Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BE-2006-1/2541 – measures in Belgium
, applies regionally
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 January 2006|
|Context||Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Reorientation of business activities
|Author||Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 10 November 2022)|
A subsidiary of the SOWALFIN Group, SOWACCESS is the 'Société Wallonne d'Acquisitions et de Cessions d'Entreprise'. Their main role is to act as a neutral partner for company managers that are looking or undertaking either a transfer or acquisition project.
The service is available to all companies in Wallonia, with a focus on SMEs.
The platform aims to facilitate the matching of potential sellers and buyers of companies and to ensure the best possible 'fit' between supply and demand. A database provides anonymous vendors’ and buyers’ profiles on a website and in a newspaper. The platform’s administrators act as a filter (for examples as regards skills, expertise and available assets of potential buyers). It also includes an individualised search for counterparts performed for all profiles by the platform’s administrators. An annual flat fee is charged for use of this platform. An additional success fee for direct buyers/sellers also applies if matching occurred via the database. Advertisements are published for an unlimited duration but are checked every two months.
SOWACCESS also provides information and advice to the entrepreneur, pinpointing the importance of preparation and professional support during the transfer.
In early 2017, a new SOWACCESS network of officers was created to encourage business transfers in Wallonia. The main mission of these officers or 'agents' is to proactively detect and guide entrepreneurs wishing to (potentially) sell their business and to raise the awareness of Wallonia-based entrepreneurs about the importance of preparing early enough for the sale of their business. The network targets all the Walloon SMEs and more particularly companies with added high-value creation and/or employment and with a turnover higher than €500,000 and employ at least 5 FTE.
In 2018, 105 business transactions were facilitated by SOWACCESS. It resulted in 1,220 jobs were secured, 200 New acquisition opportunities were created for SOWACCESS' affiliated acquirers and 1,208 Contacts were made possible because of the SOWACCESS team.
During 2019, 2018 and 2017, SOWACCESS organised the 'Semaine de la transmission' (The week of business transfer). More than 65 events related to business transfer were organised by lawyers, accountants, sales and acquisition firms, auditors, banks, training centers, support structures. The aim was to provide clear answers to all the questions that citizens/entrepreneurs have about the sale or purchase of a business. In 2019, the Semaine de la transmission recorded 100 events for a total of 2,400 participants.
In 2020, 347 transactions were supported by SOWACCESS and their partners, of which nearly 300 for small and medium-sized companies with transaction values under €5 million. This has led to 6257 being secured through the transfer of businesses.
SOWACCESS facilitates the transfer of SMEs and thereby contributes to the continuity and the development of the local economic fabric. Because of these business transactions, jobs can be secured (for example 1,208 jobs in 2018).
|Does not apply to workers||
|Does not apply to citizens|
Local / regional government
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Eurofound (2022), SOWACCESS (Walloon company of merger/acquisition and closure/bankruptcy), measure BE-2006-1/2541 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BE-2006-1_2541.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
5 July 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.