Brussels Best Exporters 2017

Are you the manager of a Brussels-based exporting SME that has been based in Brussels for more than 3 years? Do your products or services successfully cross our borders? Then you might be one of the Brussels Best Exporters 2017 !

For the 4th edition of the export prize, Brussels Invest & Export stays true to its calling: rewarding and highlighting the most remarkable Brussels achievements aboad.

In all, 6 Brussels SMEs will be nominated: 3 in the goods category and 3 in the services category.

Apply before May 2nd and don't forget to book your evening of June 28 for the Award ceremony.

New adress for Brussels Invest & Export

At the beginning of March, Brussels Invest & Export will be leaving its offices in the Avenue Louise 500. This move constitutes an important step in the rapprochement process between Brussels Invest & Export, and The new cooperation is meant to optimise the services offered Brussels companies.
BI&E will welcome you in their new offices as of 6 March 2017. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses will not change.

New address:
Brussels Invest & Export
Chaussée de Charleroi 112
1060 Brussels


Call for projects "Be Circular - Be Brussels"

As a result of the success in 2016, a new series of various calls for projects will appear in 2017 as well. The first one was launched this week.

The call for projects "Be circular - Be Brussels" is an initiative of the Government of the Brussels Capital Region in order to support the creativity of the businesses and self-employed in Brussels. The goal is to promote - in a perspective of circular economy - the development of economic activities that benefit the environment and local employment in the Brussels Region.

In order to be able to answer all your questions about this call for projects and about submitting your candidature, two information sessions will be held on Tuesday, March 7th 2017 in BEL and Wednesday, April 19th 2017 at Impulse UNO.

More information about this call for projects. (in French and Dutch)

Exaris is 10 years old!

Founded in 2007 by three partners, Actiris, Daoust and P&V, Exaris Intérim is a cooperative society for temporary employment or the very first "social employment agency" in the Brussels Region. This unique social interim initiative aims to integrate less skilled young people from Brussels by offering them temporary job assignments so they can subsequently obtain a fixed-term or indeterminate employment contract. So temporary employment is used as a stepping stone to a permanent job.

February 14 Exaris Interim celebrated its 10th anniversary. In those 10 years - with the support of the Brussels Capital Region - more than 3,650 young, low-skilled job seekers have been granted an interim contract while benefiting from personalized job coaching. As a result 576 young people have been able to sign a permanent contract with Exaris customers. In 2016, for example, 988 people were coached and 560 of them were offered an interim assignment.

Learn more about Exaris on their website (in Dutch and French).

Entrepreneurship Fair 2017

On Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th of March, the "Entrepreneurship fair" will receive the Belgian business world for the 14th time at Tour & Taxis. At this exhibition you will find an answer to all your business questions and for two days you will be able to participate in numerous conferences and workshops.

Do you have any questions about business support or export? Brussels Economy and Employment and Brussels Invest & Export will be present in Hall 1 (stand A31). Brussels Economy and Employment will enlighten you on the wide range of business support. Brussels Invest & Export will explain the different ways they can help you with the internationalization of your company.

Consult the full program and opening hours (in French).

Register for free.

Service vouchers: want to start up this activity?

Every company that wishes to pursue activities that are paid for with service vouchers in the Brussels Capital Region must apply with the Region for authorisation. To obtain this authorisation, the manager or an employee of the company must take a one-day training course. This training concerns the service voucher system: the regulation, the functioning of the system, the training fund, etc. The training is organised by Brussels Economy and Employment, in the presence of Sodexo and the sectorial service voucher fund.

Brussels supports social economy

Are you starting up an activity in social economy? If your company or non-profit association is active in the Brussels Capital Region, you can apply for accreditation to receive financial support.
The legislation foresees specific periods of time during which this accreditation can be applied for. The next period starts January 1st 2017 and ends February 15th 2017.
More info on the application for accreditation and subsidies.

