Finance

What is meant with the matching fund?

The BPF provides non-refundable grants between 50,000 euros and 200,000 euros. Partners must also contribute for an equal or higher amount.

The financial contribution to the project by the for-profit partners, for at least the same amount as the grant requested, is called ‘matching fund’ or ‘co-funding’. This matching fund must be a cash contribution.

Can all partners contribute to the matching fund?

No, only the financial contribution from the for-profit partner(s) of the partnership, investing in the project, can be considered as matching fund.

The non-profit partner can financially contribute to the project but this contribution is on top on the matching fund.

Can a loan be part of the matching fund?

Yes, a loan can be considered as matching fund.

Can a grant or subsidy be part of the matching fund?

No, another grant or subsidy cannot be considered as matching fund.

Can gifts be part of the matching fund?

No, gifts cannot be considered as matching fund. This includes gifts from individuals (direct or via crowdfunding platforms), gifts from non-profit organisations and gifts from for-profit organisations.

Will gifts from for profit organisations be regarded as part of the matching fund? Can companies contribute to the matching fund?

For-profit organisations can contribute to the matching fund if this contribution is an investment in the project/in the local company. This can be an equity investment or a loan. A gift from a for-profit partner will not be regarded as matching fund.

It is important to note the difference between a gift and an investment from the for-profit partner.
In order for the financial contribution of the for-profit partner to be regarded as an investment, the following conditions must be met:

A local company can invest in the expansion of their own activities. Only investments in the future of the local company can be part of the matching fund.

  • The core business of the for-profit partner is in line with the core business of the local company/project
  • The for-profit partner is involved in the future management of the project

A local company can invest in the expansion of their own activities. Only investments in the future of the local company can be part of the matching fund.

Can the revenue of the local company be part of the matching fund?

Profit from previous years and/or realistically estimated revenues from other activities, can be regarded as part of the matching fund.

Estimates of future revenues from the project cannot be part of the matching fund.

Can investments from business angels (private individuals) be part of the matching fund?

Business angels can contribute to the matching fund if this contribution is an investment in the project/in the local company. This can be an equity investment or a loan. A gift from a business angel will not be regarded as matching fund.

It is important to notice the difference between a gift and an investment from the business angels.
In order for the financial contribution of the business angels to be regarded as an investment, the business angels has to be involved in the future management of the project

What is the difference between a contribution in kind and in cash?

Only cash contribution can be considered as matching fund.

There has to be a cash transfer either:

  • To the bank account dedicated to the project
  • To pay the suppliers of the project

Can part of the salaries of employees of one of the partners be part of the matching fund?

No, if a partner allocates own personnel to the project, the salary paid cannot be regarded as matching fund for the project. The salary paid is a donation in kind to the project.

The grant can be used for salaries though, but the salary must be paid from the project account to the employee.

Do we have to collect the financial contributions of the for-profit partners before applying for the grant?

No, it is not necessary to collect the financial contribution before applying for the grant. But it must be clear at the time of application how much each partner will contribute once the project can start.

The project started already. Can the budget already spent be part of the matching fund?

Budget spent up to 3 months before the deadline of the call for projects, can be regarded as part of the matching fund.

All investments and expenditure before this date cannot be part of the matching fund.

We already invested in infrastructure and this infrastructure will be used for the project. Can the value of this infrastructure be part of the matching fund?

Budget spent up to 3 months before the deadline of the call for projects, can be regarded as part of the matching fund.

All investments and expenditure before this date cannot be part of the matching fund. So older infrastructure and equipment that will be used for the project, cannot be valued as part of the matching fund. These are donations in kind.

When will the grant be disbursed?

The grant will be disbursed in different instalments. The final 10% will be paid at the end of the project after receiving the final report.

The amount and the timing of the other instalments will be determined in consultation with the grantee.

When do the partners have to contribute the matching fund?

The contribution of the various partners should follow the same timing as the timing of the BPF grant. Before releasing the second instalment of the grant, the partnership also has to contribute for at least the same amount as the first instalment of the grant.

For example if you would like to get €100.000 for the first instalment, the partnership also has to pay €100.000 during the first year. Only when the partners have paid these €100.000, the second instalment of the grant can be paid.

