Fostering an Entrepreneurship in Belgium

Today, being an entrepreneur is arguably a challenge more than ever, especially in Belgium. The majority of obstacles come from the actual regulations and political views of the current policymakers. 

The need to not only encourage people to start their own businesses but also ensure they are supported enough to sustain them is impossible to ignore. The discussion here draws from a perspective highlighting the disparities between entrepreneurs/small business owners and employees regarding rights and protections, focusing on the situation in countries like Belgium.

The Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs often face significant hurdles from the outset. High taxation is a primary concern, with some countries, including Belgium, imposing taxes that can range from 50-54%, which can be daunting for anyone looking to start a new venture.

This fear of overwhelming financial obligations can deter potential entrepreneurs and future business owners, stunting economic growth and innovation. Moreover, if the business struggles, entrepreneurs find themselves in a precarious position, often without the social safety nets available to traditional employees, such as unemployment benefits or pensions.

Balancing Rights: Employers vs. Employees

In the majority of cases, employees hold more rights than employers. While employees in many regions enjoy comprehensive protections and benefits, entrepreneurs argue that this imbalance makes it financially unfeasible to sustain a business. They face risks like losing their business and having no claim to the social benefits their employees have, which can lead to significant personal and financial stress. While employees have their social security, paid vacation, and other benefits, entrepreneurs continue paying taxes and searching for ways to secure their next fiscal period.

Consulting as a Solution

One modern approach that some entrepreneurs can adopt is to work more with consultants rather than traditional employees. This model involves hiring individuals on a service contract basis, which is result-oriented and flexible. Such arrangements can benefit both parties: the consultant is incentivized to perform well to maintain the business relationship, while the entrepreneur can avoid the complexities and financial burdens of employment contracts.

Policy Recommendations

To create a more balanced environment that encourages entrepreneurship while protecting all workers, several policy changes should be considered and brought into discussion.

Tax Relief Initiatives

Offering tax amnesties or reductions for new businesses during their initial months can alleviate financial pressures and give entrepreneurs a fighting chance to establish their market presence.

Encouraging Self-Employment.

Policies that promote self-employment can help diversify the economy and reduce unemployment rates. These might include easier access to start-up capital, business mentorship programs, and streamlined bureaucratic processes.

Equitable Social Security.

Aligning the social security rights of business owners with those of employees can ensure that entrepreneurs also have access to essential benefits like healthcare, pension schemes, and unemployment insurance.

Employment Flexibility.

Encouraging more flexible employment models such as freelance and consulting work can provide both employers and employees with more autonomy and satisfaction in their roles.


Balancing the scales between employer and employee rights is essential for fostering a competitive and innovative business environment. By supporting entrepreneurs with more favorable policies and ensuring that both business owners and workers are adequately protected, governments can cultivate a more robust and resilient economy. This, in turn, will lead to more significant job creation, innovation, and overall economic stability.


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