Incentives and assistance to boost Luxembourg entrepreneurs
The government is increasingly keen to attract entrepreneurs to Luxembourg as well as to nurture entrepreneurial ambitions among the country’s residents - and is providing financial incentives and other forms of assistance to encourage them.
In addition to general business support, loans, grants or other types of funding may be available for specific projects to help small businesses, or to persuade companies to establish themselves in areas designated for economic development. How can business founders and owners make the most of these opportunities?
Officials are targeting certain types of business. In order to diversify the country’s economy and develop areas other than financial services, as well as to support goals such as improving the country’s climate footprint, the government is prioritising sectors such as IT and other technological development, environmental protection and energy efficiency.
As a first port of call, the House of Entrepreneurship information centre within the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the government-backed guichet.lu information portal provide useful information on creating a company and the support available to entrepreneurs.
Incubators and business support
The business plan competition 1,2,3, GO organised by the chamber’s start-up consultancy Nyuko offers smaller companies in Luxembourg as well as the surrounding regions in Belgium, France and Germany the opportunity to draw on the wisdom of experienced entrepreneurs to help develop their businesses.
Luxembourg now has a range of business incubators that aid start-up companies by providing services such as management training or office and co-working spaces. They vary according to the type of business they specialise in: the PwC Accelerator, for example, helps small businesses expand internationally, while Paul Wurth InCub specialises in industrial technology and the House of Biohealth supports biotech, IT and cleantech companies.
More incubators are emerging as the technology sector flourishes in Luxembourg. The Technoport in Belval was launched almost two decades ago by a public research centre; one of the latest is the Luxembourg City Incubator, a joint venture between the Chamber of Commerce and the capital’s municipal administration that will share premises with Nyuko and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology.
The Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade offers financial aid specifically for young innovative businesses, providing details of the various types of funding offered to small businesses as well as grants available for entrepreneurs.
Luxinnovation, the national agency for innovation and research, helps channel funding for smaller businesses. It also oversees an accelerator programme that enables four technology-based start-ups a year to spend three months at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley to develop US contacts and customers.
Start-up companies in Luxembourg can also benefit from European Union initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and the development of small businesses. The EU has a range of programmes including networking and exchanges as well as grants and loans that can help with start-up or research costs.
For entrepreneurs, whose initial difficulties in getting their business up and running are more often related to financing than any other obstacle, support from the public sector can make the difference between success and failure.
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A share is a unit of ownership delivered by a capital company. In most cases, it is a commercial company with a limited liability. Holding one of several shares – in other words, being a shareholder – means that you own a part of the company’s capital but you are not held personally liable for the company’s debts.