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Factsheet for measure BE-2016-1/2675 Updated – measures in Belgium

Helping hand loan

Prêt coup de pouce

Country Belgium , applies regionally

Time period Temporary, 01 January 2016 – 31 December 2024
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 19 June 2023)

Background information

The "Coup de pouce" loan, granted by SOWALFIN, allows individuals to lend money to Walloon companies and self-employed individuals to finance their activities. In return, they receive a tax advantage in the form of an annual tax credit. The formula was revised and improved. It was introduced in 2021.

It applies to SMEs in the Wallonia region, specifically focusing on micro-enterprises and young enterprises.

Content of measure

The goal of the programme is to boost individual loans for young businesses and micro-enterprises. Lenders, which in the instrument are identified as individuals close to the entrepreneur, will receive a tax credit of a maximum of 4% per year of the amount in question for the first four years and 2.5% in the following four years. The maximum amount of money that can be lent is €125,000 but start-ups can borrow up to €250,000 from a variety of lenders. The lender must send a registration request within three months of the conclusion of the loan.

In 2020, the interest rate payable for the repayment of the debt ranges from 0.875% to 1.75%.

The loan must be repaid in one payment at the end of the term. There is no possibility of full or partial prepayment. Interest is paid on the agreed annual due dates.

The duration of the loan can vary from 4 to 10 years.

Funding is provided by Sowalfin.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

05 December 2022

Because of its succes, the programme has received funding to increase duration for an additional 2 years. It is now in force until the end of 2024.

07 November 2022

The maximum amount of money that can be lent is €125,000 per lender but start-ups can borrow up to €250,000 from different lenders. The lender must send a registration request within 3 months of the conclusion of the loan.

Use of measure

The programme started in 2016 and was supposed to end in 2018. The programme was then supposed to end in December 2019 but was extended until the end of 2021. This is the second extension of the measure.

In 2021, 2,415 loans were provided for a total of approximately €19 million. The average loan provided was €51,000.

The 'helping hand loan' remains marginal on the credit market, but it is gaining strength. Since September 2016, 574 loans have been granted for €10.7 million (data as of December 2019). In 2018 there were 210 loans provided for a total of €4.2 million.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Other businesses
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Helping hand loan, measure BE-2016-1/2675 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.