Wallonia’s three economic tools – SOGEPA, SOWALFIN and SRIW – have merged to form a new entity, Wallonie Entreprendre.
On 1 January 2023, Wallonia’s three economic tools – SOGEPA, SOWALFIN and SRIW – merged to form a brand new entity, Wallonia Entreprendre, which is establishing itself as the single, high value-added solution that can respond at all stages of a company’s life.
2023 began with a fundamental transformation of the economic landscape in Wallonia. SOGEPA, SOWALFIN and SRIW, the three economic tools, are now one, grouped under the name of Wallonie Entreprendre or WE, a single entity that brings together the specialties of each of the previous structures.
What was the reason for this merger? There’s an obvious answer: the successive crises and the hyper-connectivity required for maximum efficiency in the world of entrepreneurship prompted us to rethink this model and go the extra-mile for the benefit of entrepreneurs.
By joining forces in a new structure with a strong brand, we can concentrate our firepower thanks to an economy of scale. As a bigger organisation, we can improve our service to companies and reinforce our support services for greater efficiency. This critical mass goes hand in hand with greater agility, because Wallonie Entreprendre’s generalist profile is based specifically on the addition of expertise.
By incorporating different types of expertise in a single tool, we can boost the impact on the economic fabric of Wallonia. Through our support and financing services, we aim to provide differentiated support for the development of ecosystems and value chains, as well as for growth, innovation and business resilience.
For WE, financial performance is important, but it’s not everything. A further aim is to act responsibly and sustainably, investing chiefly in companies that have a positive and measurable social and environmental impact. WE supports Walloon companies along the way to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance), which is now an imperative for both customers and other financial partners. WE is, for example, equipped to provide support and financing to speed up companies’ transition to a lower carbon future. Today, no one questions the need to provide short-term responses to the difficulties that companies face and speed up the implementation of structural solutions.
WE’s areas of activity remain unchanged. They still involve three inseparable focuses: awareness-raising, support and financing. Everything is based on 11 thematic areas of expertise (energy transition, deeptechs, industrial policy, innovation, internationalisation, transmission, business turnaround, social entrepreneurship, etc.), which obviously results in a more transversal approach that further enhances the offer of « smart money » and a comprehensive and integrated service for businesses.
A future to write
Wallonia boasts many assets: quality education, research, productivity and creativity. The region must now take its place in a rapidly changing world, while remaining mindful of its principle of an open economy subject to strong international competition. If it is to boost its economic and social growth, Wallonia needs to focus on differentiation, agility and innovation. And this also means developing the strongest value chains possible in the region, so as to capture as much as possible of the added value associated with a product or service. The tools used by Wallonie Entreprendre are specifically designed to address these challenges.
A new point of contact for all entrepreneurs in Wallonia, WE is now up and running, with committed teams who are fully conversant with the entrepreneurial landscape and its realities. WE can step in at any stage of a company’s life, with packages of support and financing solutions tailored to individual circumstances, as well as a strong network of partners. Because together we can unleash the economic power of Wallonia. With WE, the sky is the limit and anything is possible!
WE in figures
- 4.1 billion euros: this is the amount WE holds in equity investments, including 3.1 billion euros through Walloon companies and 1 billion euros in investment companies
- WE invests 400 million euros every year in loans and equity
- WE grants 200 million euros in guarantees every year.
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