At Mirahi, we are always looking for ways to improve the way we do business. We are constantly seeking new opportunities to help our clients succeed. When we first heard about KMO Portefeuille, we knew that this certification would bring value to our clients and we decided to go forward with it.
What is KMO Portefeuille?
KMO Portefeuille is a service of the Flemish Government that offers financial support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the form of loans and guarantees. The KMO Portefeuille was created in order to encourage entrepreneurship and to stimulate economic growth in the region. The program is open to any SME that is located in the Flanders region and that meets certain eligibility criteria.
In order to apply for the KMO Portefeuille, businesses must submit an application along with supporting documentation. Once approved, businesses will receive a loan or guarantee from the Flemish Government, which can be used to finance various business activities. The KMO Portefeuille is a valuable resource for businesses in the Flanders region, and has helped to spur economic growth in the area.
The benefits of KMO Portefeuille for businesses and individuals
The KMO Portefeuille offers a range of benefits for businesses and individuals, including financial support, simplified procedures, and access to a network of experts.
The financial support provided by the KMO Portefeuille can be used to cover up from 20% to 30% of the costs of eligible projects, making it an ideal way to invest in new technologies or processes. The simplified procedures make it easier for businesses to apply for funding, and the network of experts can provide valuable advice and guidance.
Why did we decide to pursue KMO Portefeuille
By providing businesses with the tools and resources they need to succeed, we can create a positive impact on the economy. In addition, we believe that by helping businesses grow, we can also create jobs and contribute to the overall well-being of society. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of our clients and we are proud to be able to offer this program to help them reach their goals.
At Mirahi, we are always looking for ways to expand our business and reach new markets. One market that we have been eyeing for some time is Flanders. It is a prosperous region in Belgium with a strong economy. Additionally, Flanders is home to many small and medium companies and organizations that could benefit from our products and services.
The KMO Portefeuille certificate will enable us to tap into new markets and customers, as well as increase our brand awareness. Flanders is a key region for business, and we believe that by expanding our presence there we can significantly grow our company. With the help of the KMO Portefeuille, we will be able to access the resources and support we need to make this expansion a success. We are confident that this will be a great opportunity for us and are excited to see what the future holds.
This certificate is a testament to our dedication to quality, as we strive to provide the best possible training sessions for other companies. With this certificate, we can continue to offer high quality services and trainings that meet the needs of our clients. We are committed to providing the best possible service and value for our clients, and this certification is just one way that we can show our dedication to quality.
How did we pursue KMO Portefeuille
The process of obtaining a KMO Portefeuille certificate
A. Before the audit
A.1 Register as a KMO Portefeuille service provider
Registering your company as a service provider is the first step in the process of becoming an approved service provider for the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Once you have registered, you will be able to apply for audits in the areas of "training" and "consultancy".
You can register here.
A.2 Requesting an audit
Of course, in order to be approved as a service provider, an audit is required. It is your responsibility as a candidate service provider to contact and schedule a visit to one of the audit offices designated by the Flemish government.
A list of auditing firms can be found here:
A.3 What will be audited
When you receive your audit booking confirmation, you will be given a list of all the sections that will be audited in order for you to become a service provider. It is critical that you prepare everything on that list so that when the auditor requests specific files, you can easily hand them over.
The following sections will be audited:
- A: Activities (training or consultancy)
The activity section of the test examines whether your organisation is clear about the services it offers and performs, and whether it has the necessary human and material resources to carry out those activities.
By ensuring that all your activities are well documented and managed, you can demonstrate that your organisation is capable of meeting the requirements of the KMO Portefeuille certificate.
- E: Proof of experience regarding the services provided
You must be able to demonstrate sufficient (recent) experience within the field you are auditing for.
- T: Customer satisfaction
As a service provider, you must show that you systematically assess both substantive and non-substantive aspects of client satisfaction. Polling/satisfaction surveys ought to be conducted in a selective way. It also looks at how the poll is collected and analyzed, as well as if the findings are applied to the service's ongoing improvement.
- K: Knowledge of KMO Portefeuille
It is essential that you demonstrate a strong commitment to correctly use the KMO Portefeuille. It is also important that you are aware of which of your activities are eligible for subsidies and which are not, in order to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion during the audit process.
- I: Integrity
The auditor will want to see proof that the service provider has taken measures to ensure the quality of their service. The auditor will also want to see proof that the service provider can offer guarantees regarding the continuity of their service. By taking these factors into consideration, the auditor can assess whether or not the service provider is a reliable and trustworthy company.
