2 min

The Belgian startup ecosystem

Image de présentation de l'article The Belgian startup ecosystem

While the watchword is innovation or entrepreneurship, we observe an actor that goes somewhat against the grain. Regrettably, Belgium is not really a good student when it comes to funding its startups. Disorganized policies, lack of resources or too much international competition? It's hard to point the finger at a single factor, as the ecosystem itself can seem to be contained... However, there are still a brighter future for the Belgian entrepreneurial world for several reasons.

National disorganization

In Europe, the entrepreneurial spirit is more present than ever. Innovative initiatives are encouraged in all four corners of the continent with varying degrees of fervour. Among the worst performers, we find Belgium, which pales in comparison to its Swedish or Dutch counterparts, for example. Unlike its neighbours, the flat country invests less in start-ups and scale-ups. It also results in a considerable loss of ground. This phenomenon is said to be caused by a lack of entrepreneurial and political ambition in Belgium. In other words, if there were to be an entrepreneurial momentum, it would probably not benefit from reciprocal financial support. Public funds are rarely used for this market, so young companies have to turn to private authorities.

Concrete case in Wallonia

In addition, the Belgian economy does not necessarily play a role in stimulating local entrepreneurship. The provinces are quarrelling with each other and the various funds are on a questionable path. Sometimes even beyond the country's borders... For example, it has recently been noticed that companies based in Hainaut are investing in Brussels and even Spanish startups (Full article here). The problem is that these companies have partially state-owned capital. Money is therefore redistributed elsewhere, where it would most certainly find a use to finance local entrepreneurship. This is what the city of Charleroi is trying to put in place: to establish a thriving digital ecosystem.

Between insufficient funding and volatile money, the Belgian entrepreneurial ecosystem is decidedly not a favourable world. There are many areas for improvement. In the meantime, 2021 remains a record year in terms of funding, which should hopefully bode well for the future. Belgium is on the right track and can count on its entrepreneurs of tomorrow to develop this sector.

Alternative Financing

Faced with this situation, many very young companies are turning to other solutions to finance their project. One of them is on the rise and gaining in popularity: crowdfunding. Also known as crowdfunding, this process allows anyone who wishes to contribute to the financing of a project, with a free amount. This allows project launchers to raise a sum of money, which is often necessary for the concrete launch of their business. It's a much more modest system, but one that allows you to raise much-needed funds while promoting your project. In addition, it is a way to value their investment by financing very young companies that have a positive impact. We give our savings an environmental or social dimension by financing structures that are profitable in addition to having a real positive impact. A situation where the different parties are winners, what more could you ask for?

To learn more about the benefits of working in a startup, check out our dedicated article .

The Future of Startups

Although the current state of affairs is not grandiloquent, the future of entrepreneurship is still assured. We can already see positive developments in the industry, such as 2021, which broke all records. As long as the ideas appear, the initiatives will follow. We can only hope that Belgium will be more proactive in its funding system and that internal policies will become clearer.

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