The Financing Monitor 2022 shows that access to finance has increased. This is a positive development. Access to funding is and will remain crucial, whether starting, growing, innovating or investing in social transitions. It is therefore important to ensure that this access is maintained. Especially given the challenges entrepreneurs face, the need for funding may increase.
The Financing Monitor shows that not all entrepreneurs in need of financing proceed with an orientation or an application. The number of financiers has increased, but entrepreneurs find it difficult to find the right one. The minister therefore explored a number of options to further improve access to funding.
Below is a brief description of the 5 options that the minister has worked out in doing so.
To help SMEs digitise, the Acceleration of Digitisation SME programme was launched in 2018. By September 2022, 1,700 pathways will have been completed, some 5,500 entrepreneurs intensively trained and over 6,000 students assisted through various projects.
This programme included the pilot Mijn Digitale Zaak (MDZ), which ran from 15 June to 1 December 2022. This is a collaboration between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, MKB-Nederland, INretail, the Chamber of Commerce and RVO. It gives small SMEs the opportunity to apply for a grant aimed at obtaining advice and/or purchasing technology to get their digitisation basics in order. A total of €1.7 million has been granted to 800 businesses. Because of this success and the importance of digitisation for the broader SME sector, another €1 million in grants will be implemented in the second quarter of 2023. An estimated 400 entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of these.