Wallimage Entreprises is an investment fund supporting Wallonia-based audio-visual and gaming companies.
With the successful creation of the film fund Wallimage and as Wallonia drew an increasing number of productions, the region needed an arm to support and coordinate the development of efficient filming and post-production facilities locally. Wallimage Entreprises was created to meet this need: its mission is to support the local audio-visual industry, while providing Walloon companies with the means to satisfy demand, innovate and accelerate their growth. Initially dedicated to film companies and animation studios, Wallimage Entreprises has gradually broadened the scope of its actions to include new media and gaming companies.
The fund reaches its objective through selective and complementary funding programs. Financial participations are provided either in the form of equity investments (acquisition of a minority stake in the capital of a company) or in the form of loans. Although the fund doesn’t play an operational role, it supports and advises companies’ management to develop their activities.
All the audio-visual and gaming companies located in Wallonia can potentially benefit from Wallimage Entreprises’ support (subject to successful application).
In 2020, Wallimage Entreprises’ invested €3.4 million in the industry, including €2.4million dedicated to film and new media companies, and €1Million dedicated to gaming companies.
The management and development of the portfolio (43 companies as of today) needs 3.5 full time employees.
Evidence of success
Since its creation, Wallimage Entreprises invested a total of €29 million in 112 companies including sound and animation studios, special effects studios, image and sound post-production facilities, film equipment vendors, audio-visual technology developers, producers of innovative content, TV production companies, as well as gaming, new media and Musictech companies. By doing so, the fund helped regional companies to grow and develop their activities in activities in Wallonia and abroad.
Potential for learning or transfer
Virtually all European territories support their local industry through film funds comparable with Wallimage, whose investments are made on a project basis (mainly co-productions, regarding Wallimage). What makes Wallonia stand out is to have broadened its scope and extended its activities further through the creation of “Wallimage Entreprises”, a separate entity acting partly as a bank, partly as a business angel, and providing direct funding and strategic guidance to the companies of the sector. By doing so, the Region recognized the specificity of the audiovisual sector - and more broadly of the cultural industries- as well as the particular approach and skills required for effective support.
We encourage other European regions to test this approach, which is proving to be a virtuous circle as the co-productions funded by Wallimage generate local expenditure feeding the growth of audiovisual companies supported by Wallimage Entreprises.
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Tags: Access to finance, Creative industry, Digital, Film, Funding, Regional, Regional policy, Structural Funds