Additional investments to make 'gazelles' jump even higher
The Flemish policy to stimulate fast-growing businesses, or ‘gazelles’ as they are called, is delivering results. The top ten of the businesses with the fastest growing turnover created 42% of the new jobs in the region. These ‘gazelles’ of the Flemish economy are not only key to the creation of job opportunities but also to wealth creation and presence on the emerging markets. When the Flemish government rolled out its policy to assist these promising businesses in 2010 it allocated one and a half million euros to boost the “Gazelle jump”. These investments have since set 113 businesses on their way via initiatives with partner organisations. Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V has now given this success story additional wings with a further 2 million euros for projects in 2013 and 2014. “Business growth is not a matter of course within the current economic context,” says Peeters. “The Flemish government wants to ensure a healthy economy. Additional efforts to assist promising businesses make sense. Fast growers are imperative for a dynamic economy, growth and job creation, ” says Peeters. The gazelle policy is one of the pivotal projects under the banner of Vlaanders in Actie, the umbrella project established to boost the economy in the region, Peeters believes. He intends to use the additional budget to position gazelles internationally via individual mentoring, networking, scientific mentoring and interest organisations. The coaching projects of the past years have meanwhile delivered promising results, with assisted businesses showing considerable growth in respect of job creation and turnover. Most of the participating businesses are SMEs, with almost half of them active in the service industry. The 15 participating businesses in the ‘Growth gazelle’ project created no less than 203 new jobs during the course of the project, whereas the ‘High potential starters’ increased their turnover by 54% and employment by 67%.