Success stories

These success stories of Entrepreneurs hopefully will inspire you through your startup journey and will keep you motivated.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs : from chemical to software engineer entrepreneur


Before the exchange, Adriaan de Bolle worked as a chemical civil engineer, now, a year later, he is a software developer ready to internationally market his own business. Read more about his success story and all the benefits of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme and how it can help you start your own business. 

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With the SME Instrument the European Commission mainly wants to reconcile innovation with commercialisation.


Launching an innovative product on an international market is not so obvious for certain SMEs. However, the European Commission tries to encourage such growth thanks to the SME Instrument.

In Flanders, Enterprise Europe Network is the organisation that assists with the applications. The core task of Enterprise Europe Network is the account management of the SME Instrument. This means that we assist all candidates in Flanders who have obtained a grant. Because we have this expertise Enterprise Europe Network also assist businesses during the preparatory phase.

One of those SMEs is AVIA-GIS in Zoersel. This software company applied for a grant for their project VECMAP  with success. They received a very significant grant of 1.6 million euros. They wanted this financial support because as an innovative business they didn’t have the means to build a complete commercial team to develop all the marketing material to launch the product on the market.

Japan, a new market for European entrepreneurs


Japan is an attractive market for many entrepreneurs. Being able to market your products in Japan, also give you access to the Asian market.

In order to forge relationships with Japanese business partners, Europe supports trade missions to Japan. Novosanis also participated in such trade mission. Novosanis from Antwerp develops and produces medical devices designed to enhance the quality of diagnostic tests.

Enterprise Europe Network together with the EU-Japan Centre acted as a matchmaker between Novosanis and a number of Japanese companies.

Ecobirdy transforms old toys into colourful designer furniture for children
plastic kinderstoelen

If the stories of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear – heroes of Toy Story – moved you to tears, then you're going to like this one.

It all begins with a plastic push bike – we've all seen them around. The storyline is not new: kid grows up (fast), toy is abandoned, then disposed of. Push bike's friends are no better off: one ends up in a landfill, one in the stomach of a whale and one on the verge of incineration. But this European Toy Story has a happy ending.

And, believe it or not, this is where our very own COSME programme comes in.

Video of Ecobirdy.

GYMNA finds Swedish business partner via Enterprise Europe Network
Gymna - verkoopsteam Easyangle

Gymna is a Flemish company that distributes physiotherapy and rehabilitation products. They're constantly on the look-out for innovative new products to expand and improve their range. Their search often extends overseas. Gymna uses the Partnering Opportunities Database to find out about these new products. The database is one of the EC measures to help SMEs bring new and innovative products to market. Currently in the database we have 7,000 SME profiles from 63 countries. It has lead to around 20,000 business deals over the past 10 years.

The database brought Gymna in contact with the Swedish company EasyAngle. Enterprise Europe Network brought the two companies together and that initial first contact has lead to the first contract.

Video of Gymna.

Alberts brings a healthy smoothie machine on the market

They created a Smoothie Station that helps making healthy choices super easy. Instead of grabbing for those sugary snacks, what about a 100% natural smoothie? The Alberts Smoothie Station gives you a fresh, personalized health boost in an instant.

Video of Alberts Fresh & Easy Smoothies