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Growth plans? Consider the SME growth subsidy in 2022 as well!

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The SME growth subsidy is a subsidy instrument through which the Flemish government supports SMEs in Flanders to achieve a growth trajectory. Up to 50,000 euros in support can be obtained for both the recruitment of a strategic profile and the acquisition of knowledge from an external service provider.

Also in 2022, the SME Growth Grant will work with thematic project calls. Three calls will be launched during the year. The first call is open from March 14 to April 30. Growth projects can therefore be submitted that revolve around internationalization, digitalization, sustainable and circular entrepreneurship or innovation.


Who can take advantage of the SME growth subsidy ?

To be eligible for the SME growth grant, your growth trajectory must be in line with one of the predefined themes and meet some conditions in the process.


  • Internationalization: SMEs that want to grow sustainably through exports.
  • For example: a company active in Flanders that wants to expand into neighboring countries and engages an external service provider to map the market and potential distribution network.
  • Digitization: SMEs leveraging data to make their products, services and processes smarter.
  • For example, automatically matching content from a digital learning platform with a user via artificial intelligence based on the user profile and behavior on the platform.
  • Circular and sustainable business: SMEs that reduce natural resources by using materials smartly and efficiently or closing material loops.
  • For example: a construction company that wants to separate its construction waste in a more differentiated way and therefore will investigate how they can reuse the waste fractions in the highest possible quality.
  • Innovation: SMEs that have a concrete strategy to bring innovative products and services to the market or establish innovative business processes.
  • For example: a company that has developed an innovative product or service, wants to take it to the market, and is seeking advice on how to draw up a commercial plan.


More information and concrete examples of who/what is/isn't eligible can also be found on the VLAIO website.


What cost is eligible?

So as an entrepreneur, you can get an SME growth grant to acquire or buy strategic knowledge to achieve your growth trajectory. This can be done through:

  • The hiring of a strategic staff member.
  • The advice of one or more service providers, with each individual advisory assignment costing at least 20,000 euros.

Please note that the recruitment or start-up of the consultancy assignment may also take place at the earliest in the month following the month of submission of the aid application.


How much subsidy can you get as an entrepreneur?

The grant will be up to 25,000 euros for the recruitment of a strategic profile and up to 25,000 euros for the advice of one or more external service provider(s).

Below is a table for illustration:


Acquisition of strategic profile Advice external service provider(s)
What costs ? Gross base annual salary X 1,596
  • personnel and operating costs
  • relocation costs
  • Guidance costs for implementation
Aid rate 50% 50%
Maximum support € 25.000 € 25.000


Thus, a maximum of 50,000 euros of support can be received per application file. A dossier can then be submitted every 36 months.


How can I apply for the SME growth grant and until when?

The call is open from March 14, 2022 through April 30, 2022. The application must be submitted via the digital application on the VLAIO website.


Would you like to know whether your company is eligible for this subsidy or would you also like support in submitting this application? Do not hesitate to contact our Pro Subsidy Expert here contact or book here your appointment.