Helping hand loan

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • Attracting investors
  • Start-up support
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of SMEs
Utoljára módosítva: 08 January, 2021

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Angol név:

Helping hand loan


SMEs in the Wallonia region, especially micro-enterprises and young enterprises.

Main characteristics

The goal of the programme is to boost individual loans to young businesses and micro-enterprises. Lenders, which in the instrument are identified as individuals close to the entrepreneur or those included in the 3F*, will receive a tax credit of a maximum of 4% per year of the amount in question for the first four years and 2.5% in the following 4 years as well. The maximum amount of money that can be lent is €50,000 per lender but start-ups can borrow up to €100,000 from different lenders. The lender must send a registration request within 3 months of the conclusion of the loan.

In 2020, the interest rate payable for the repayment of the debt ranges from a minimun value of 0.875% and a maximum of 1.75%.

The loan must be repaid in one go and at the end of its term. No possibility of full or partial prepayment. Interest is paid on the agreed annual due dates.

*Family, Friends, and Fools


  • Regional funds
  • Other

Involved actors

National government
Regional/local government
Walloon region
Individuals can lend money to SMEs.


The programme was supposed to end in December 2019 but has been prolonged for two years until the end of 2021. It started in 2016 and was supposed to end in 2018.This is the second extension of the validity of the instrument.

The helping hand loan remains marginal on the credit market, but it is gaining strength. Since September 2016, 574 loans have been granted for €10.7 million (data as of December 2019). But the balance sheet for 2018 alone is 210 loans for €4.2 million.


UCM, the main French-speaking employer organisation of SMEs considers the instrument useful, and underlines that it is used especially by entrepreneurs' relatives to lend money to entrepreneurs. UCM  asked the government to prolong the instrument in Wallonia and is also asking to get it extended to Brussels.


According to UCM, the instrument terms of restitution of the debt could be modified to allow repayment in annual instalments. At the moment, the borrower must repay the entire loan all at once by the deadline.


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