What is the SME portfolio?
The SME portfolio (link in Dutch only) is a Flemish subsidy measure for SMEs to invest in training, consulting, technology exploration, and so on. As of today (April 1, 2016) the SME portfolio system has thoroughly changed. The focus of the reform is to simplify administration and to encourage entrepreneurship and growth.
What has changed?
The bad news is that the grant rate has gone down from 50% to 40 or 30% according to the size of your company. The good news is that the maximum subsidy amount has gone up from €2500 to 10K for small businesses and 15K for medium-sized companies.
The so-called growth subsidy is something brand new. It has been created specifically for consulting about technology, internationalisation and transformation. It’s noteworthy that companies can also work with consultants that are not officially recognised. It’s even possible to hire someone. The yearly budget for this is limited to 50K per company.
Applying for a subsidy has gotten even easier. As was already the case, you can apply digitally online, but from now on you don’t have to wait for an approval to deposit your share of the amount into the account of Sodexo any more. Important: don’t wait for an invoice to ask for your refund! Apply for a subsidy as soon as you have reached an agreement with a consultant or have signed up for a training. Otherwise you might not get any refund at all!