Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Yes of course ! In any case, this is the case for many Belgians, most of whom have taken the plunge. Belgium finds himself in 5th place in Europe when it comes to the number of investments in start-ups. Most do not have the budget for startup financing in Belgium. What are the different possibilities? We explain here how you can finance your start-up.
There are different ways to finance your start-up, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Below you find a summary of the most common financing methods, such as startup credit.
One of the possibilities to finance your start-up is to use the money you have saved. This is obviously the easiest and safest way of financing.
Borrow money from family or friends
There are different ways to receive money from your family or friends. They can lend you money or buy shares in your business. If your family or friends lend you money, this is a certain amount, which you will have to repay (with possible interest) later. If a family member or friend buys shares in your business, he becomes the co-owner. So you do not have to pay it back, but as a co-owner he hopes to receive a portion of the profit in the future. It is important that its share remains a minority so that you keep control of your company.
Business Angels / Venture Capitals
Business angels and venture capitals are investors who dare to bet on start-ups, while banks are more reluctant to this idea.
Business angels are individuals, often ex-entrepreneurs, who invest their own money in a start-up or scale-up (usually in a sector where they have previously worked themselves). In addition to lending you money, they also offer you their wise advice from their enriching experiences. The business angel can also expand your network and enhance your credibility, often in exchange for corporate shares.
Venture capitals are also young companies that have money, which they have raised from different investors. Venture capitals can therefore invest more than business angels because they bring together more financial means. On the other hand, these companies only invest once the proven concept, with income. Business angels invest more often from the beginning.
Bank financing is the most common form of financing for companies, but not so obvious for start-ups. Banks must be convinced of your business plan and be certain that your idea will bring in money. In recent years, banks have become even more strict with respect to lending.
The subsidies of the regions
It is also possible that you can benefit from the subsidies granted by your region. It is certainly worthwhile to inform you to find out if you qualify. Check out the following sites for more information on subsidies in your area:
- Subsidies in Brussels
- Subsidies in Flanders
- Subsidies in Wallonia
The startup loan application
In addition to the bank loans that you can apply for your business, there are also different loans for private purposes, such as personal loans. A personal loan allows you to borrow money, without having to justify why you will use it. Rates may still be higher than for a business credit.
A new way to finance your start-up is crowdfunding. This concept makes it possible to finance your start-up by a group of interested persons or by associations that believe in your project. You must therefore try to convince your (potential) investors of your idea. The amount of each contribution can be very low, but the idea of crowdfunding is to bet on the volume by attracting money from a maximum of interested third parties and create, at the same time, a certain notoriety of your brand. In the future, these investors can become your clients.
What investors receive in return can vary:
- Donations and Rewards: Investors receive a reward in the form of gift certificates, show tickets, samples of your product, etc.
- Profit-sharing on the basis of turnover: investors receive compensation based on turnover.
- Loans: Investors lend you an amount, which you repay after a certain period.
- Shares: Investors receive shares in the company. They receive a portion of the profits, in the form of dividends, in compensation, but without having active participation in your company.
Many different crowdfunding platforms have emerged lately where everyone can share their innovative ideas and raise money for their project. One of these platforms is Good Lender, which is one of the largest platforms in the world. You can go there for all kinds of projects, from dance to art to a technological project. Thanks to Good Lender, already 978 million euros have been collected. We can also mention the platform Good Finance.