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How to finance your business with venture capital in Flanders

Venture capital comes in the form of temporary equity participation, subordinated loans or as bonds, and they are not for every company. Companies interested in attracting venture capital must prove that they have a lot of potential for growth, as venture capitalists calculate expected returns based on the sale of their shares.

Three types of venture capitalists

  • Public venture capitalists (governmental entities)
  • Private venture capitalists (often affiliated with banks or large financial groups)
  • Business angels (private individuals)

BAN Flanders: find yourself a business angel

Launched in 2004, the Business Angels Network Flanders is the result of a fusion of 4 BANs of Flanders that has the support of the government of Flanders:

  • facilitates and coordinates interactions between anonymous informal investors and promising companies;
  • provides venture capital to young, starting and growing enterprises that are not in the retail, catering or project development industries.

Complement your business angel with a loan

  • For small enterprises in strategic development states with no access to bank funding.
  • Not for transport, agricultural activities or export-oriented funding requests.
  • Involves financial guidance of one or more business angels. Participatiefonds Vlaanderen NV only intervenes if the project is already being commercialized.
  • Each applicant must conform to the European definition of a small enterprise:
    • fewer than 50 full-time equivalents;
    • annual turnover or balance sheet of EUR 10 million maximum;
    • complies with the rules of the partner and affiliated companies as defined in the Commission Recommendation of 05/06/03 for participants starting from 25%.
  • Loan conditions:
    • maximum of EUR 125,000;
    • duration of between 3 and 10 years;
    • fixed interest rate equal to the IRS interest rate plus 0.53%;
    • reimbursement is monthly;
    • because the loan is subordinated, other lenders can consider it as an extension of equity, making it easier to obtain bank financing.

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