finance&invest.brussels is a regional public institution, created in 1984, of which the Brussels-Capital Region is the majority shareholder. Its mission is to supplement the financing chain and provide concrete solutions to the financial needs of Brussels entrepreneurs at key moments in their lives: creation, development, innovation, internationalisation, environmental transition, takeover/transfer.
finance&invest.brussels is aimed at two specific groups:
- Startups, scale-ups and SMEs, with the granting of loans or co-financing arrangements in conjunction with a bank and the acquisition of equity interests
- Self-employed individuals, micro-enterprises, social enterprises and cooperatives, through the granting of loans of up to €100,000 and the acquisition of equity interests (for social cooperatives only), via the subsidiary Brusoc.
THE SOLUTIONS OFFERED
FOR STARTUPS, SCALE-UPS AND SMES
finance&invest.brussels offers loans to new or growing companies, for amounts ranging from €150,000 to €5 million. For projects on a more modest scale, other solutions are offered via the subsidiary Brusoc (see the second part of this article).
It is increasingly common for a business to be financed through multiple financing sources, and therefore finance&invest.brussels also offers co-financing loans in conjunction with the banks when the project makes this necessary. For example, two thirds of your credit needs will be provided by the bank and one third by finance&invest.brussels.
Some startups and scale-ups may be looking for investors in order to raise funds in the context of an investment and/or development project. finance&invest.brussels may make a capital investment in innovative businesses that, for example, market a product or service with high growth potential. This financing usually takes place via an increase in the company’s capital.
Between a traditional loan and the acquisition of an equity interest, there is a whole range of other financial products. Depending on your needs and the nature of your business, finance&invest.brussels may also offer you:
A mezzanine loan: this is a loan that will supplement a bank loan or equity, repayable over a longer term than a traditional loan. This type of debt is generally “subordinated”, which means that it will not be repaid until after the repayment of the bank loan.
A convertible loan: This is usually a “mezzanine” type of loan where the agreement provides for the possibility of converting the outstanding balance into equity (shares) during a specific period and subject to a series of conditions.
FOR SELF-EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS, MICRO-ENTERPRISES, SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVES
Through its Brusoc subsidiary, finance & invest.brussels also offers financial products primarily aimed at individuals, micro-enterprises, social enterprises, cooperatives and some non-profits.
If you are creating your own job as a self-employed individual, there is the Open Up loan, which finances your project up to €25,000, repayable over a term of two to five years.
For the creation or development of businesses in the form of a company (legal entities only), the Rise Up loan may be offered for an amount up to €100,000, repayable over a maximum term of 10 years.
The interest rate on Open Up and Rise Up loans is fixed at 4% and may be reduced to 2% if, for example, your business is based in the Urban Regeneration Zone (ZRU). This zone covers certain districts – or even just certain streets – in all the Brussels municipalities apart from Woluwé-Saint-Pierre. This zone was established by the Brussels-Capital Region with a view to improving the quality of life and socio-economic inclusion of the residents and creating a new development dynamic for the local economy.
Does your company or association serve a social or environmental cause? If so, you may be eligible for the Citiz Up loan of up to €100,000 for financing your project, under conditions similar to the other loan formulas offered by Brusoc.
Finally, for cooperatives with a social purpose, Brusoc also offers Coop Us, a capital injection that makes it possible to double the investment made by all the cooperative’s members, with a maximum of €150,000. The coopus.be website provides details of the specific criteria for this capital injection for cooperatives.
HOW TO APPLY?
- Complete the contact form available on the website (you can also make contact by e-mail or telephone);
- The analyst in charge of your application will give you a list of the documents that need to be gathered together in order to set up your file, depending on the type of intervention requested;
- Once your file has been fully prepared, your analyst will invite you to a meeting;
- The team will analyse the project on the basis of the information collected;
- An investment committee will make the final decision.
With regard to timescales, a complete file will normally receive a response within two to three weeks.