Call for projects in urban agriculture 2017

The Minister of Agriculture has issued a new call for professional farming projects that contribute to the Brussels urban agriculture. You can apply for a grant until February 17, 2017. The call is part of the regional “Good Food”-strategy in which optional grants can be awarded to associations and companies operating in the food sector and whose project provides added value for the Brussels urban agriculture.

More info in Dutch or French.

Brussels wins Regional Innovation Award

The Brussels Regional Program for Circular Economy (BRPCE) received the "Regional Innovation Award 2016". This award puts Brussels at the top of European policy in the field of circular economy.

The award for regional innovation is organized by the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and distinguishes the European regional authorities and their partners who stimulate, promote and implement innovation. The prize encourages best practices by showing how regions can contribute to regional economic welfare.

The circular economy aims to drastically reduce the waste of resources while reducing the impact on our environment and increasing prosperity.

Brussels played its trump card by adopting the Regional Program for Circular Economy as early as March 2016. This program consists of 111 measures that provide Brussels and its population with the necessary means to accelerate the transition from "to mine-produce-consume-throw away" to "repair-produce-consume-reuse".

Laureates of the call for projects to combat discrimination

Early this year, the minister of Employment launched a call for "innovative projects to combat discrimination and promote diversity and equality in employment." More than 40 project sponsors submitted their candidacy.

The files have now been analyzed and the jury has chosen 12. The subsidy budget of € 745,000 will be divided among the winners based on the needs of each project.

The 12 initiatives that were retained are:

#OPENJOBTESTING (Collectif contre l'islamophobie en Belgique / MRAX), "Job Coaching UCM" (UCM national), "Brux'Elles" (Pour la Solidarité), BXL Diversity Booster (PAX Christi Wallonie-Bruxelles), "Diwan Awards" (Divers-City), "Recruitment on the basis of competence '(commune of Koekelberg), "Brugcoach voor vormingscentrum Molenbeek "(Groep Intro vzw), Réseau Employeurs Travailleurs (Mission locale pour l'emploi de Forest)," Inclusief werken in de praktijk" (ELLA), "Coaching des handicapés chercheurs d'emploi handicapés" (Diversicom), "Pacte"(ULB / METICES), "Coach'Me " (CGSLB).

More details on this call for projects and the winners can be found on our website in FR and NL.

This call for projects will be repeated in 2017.

Responsive websites

Recently, the websites of Brussels Economy Employment and Brussels Invest & Export have become fully responsive. This means it does no longer matter whether you are surfing with a PC, laptop or smartphone: the new websites automatically adapt to the screen size of the device you are using.

The second major change is the new URL of the websites. The suffix "" has disappeared and was replaced by ".brussels".  From now on the URLs to remember are: and


News on service vouchers

For authorized service voucher companies and their employees: new app to register performances!
Job Tracker is a (mobile) application for electronic service voucher employees. This application allows employees to enter their performances in a few simple steps. They just have to download the app on their smartphone, enter the name of their clients and the hours they worked for them.
You can find all information about this app on the Sodexo website (in NL and FR).
For all service voucher users: new bank account!
Since the regionalization of service vouchers on January 1, 2016 a new bank account was put into use for ordering service vouchers: BE28 0017 7246 3620.
Please note that the old account is no longer active!

Discover the "Brussels Young Exporters Program" and "Import-Export Assistants"

Brussels Invest & Export and its partners are pleased to invite you to the graduation ceremony of the 2016 "Brussels Young Exporters Program" and "Import-Export Assistants". A great opportunity to discover our trainings through the testimonies of trainees and participating companies.
Your company wants to expand its business internationally? These training programs in international trade techniques are ideal to welcome qualified trainees without costs and to benefit from their expertise in export. And you also have the advantage to meet potential future employees.
Candidates are trained by us in two job profiles: The Import-Export Assistants (mainly administrative), and Trainees  of the Brussels Young Exporters Program (focused on international trade and prospecting).
The presentation of the graduation certificates will take place in the presence of our guardianship ministers and their representatives. The ceremony will conclude with a networking reception.

