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-2016-1/2675 – Updated – measures in Belgium
, applies regionally
|Time period||Temporary, 01 January 2016 – 31 December 2024|
|Context||Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
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)|
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.
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 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.
|Does not apply to workers||
One person or microenterprises
|Applies to all 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), Helping hand loan, measure BE-2016-1/2675 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BE-2016-1_2675.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.