Which costs can be paid with the grant?

The non-repayable financing of BPF can be used to finance all types of public and private goods or services.

The non-subsidized costs listed in Annex 4 of the Royal Decree of 11 September 2016 (NL)  / the Royal Decree of 11 September 2016 (FR) concerning non-governmental cooperation are not eligible as well as the following items:

  • purchase and lease of existing land or buildings;
  • rental of equipment, land and facilities;
  • bank charges, cost of guarantees and similar charges;
  • value and cost of registering intellectual property rights;
  • value of existing stocks used for the production of goods and / or services for the project;
  • proposal development costs and feasibility studies.

Is there a maximum on overhead to be paid with the BPF grant?

No, there is no maximum on the overhead costs to be covered by the BPF grant. However, overhead costs should be realistic and in line with the overall objectives of the project.

Please keep in mind BPF is financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation so the main part of the grant should go to the project in developing countries.

Countries

Can the project take place in several countries?

Yes, the project can take place in several countries. The part of the project paid by BPF must take place in one or several eligible countries.

With budget on top of the BPF grant, the project can take place in other countries as well.

Partners

Can a company (for-profit) apply without other partners?

Yes, a company (for-profit) is eligible to apply without other partners.

However, for most projects a partnership (with a non-profit) is preferable. For example for their expertise on development, development indicators, impact on final beneficiaries,…

Can a non-profit organisation apply without other partners?

No, there needs to be a least 1 for-profit partner in the partnership.

Can an individual apply for a BPF grant?

No, an individual can not apply for a BPF grant.

Which partner should be the lead partner?

The main partner, responsible for the overall management and coordination of the project, should be the lead partner.

This can be a for-profit or a non-profit partner.

Can the KBF or the DGD help us to find a partner for the project?

No the KBF or the DGD cannot help with the matchmaking.

Projects

Can a feasibility study be paid with the grant?

No, a feasibility study cannot be paid with the grant.

Are start-up companies eligible for the grant?

Start-up companies can apply when they exist for at least 1 year and if they have financial reports over at least 1 year available.

Can start-up operations/projects be paid with the grant?

Start-up projects are eligible to apply if they have a proof of concept.

Reporting

What kind of reporting is expected when a grant has been awarded?

  • Audited accounts (yearly)
  • Narrative and financial report (before transferring the next instalment of the grant, minimum every year)
  • Short project status and update (every 2 months – e-mail, report, video or meeting)

Timing

Can we apply for funding if the project has already started?

Yes, you can get funding for projects that have started already.

Should the project be finished when the grant period is finished?

No, the project can continue when the grant period is finished.

Preferably the project continues after the grant period as the idea of the grant is to scale-up the activities of the company.

Should the project be profitable when the grant period is finished?

No, this is not strictly necessary. But by then the project must be financially self-sustainable, without additional grants or subsidies.

Application procedure

Are there templates available how to submit the business plan and the financial information?

No, there is no template available to submit your business plan or the financial information.

Please note the financial plan should at least contain the following information:

  • CAPEX of the project (costs related to investments) + which costs will be paid by which partner or the BPF grant
  • OPEX of the project (operational costs) + which costs will be paid by which partner or the BPF grant
  • Forecast of the revenues of the project

Can we draw up the financial plan in the local currency?

No, the financial plan should be in euros or US dollar.

Can we submit several projects for the same call for projects?

Yes, an organisation can submit multiple project proposals for the same call for projects. The different projects should be submitted as separate applications.

However, during the same call, the BPF will not grant any financial support greater than 200.000 euros to the same company.
This maximum amount does not apply to non-profit organisations. Non-profit organisations can be involved in several applications in the same call, for over 200.000 euros.

Can we re-apply with the same project when our project has not been selected?

Yes, a company that has already applied for the BPF, but whose project has not been selected, is eligible to apply for a future call.

It is recommended to contact the DGD for feedback to improve the application before re-applying.

If our project has not been selected, can we get feedback on our application?

Yes, the DGD gives feedback upon request.

If our project has been selected, can we apply with another project for one of the next calls for projects?

Yes, a company that already received a BPF grant can submit a new proposal in one of the next selection rounds.

This second application can be for the next phase of the same project or for a new project.