More than 22,000 business plans have been submitted and 27,000 users have been registered on Start-Up Nation Romania platform while applications are open till February 12, Business Environment minister Stefan-Radu Oprea said on Tuesday, Agerpres reported.
“I think that by February 12 there will be over 30,000 registered users on the platform, which means that entrepreneurs trust this programme. In 2018 there were over 19,000 registrations, of which 10,000 were selected, 8,444 contracts were signed and 7,260 were able to become entrepreneurs. Today, these entrepreneurs operate and bring in profit for themselves and for the Romanian economy,” the local news agency quoted Oprea as saying on the occasion of the Annual Gala of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Bucharest.
Start-Up Nation Romania is a support programme to encourage the establishment of new small and medium-sized enterprises in the country, improve the economic performance of start-ups and facilitate their access to finance. The programme was first launched in 2017 and offers non-reimbursable funds of up to 200,000 lei (44,000 euro) per beneficiary, for investments, under certain conditions. The Romanian government aims to finance 10,000 start-ups through the 2018-2019 edition of the programme.
The new edition of Start-Up Nation Romania was approved by the Order of the Business Environment Minister no. 1.854/18 December 2018 and published in the Official Gazette no. 1080 bis of December 20, 2018.
Oprea added that all the 2 billion lei (430 million euro) in commitment appropriations required for this edition of Start-Up Nation is in the budget.
“We also have the budgetary appropriations to ensure the advance payments. This year, as a new element, we can provide advance payments of 30 percent,” he stated.
The Minister also said that last year’s experience, helped authorities make the second edition of the programme clearer and more simplified.
Companies that are eligible for financing are those established after January 30, 2017, active in production, creative industries, services and trade. The companies must create at least one full-time job and maintain it for at least two years after the completion of the project implementation.
Companies are selected through a number of criteria, including points for economic sector. Thirty points are granted for companies operating in manufacturing and “services including creative services”.
Points are also given for the number of jobs created (10 points for each additional job), for location (20 points for the companies located in Romania’s poorest counties) and for business history of owners (25 points for owners not involved in insolvent or bankcrupt companies in the last 5 years).
Start-ups in counties where the number of companies per 100 inhabitants is below the European average receive a higher score than those in the rest of the areas. The score is automatically seen while applying, and all data is entered online.
The programme aims at revitalising the economic environment, increasing the number of businesses, employees and stimulating consumption.