Azimuth, based in Charleroi and with branches across western Wallonia, is Belgium’s first activity co-operative.
See also: Social Act
Azimut calculates the return on the public investment as ninefold. The calculation is as follows;
In 2006 Azimuth received subsidy of some €320,000, of which about €200,000 was repaid to the state in the form of corporation tax and VAT. This leaves a net subsidy of €123,779. During the year, 441 individuals attended an information meeting and 95 started to test their business. Seventy entrepreneurs left the co-operative, of whom 44 (63%) had a successful outcome - meaning that 32 of them started their business and 12 obtained other employment.
If we assume that each of these people would have otherwise been in receipt of unemployment benefits for a further year, the state has saved €26,000 in each case. For an outlay of €123,779, the total saving to the state is thus €1,144,000. For each individual, the cost of the subsidy is €2,613 and the saving €26,000 – a return of 924%.
See pages 26-27 of the 2006 annula report at http://www.coopac.be/IMG/pdf_Rapport_Azimut_2006.pdf