"There will likely be more SME bankruptcies than physical deaths." - Trends-Tendances.
As you already know, our main mission has always been to boost the Belgian economy and its job creation by supporting young entrepreneurs. This has unfortunately never rung more true than today since many of these SMEs, which represent 63% of the employment rate in Belgium, will be negatively affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
As a reminder Spreds has 6 core values which should be applied more than ever in our day-to-day lives (professional as well as personal).
- Solidarity: as a team, as a nation, let’s support each other in these difficult times by helping those in need and stopping the propagation of the coronavirus.
- Pioneering: this is the time for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into actions and offer logistical or sanitary solutions to this crisis. For others, find a new creative way to organise your lives and be with your family.
- Responsibility: please respect and protect the people around by making good choices.
- Excellence: this is a difficult time for everyone. Take this opportunity to organize yourselves in the most efficient way possible (plan different possible scenarios and find solutions).
- Driven: do not despair, be focused and keep your energy level high by exercising, your body and minds.
- Sharing success: celebrate the small victories and enjoy happy family moments, the sun we’ve been all waiting for and progress of the scientific research.
We would like to take this opportunity to address the inspired entrepreneurs out there and tell them that if they truly believe their project can make a difference then there is no reason for this situation to hinder their entrepreneurial spirit. Take this time to turn your ideas into actions or to reflect and improve your existing product/service and strive for excellence by creating or reviewing your business plan (stretching it to various & tough scenarios), exercising your pitching technique, reassessing your sales funnel, analysing your marketing strategy and re-evaluating your clients, suppliers, partners, etc. In though crisis situations, one ought to reinvent his model in order to ensure its survival. Innovation is therefore key.
In order to show our support to the entrepreneurs in need in the coming months, we will offer 5 hours of free counsel with our legal department to all campaigns that will be raising funds with us in 2020 as well as to our existing Funded Family members. This will include shareholders’ agreement management, Tax Shelter administration and close support during your notary closings. Calls with our founders Charles-Albert de Radzitzky and Gilles van der Meerschen can also be organised if you have any questions regarding your core business or your company’s financing. We will also be creating a new blog post series “The Best Fundraising practices in times of crisis” in order to help the inspired entrepreneurs out there get the best tools for an easy fundraising.
The platform is still fully operational and ready to support the entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their campaign. Even though these times will be economically rough for many sectors, we must not forget to support each other and to lend a helping hand to the people around us (whether they are elderly neighbours, overwhelmed parents, local business owners, etc).
For our investors, some of you might be wondering “Is this still the time to invest?” - If you want to support the economy and the emergence of innovative solution then YES. But please keep in mind our 10/10/10 rule which is that you should only invest 10% of your savings you can set aside for the next 10 years, in ideally at least 10 companies. We also believe that a company’s financing sources should be well balanced, that’s why we’ve always worked with a co-investment model: all campaigns on Spreds are financed by both a community of investors and what we call “professional investors” who bring one or more large tickets. The community of investors benefit from the same conditions as the professional investor (business angels, venture capital funds, …) , ensuring fairness.
As we’ve previously mentioned, the Spreds platform is still fully operational and its employees are working remotely and safely in order to manage your investments or to launch your campaigns. Our customer service line is of course open to any of your questions if need be.
If you are interested in escaping your isolation for a few hours, you can join us (through your screens) for our next Jungle Bells edition on March 31st. Please register to receive access to the digital event.
If you believe your solution is capable of scaling up and** if you’re interested in pitching at one of our next editions** where non-listed structures and institutional investors or venture capitalists meet, you are welcome to contact our Head of Issuers, Mathieu Hanet for more information.
We hope that those of you who can stay at home, do. Let’s all act responsibly and lower the repercussions of this crisis on the economy by avoiding the propagation of this virus. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19, please only refer to official sources of information.
The Spreds Team