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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 2022
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 07 November 2022)

Background information

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

It applies to SMEs in the Wallonia region, especially micro-enterprises and young enterprises.

Content of measure

The goal of the programme is to boost individual loans to 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 4 years as well. 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.

In 2020, the interest rate payable for the repayment of the debt ranges from a minimum value of 0.875% and a maximum of 1.75%.

The loan must be repaid in one go and at the end of its term. 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.

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 was supposed to end in December 2019 but has been prolonged for two years until the end of 2021. It started in 2016 and was supposed to end in 2018.This is the second extension of the validity of the instrument.

In 2021, 2415 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). But the balance sheet for 2018 alone is 210 loans for €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.