“We Have To Break This Preconceived Notion That Support Is Hard To Get”

Marc Wagener, COO and Director of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce (Photo © Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce)

For the COO and Director of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce, Marc Wagener, the three new support programmes “SME Packages: Sustainability, Service and Digital” aim to accompany companies in their business challenges, recalling that “applying for subsidies is easy and intuitive”.

On 29 September, Lex Delles (General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship), Marc Wagener (COO and Director of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce) and Tom Wirion (Director General of the Chamber of Crafts) presented the support programs “SME-Packages: Sustainability, Service and Digital”.

Offered by the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Crafts, the three “SME-Packages” are aimed at small and medium-sized companies wishing to implement a sustainable transformation project, optimise their customer experience or deploy digital tools and approaches.

These packages are divided into three categories: “SME Packages – Sustainability”; “SME Packages – Service”; “SME Packages – Digital. The aid amounts to €5,000 for projects costing from €6,650 to €25,000.

Marc Wagener talks about these measures.

Marc Wagener, what are the objectives of these new measures? 

In the context of the current energy crisis and its significant economic consequences, small and medium-sized enterprises need support more than ever to strengthen their resilience and adapt to future challenges.

This new range of products presented under the common label “SME packages” replaces the Fit4digital scheme previously organized for digital projects together with Luxinnovation.

Over the last two years we have supported more than 200 companies per year in their digital transformation projects. Based on the success of Fit 4 Digital, we have decided to extend the concept to other themes, such as the energy transition (current events), or service, service culture and customer relations. The amount of the submitted projects must not exceed €25,000.

The General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship of the Ministry of Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Crafts are the sponsors of this initiative: why?

The ministry was very interested. We thought together about the concept, found a name and a visual identity, with dedicated packages.

If new needs emerge – such as the transfer of business for example – we will extend the measure to other transversal themes of entrepreneurship.

“This initiative has no other objective than to help and support companies in their activities.”

Marc Wagener, COO and Director of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce

What formalities do artisans and SMEs have to complete in order to benefit from the package?

The company wishing to benefit from the package must contact the Chamber of Commerce or the Chamber of Trades depending on its affiliation. The advisor will work out a diagnosis together with the House of Entrepreneurship, either on site (when it is a question of heavy infrastructures to be set up), or by questionnaire for the digital solutions.

Following this first quick check, we can give recommendations on the investments to be made as a priority, then we will propose the corresponding package. It is then up to her to follow our recommendations or not.

What is the added value of the House of Entrepreneurship in these programmes?

We are there to welcome the clients, determine their needs and make their evaluation. And of course, we remain available to inform, guide and connect entrepreneurs. https://www.houseofentrepreneurship.lu/en/ 

Those wishing to have a diagnostic, to determine which package best suits their needs, can contact us via [email protected], or at 352 42 39 850.

Then, the company will carry out or have carried out the work, pay the supplier, and then apply for the €5,000 subsidy. Explanatory brochures are available here.

How much money do you have available to fund these three programmes? 

We do not yet know the number of eligible applicants, but we anticipate a strong demand. We can receive and support up to 400, 450 or even 500 applications per year. In addition, we have no credit limits, as explained by Minister Lux Delles, during the presentation of the scheme (see article: Sustainability, Service and Digital Packages – Presentation).

What strong messages would you like to communicate to companies that are still reluctant?

Small streams make big rivers. Such sustainable transformation projects, whether digital or in their customer relations, always have a snowball effect and often lead to additional gains; whether in terms of efficiency, financial, customer acquisition or even talent that is currently lacking.

Also, this initiative has no other objective than to help and support companies in their activities. It is indeed necessary to break this preconceived idea that aid is difficult to obtain. We propose a concrete approach, via an easy and intuitive process!

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