SME training and advice to receive additional 4 million this year
Since 2009 Flemish entrepreneurs and small businesses receive subsidies from the government to pay for professional coaching and business advice. In the course of 4 years 216 500 training and consultancy projects have been subsidized. The number of recipients, who each submitted an average of two projects, increased by more than one third. Last year the subsidy portfolio, with its total of 32 000 recipients, cost the Flemish government 34 million euros. In view of these large numbers, the average subsidy has remained limited to just under 1 100 euros per project, with the maximum subsidy for projects involving instruction and actual training at 2 500 euros each. Subsidies involving ‘strategic business counsel’ have a ceiling of 25 000 euros and specialized technology advice cost 10 000 euros. Given these figures Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V considers the subsidy “a huge success” and has decided to extend the SME portfolio’s content and make addional funds available. This year will see the budget increase by 4 million to a total of 38 million euros. In future the SME portfolio will shift its focus to topics such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘business succession and takeovers’. The 1 700 recognised service providers involved in the system range from small consultancies to major players like Syntra, Kluwer, the Flemish Employment Services and Vocational Training Agency VDAB and the Vlerick Management School.