News |  


SME growth subsidy now through thematic calls

Have a question about this article?
Contact us here!

The SME growth subsidy is a VLAIO subsidy instrument that allows companies to purchase advice or hire additional staff to, for example, roll out a new strategy, explore new markets or launch new products.

The SME growth subsidy will be fundamentally redirected from January 1. The support will be used in a more targeted way to realize the necessary economic challenges in the relance. Internal conversions in companies will also be supported. The submission system will change to three thematic calls per year.


1. Four themes.

In addition to business growth through internationalization or innovation, the new system also makes it possible to receive support for business internal transformations that prepare the company for a digital or sustainable future. Concrete examples include developing a customer portal with visualization capabilities in a virtual or augmented reality environment, or making certain business processes more sustainable.

SMEs can thus submit a dossier if their growth trajectory aligns with one of the following four policy priorities:

  • digitization,
  • internationalization,
  • innovation,
  • circular and sustainable business.


2. New submission system

The filing system is also being modified. The existing system whereby companies can submit a dossier throughout the year has been replaced by a new system of thematic calls as of January 1, 2021. This formula supports only the best dossiers and increases the social added value of the SME growth grant.

Three calls are planned for 2021, each opening up several themes:



March 1 through April 30, 2021




2 July 1 through August 31, 2021 Internationalization


Sustainable and circular business

3 November 1 to December 31, 2021 Internationalization


Sustainable and circular business Innovation


3. What else is changing?

  • It will no longer be possible to extend a previously approved grant application to include additional consulting or recruiting.
  • The grant is limited to one grant per company per 36 months.
  • The current minimum threshold of €20,000 applies per individual advice.


If you would like more information, you can always contact us at 051 26 82 68 or by e-mail at