or the refinancing of existing loans.
  • Supports investment projects of European SMEs of fewer than 250 employees, as well as mid-sized enterprises of fewer than 3000 employees. 
  • Will not be offered to subsidiaries and holdings of industrial groups or enterprises active in the tobacco, ammunition, weapons or gambling sectors.

Impulskredieten: no involvement of bank loans

Four types of support:

  1. GO: for existing entrepreneurs or start-ups becoming independent.
  2. PART: for entrepreneurs starting up as an additional job.
  3. COOP: for start-ups working through an activity cooperative.
  4. START: for job seekers interested in starting a new business in close collaboration with “participatiefonds”.

Waarborgregeling: 75% of the loan guaranteed

  • Gives the bank the option of having up to 75% of the loan guaranteed by the government of Flanders.
  • Available to self-employed people, liberal professions, nonprofits, SMEs and large enterprises, and foreign projects of companies located in Flanders.
  • Involves a guarantee amount of up to EUR 1.5 million, with a one-off premium paid by the business.
  • Negotiation is possible between the bank and the business.
  • Flexible conditions for SMEs inconvenienced by public works:
    • no premium required
    • guarantee can be used to finance working capital or to refinance bank debts in the short term
    • no security required
    • public works inconvenience must be proven through loss of turnover (30%) compared to the average of the last four quarters before the works began
    • guarantees linked to a loan have a maximum term of 5 y ears
    • applications for a guarantee must be paid within 6 months of the end of the public works


  • Complementary to the Guarantee Scheme, it is always larger than EUR 1.5 million up to 80% of the underlying funding amounts with a maximum duration of 8 years.
  • Granted to small, medium and large enterprises that are not in difficulty at the time of the guarantee and not active in the fishing or agricultural sectors.
  • Must be used within Flanders or to finance the activities of a seat of operations in Flanders. 
  • May not be used to pay remuneration in any way to shareholders or management (except based on existing market level agreements) of the enterprise.

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