When you are ISO9001 or Qfor certified, you will be exempt for certain parts of the audit.
A.4 What kind of audits exist - and which one Mirahi opted for
1. Kind of audits
1.1.Basic audit/audit for a newcomer
1.2. Audit with exemption
- Audit with ISO9001 or Qfor exemption
- Audit for numerical professions
1.3. Audit for a starter
1.4. Follow-up audit
- For a starter
- For a service provider with conditional registration
Find out more about the different kind of audits on the KMO Portefeuille website
2. Which audit did Mirahi opt for?
As a certified ISO9001 organization for our software development, IT consultancy activities and IT educational services, it is a given that we decided to choose the audit with ISO9001 exemption.
We are exempt from parts of our KMO Portefeuille audit due to our ISO9001 certification. Mirahi was exempt from the following sections:
- A - Activities
- E - Proof of experience of the services provided
- T - Customer satisfaction
A.5. Cost of an audit
There is no set price for an audit.
The standard duration price is EUR 150 per hour.
The size and complexity of the organizational structure, as well as the service(s) for which the prospective service provider intends to register, are what determine how much time the audit agency spends on the audit.
On average, an audit takes 1-2 days.
B. The audit
B.1. How did we prepare the audit
As a prospective service provider, you will have to plan the visit in accordance with the KMO Portefeuille standard.
During the audit, special attention will be paid to previously executed files, whether or not they are supported by the KMO Portefeuille.
For the audit day, we had to prepare a vast amount of files. Some of the most important files we had to assemble were legal papers regarding the company and documentation of all our previous trainings.
Preparing the files also meant ensuring that we had all of the documents ready the auditor would need, as well as granting them direct access to the necessary documents, information, and systems.
Our business team carefully went through all of the requirements and made sure that we were prepared for the audit day. Thanks to their hard work, the audit went smoothly and we were able to provide the auditor with everything they needed.
B.2. The process of an audit
B.2.1 Parts of an audit
The audit proceeds in two parts; an on-site audit and audit operations at the audit office. The latter occurs following the on-site audit, which is the most important part because you play a significant role in it.
B.2.2. Mirahi's on-site audit
Mirahi's on-site audit went quite smoothly. The auditor began by testing our understanding of the KMO Portefeuille guidelines. The auditor then asked us to show all of the files we had prepared ahead of time. We provided the auditor with everything requested and answered all of the questions honestly and to the best of our abilities. During our audit, we noticed that some files were missing information or documents that weren't up to date anymore.
Following the review of all files, the auditor requested a separate room to record her findings and feedback from Mirahi's audit and provided documents. During this time, we were able to update and collect parts of some of the missing files.
The audit took an entire day.
B.3. The scores
During the auditors alone time, the auditor records his findings in an audit report and assigns for each audited sections two ratings.
Each section must demonstrate compliance (compliance based on a description of its methodology) and put it into practice (demonstrability).
Scores are assigned for each audited section. The scores can be the following:
- B (limited)
- G (partial)
- T (adequate)
- V (complete)
Mirahi only had T and V scores on the audit report.
B.4. The result
The audit office's certification committee will rule on whether or not compliance with the individual requirements and compliance with the KMO Portefeuille standard as a whole is met based on the scores for the indicators.
The audit report will be provided to you as a service provider as well as the Agency for Innovation and Enterprise.
A couple of weeks after the audit was finished, Mirahi received an e-mail with the positive result of our KMOP audit!
The challenges we faced during the process
The challenges we faced during the process of pursuing KMO Portefeuille certificate were many. The people in charge of preparing all of the files were carrying on the work of another colleague who had begun the entire preparation process with little or no prior knowledge of KMO Portefeuille. That is, they had to first gather the necessary information about KMO Portefeuille in order to properly prepare all of the files and to pass the "Knowledge of KMO Portefeuille" part of the audit.
They also lacked all of the necessary information for all of the required files, which meant they couldn't do everything on their own and had to seek assistance. There were also a lot of messy files to clean up and a lot of files to create from scratch, which took a lot of precious preparation time.
Despite all these challenges, we persevered and were eventually successful in obtaining the certificate. The experience was a valuable learning opportunity, and we are now better prepared to handle similar challenges in the future.
Pursuing KMO Portefeuille has been a long and arduous process, but it has definitely been worth it. The benefits for businesses and individuals are clear, and we are so excited to offer this service to our clients!
You can now book our training courses with KMO Portefeuille!
Check out our training courses compliant with KMOP