Support for internationalisation
Venturing into a foreign market, whether it is related to exports or investments, inevitably involves risks. However, it is essential that companies have a certain striking force at the international level. Remember that you may be able to make use of the following tools:
The Brussels-Capital region grants a series of subsidies to Brussels SMEs wanting to venture beyond the national borders. For example, did you know that in some cases you can receive a subsidy for a prospecting trip? Did you know that the Brussels-Capital region can help with the costs of exhibiting at a trade show abroad? Or did you know that you can receive financial help for creating an export-related brochure or website? Discover all of these export subsidies in the "Subsidies" section of this website.
Exportbru is a subsidiary of the finance.brussels group. It offers funding to Brussels SMEs that already active in export and that want to begin export activities or to set up abroad. There may also be funding for prospecting activities, for international expansion, or even for setting up abroad.
In addition, the Brussels-Capital region has an institution focused specifically on support for Brussels companies wanting to become international: hub.brussels (e.g. the Brussels Enterprise Agency)
This institution offers a range of services which are completely free :
Network of economic and commercial attachés
Eighty-four economic and commercial attachés, distributed over every continent, offer SMEs free support on the markets by indicating the local partners or potential customers and by providing access to local authorities.
Promotional activities for Brussels companies
Each year, hub.brussels carries out roughly one hundred economic actions abroad. Sector-based or multi-sector trade missions, contact days, invitations for buyers and decision-makers, group stands at international fairs, etc. In short, a range of concrete actions to increase the impact of Brussels companies abroad.
The Brussels Young Exporters Programme (BYEP) sends young university students abroad to perform a marketing study on behalf of Brussels companies.
The "Import Export Assistant Programme" aims to train import/export assistants so that they can assist companies with their administrative plan for their export activities.
These combine theoretical training and experience on the ground through a company internship in Brussels. The BYEP also offers the opportunity of work experience abroad.
Support for export projects
In order to give companies with export plans the best chance of success, consultants from hub.brussels analyze plans, work with companies to develop an export development plan, and support them in their search for commercial, legal or regulatory information (export procedure, customs rates, etc.). They also inform companies of the different export funding possibilities.
Database of Brussels companies
The Brussels companies (potentially) active in export are listed in the brussels-exporters.be database. The latter may be consulted by foreign companies looking for partners.
If you want to develop international activities in the environmental industry, eco-construction, ICT, audiovisual or healthcare sector, you can receive free support from one of the sector managers at hub.brussels. They can help you find the funding or subsidies you need, assist you in defining your strategy, etc.
Europe Enterprise Network
Enterprise Europe Brussels is a joint initiative of hub.brussels and the Brussels Chamber of Commerce. Together they inform Brussels SMEs and researchers on European regulations and research funding. They help them find commercial partners in the countries forming the "Enterprise Europe Network" and conclude technological and strategic partnerships.
Boost your Export
« Boost your Export »(FR) is a support program specially developed to help Brussels companies develop their export activities. It is mainly aimed at companies starting their activities abroad and active on the international market for less than three years. The program involves project analysis, the preparation of an action plan, and the organization of a prospecting trip.