Practical info:

Wednesday 28 September 2016 as from 11h30
At the Brussels Parliament (Salle des Glaces) rue du Lombard 69 in1000 Bruxelles


Participation to this event is free of charge but registration is mandatory (because of limited capacity).
Please register via the online form.

Wanted : hackatons !

A call for projects for the organisation of hackathons in the Brussels Region is launched by the Secretary of State in charge of IT and Digitalisation and the Brussels Regional Public Service. Application dossiers for grants must be sent before 15/09/2016.
Fancy organising a hackathon and contributing towards solving problems faced by people in Brussels ? Check whether you are eligible for a grant.
  • You represent a non-profit organisation or a formal association, situated in the Brussels-Capital Region and active in the area of IT.
  • You plan to organise a hackathon within the Brussels-Capital Region between 1 October and 31 December 2016.
  • The hackathon will aim to contribute towards solving one of society's problems by enabling collaboration between programmers, all kinds of developers, and project managers, with a view to creating a software project.
  • You can submit your grant application with the Brussels Regional Public Service, before 15/09/2016.

Small Business Act: 77 specific measures for SME's and self-employed

The Brussels government has approved the Small Business Act, a plan to support SME's and entrepreneurship.  Between 2016 and 2025 some 77 measures will be implemented, aimed specifically at SME's and self-employed.

The SBA aims to create a business friendly environment, to improve access to financing, to focus on  diversity, to improve relations between SME's and the Brussels capital region and to support businesses through societal evolutions.The plan is the fruit of months of consultation with the various economic operators and the public services that are active on that domain.

Tourist accomodation : deadline of 23/07/2016

You ran the accommodation before 24/04/2016 ?
Your accommodation was not recognised by the COCOF (Commission of the French-speaking Community) or the Flemish Community ?
In that case you have to prove - before 23/07/2016 - that you were already active before April 24th in order to receive an extra year of time to register your accommodation.

Tourist accommodation: in force as of 24/04/2016

Guest rooms, studios, tourist residences, youth hostels, camping sites, hotels, etc. All tourist accommodations in the Brussels-Capital Region are now subject to a regulation. Everyone who runs or wishes to run this type of accommodation must fulfill a series of general and specific requirements. Among other things, a prior declaration file must be submitted to Brussels Economy and Employment so as to have the accommodation registered in one of the defined categories. People who already ran their establishment prior to 24/04/2016 can benefit from transitional measures to put things in order. The others must conform to the regulation before they can start running their tourist accommodation business.
More information

Brussels Invest & Export network at the service of your company

Need export advice? Many economic and trade attachés will be in Brussels on 23 June, 24 June or from 27 until 30 June.

These contact days offer you an excellent occasion to initiate or fine-tune an export project with the attaché established in the country you're targeting: this attaché has the expertise to advise you and to facilitate your export proceedings.

Call for projects

Do you have a project that will contribute to the development of the economy, the employment or the urban agriculture in the Brussels Capital Region? Do you need financing? You can receive an optional grant, given by the competent minister. Five calls for projects are ongoing. If your project meets the criteria, send in your application!
All information about the calls for projects (in French or in Dutch)

Info sessions about the tourist accommodation

Certain federations are organising info sessions on the new regulations with regard to the tourist accommodation situated in the Brussels Capital Region. Please register to take part in these info sessions.

Free evening info sessions organised by Bed and Brussels

  • Operators and future operators of homestay accommodation: 20 April 2016: no more places available
  • Owners of (furnished) tourist residences: 11 May 2016
  • Operators and future operators of homestay accommodation: 30 May 2016
  • Owners of (furnished) tourist residences: 9 June 2016
Sessions in French – question and answer session in French/Dutch

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