Jos, expert grants
Grants, unknown, but therefore not unloved
Jos is a lawyer by training and started his career in 1993 as a social law consultant. Eight years later he cut his teeth on a new challenge and specialized in subsidy advice for companies at a Big Four firm. Since the beginning of 2016, together with the young talent and the other experts within the SPE department, he has been helping to build the growth plans and ambitions of the Titeca clients. Jos guides entrepreneurs in seeking and obtaining subsidies for their projects.
"Entrepreneurs often don't think about it, but especially as an ambitious SME you can get subsidies for a lot of initiatives. You can find various subsidy databases online, but for most companies it's a long way off. Thus, they potentially miss out on a lot of government support. As a grants advisor, I can definitely add value there."
Grant advisor...where do you learn?
There is no school-based training in "grant writing. Even looking for handbooks or reference books is fruitless. Subsidy advice is something you learn by doing. "It is also a very volatile matter. A support measure can suddenly be drastically changed or even completely abolished. Some support measures work with periodic calls to which you have to be alert as soon as possible. Staying up to date is therefore the message. I consult various specialist websites on a daily basis and attend as many seminars, information sessions and lectures as possible."
"Grants are also not an exact science. Even with unchanged regulations, the pattern of assessment within a given support measure can evolve. That is why good contacts with subsidy providers such as the VLAIO (Agency for Innovation and Enterprise) and the ESF (European Social Fund) department are crucial."
Titeca performs pioneering work
"To my knowledge, Titeca was the first pur sang accounting firm to recruit a full-time expert in grants in order to provide maximum support to clients, also in this area. A bold but at the same time very well thought-out move, which has since been emulated by many other accountants. If you know that timing is a crucial factor in the world of subsidies - most subsidies must be applied for before the project starts - then it is clear that this advance information is a major advantage when it comes to subsidy advice. In this way, we can inform our customers well in advance - and before they hear about it from someone else - of the subsidy possibilities. Of course, you have to have specialized knowledge for that.
My job is primarily, through internal knowledge flow, to ensure that all colleagues who come into contact with customers immediately see a flashing light when a potential support opportunity arises with their customer. It's then up to me to figure out if there's actually grant music in there."
Increase your chances of success !
In addition to following up on subsidy news and screening support opportunities with customers, Jos is mainly occupied with the real fieldwork: applying for and obtaining subsidies. Since the vast majority of Titeca's customers are SMEs, he mainly applies support measures tailored to this type of company. For example, he has already submitted numerous applications for the SME Growth subsidy, a VLAIO support measure that can provide SMEs with up to 25,000 euros in support of the recruitment of a strategic profile or the acquisition of external advice. He also has a thriving practice in strategic transformation support, which provides up to 1 million euros of support for strategic investments and/or training. With a success rate above 90%, the Titeca label on a grant file guarantees quality and a high success rate.
"Therefore, for the larger subsidy files, we often work according to the 'no cure, no pay principle', whereby we only ask for a fee if support is actually granted. This fee is a percentage of the aid amount granted. In this way, we share with the client the risk of rejection, a commitment that we can obviously only take because we have sufficient confidence in a good outcome."
By the way, the story does not end with an approved aid application. Usually interim and final reports have to be submitted with the necessary evidence before the money is actually paid into the account. Don't worry, Jos continues to follow up the subsidy file until the entire aid granted has been paid out.
All entrepreneurs welcome
Like his colleagues in the SPE department, Jos does not only work for existing Titeca customers. Even if your accounting does not rest in the good hands of Titeca, you can turn to him.
Therefore, please feel free to contact us without any obligation, especially if your answer to one or more of the following questions is positive:
- Will I be outsourcing a consulting job to an outside service provider soon?
- Do I need an employee with a strategic profile in the near future?
- Do I plan to make strategic investments in my business?
- Do I offer additional training to my employees soon?
- Are there other projects with hefty costs in the pipeline?