The Ministry of European Funds together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Policy Department for Relations with Romanians from Everywhere, have launched in public consultation the Guidelines of the “Diaspora Start-Up” Program. The funding in value of EUR 30 million is made through the Human Capital Operational Program (POCU) 2014-2020, aiming to stimulate the entrepreneurship among the Romanian citizens from Diaspora and the ones recently returned in the country.
The entrepreneurship scheme targets to create new opportunities for returning in Romania for those who wish to value the (entrepreneurial and/or professional) skills acquired abroad by starting a business in the country.
In the first stage of the project, the grant managers will submit the proposals for projects amounting maximum EUR 5,000,000 by which they commit to prepare the future entrepreneurs and to grant them subsidies for launching their business in the country. In the second stage, the eligible Romanian citizens who wish to establish a company will be able to access funds of maximum EUR 50,000 through the grant managers.
The program includes two categories of applicants, corresponding to the 2 stages of accessing:
- Stage 1: entrepreneurship scheme managers, who can be local public authorities, chambers of commerce, continuous professional training services providers (FPC), trade unions and employers’ associations, professional associations and NGOs;
- Stage 2: Romanian citizens (aged over 18) proving that they have the residence or the domicile abroad for at least 1 year in the last 3 years and wishing to establish a company in Romania, by accessing the minimis aid. They will also have to prove an entrepreneurial experience abroad or a specialization, represented by courses or professional experience in the targeted field. Romanian citizens from Diaspora can receive through the scheme managers a grant of maximum EUR 40,000 in two installments, plus EUR 10,000 as a bonus for relocation in the country.
Suggestions and recommendations on the “Diaspora Start-Up” Guidelines are expected until September 23, 2016 at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Details about the program are available in the attached file.
According to the POCU 2014-2020 provisions, the eligible activities are those activities that aim to encourage the entrepreneurship and self-employment by supporting the establishment of non-agricultural enterprises in the urban areas. This call will be dedicated to all the developing regions in Romania, excepting Bucharest-Ilfov region.
The selected persons in order for their business plan to be funded will receive in a first stage, a grant in value of maximum EUR 10,000, as a relocation bonus. When signing the minimis aid contract with the entrepreneurship scheme manager, the future entrepreneur will receive 75 percent of the approved aid, representing the first funding installment. The second funding installment will be granted if the entrepreneur gains gross incomes equivalent to 30 percent of the first installment.
Diaspora Start-Up is part of Priority Axis 3 – Jobs for everyone, Investment Priority *iii – Independent activities, entrepreneurship and establishment of enterprises, including microenterprises and small and medium innovative enterprises, Specific Objective 3.7 – Increase of employment by supporting the non-agricultural enterprises in the urban areas.