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To launch your own company is a genuine challenge in its own right. But to make it viable over time represents an even greater challenge, especially within the first three years of its life. Groupe One is specialized in raising the awareness and coaching for the creation of sustainable companies, and has developed several innovative eco-management tools.


A sustainable company can be best described as an enterprise which acts responsibly towards people and the environment, while remaining economically viable. Yet how ever promising they may be at first, many such start-up companies never live to see the day beyond two or three years!

In Brussels, the figures are unequivocal: out of the 4,399 companies created in 2012 (most recent year for which statistics are available), 1,943 of them went bankrupt. Still in the same year in Wallonia, 5,373 companies were created of which 1,902 went bust.

These figures become even more alarming when we discover the situation has been deteriorating over a decade. Indeed between 2003 and 2014 the number of bankruptcies has increased by more than 76% in Brussels and 50% in Wallonia!

Among the causes for these bankruptcies, we can point out the under-capitalisation in the creation phase on the one hand, and the entrepreneur’s lack of management skills on the other. In many cases, the latter tends to face a growing number of organizational and management issues in addition to costs that had not been projected, cashflow problems, social security costs, VAT, late invoicing and bad payers.

To avoid these bankruptcies, it is not just a question of better preparation ahead of launching these companies, it is also a question of ensuring a robust follow-up beyond the start-up phase. However, while important means are traditionally injected into the creation of companies, very few resources are dedicated to supporting the post-creation phase.

Over the last few years now, Groupe One has developed a range of tools to help entrepreneurs in optimizing their young structure with a focus on eco-management such as:

  • a management tool for free-lancers and very small enterprises (« TPE ») : EcoBox
  • a coaching methodology based on the identification of the entrepreneurs’ recurrent needs
  • training sessions adapted to this particular audience
  • a tool to manage the environmental dimension and to achieve substantial savings: EcoToolkit

Groupe One ASBL is an NGO specialized in the awareness raising, training and coaching for the creation of companies with a focus on sustainable development. The association is in charge of running its enterprise and coaching centre Village Partenaire in Saint-Gilles (Brussels), and also has an outreach in Wallonia with its office in Braine-le-Comte.


Groupe One is also the initiator of the design and development of several training sessions and role plays in the field of company start-ups and sustainable development.With entrepreneurship at the heart of its DNA, the team also leads a number of innovative projects in « green development » (aquaponics, urban agriculture, complementary currency,…)

Groupe One has therefore developed in-depth expertise in the follow-up of start-up companies and has been doing so for more than fifteen years! If you wish to learn more about these eco-management tools and these projects, please get in touch:info@groupeone.be.

Marie-AmŽlie Lenaerts