Sectors targeted for funding this summer include recycling, green energy, manufacturing, agriculture, digitisation and more, where start-ups, SMEs and large companies benefit from this support.

”This is the best time to access non-reimbursable funds, so we suggest that all decision-makers in companies carefully evaluate their options and consider making new investments with the support of European funding or state aid made available by the Government. There are over EUR 4 bn. this summer, waiting to be used to set up new businesses or for development and energy efficiency”, Roxana Mircea, Managing Partner at REI Grup stated.

Which areas can benefit from support?

  1. The Modernisation Fund

Responsible authority: Ministry of Energy (MoE)

Total budget: EUR 815 million

Objective: installation of new renewable energy production capacity (solar, wind and hydro), both for self-consumption and commercialization (production)

Maximum grant: EUR 20 mln. / company

Co-financing:

  • approx. 350,000 EUR/MW (own consumption)
  • 250-300,000 EUR/MW (production) – smaller PV parks (under 5MW)
  • 70-80,000 EUR/MW (production) – larger PV parks (over 5MW)

Eligible applicants: start-ups, SMEs, large enterprises

Open call: 25 April - 23 July 2024

After a long wait, more than a year ahead of the original timetable, the Ministry of Energy has launched the two funding sessions for increased energy efficiency and renewable energy production.

The Modernisation Fund is one of the most eagerly awaited funding programmes this year and a support solution for all companies wishing to make investments in renewable energy - either by increasing the efficiency of owned factories or other large consumption points or by investing in renewable energy production for trading.

”We are actively working with large and very large companies to install new green energy production capacity, as well as with factories looking to increase energy efficiency and reduce dependence on gas or other fossil fuels. We have had applications for funding for new investment projects for over a year now, and this programme has been awaited with huge interest by investors. We are pleased that the Ministry of Energy has finally released these schemes and we expect hundreds of projects to be submitted under this programme during this period”, Roxana Mircea added.

  1. Electric-Up 2024

Responsible authority: Ministry of Energy

Total budget: EUR 90 mln.

Objective: to finance SMEs and HORECA economic operators for the installation of photovoltaic panel systems for the production of electricity with an installed capacity of between 27 kWp and 150 kWp for their own consumption, an energy storage system for increased self-consumption, at least one recharging station of at least 22 kW (2x11kW) for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Maximum grant: EUR 150,000 / beneficiary

Co-financing: 25%

Eligible applicants: SMEs

Eligible expenditure:

  • expenditure on the purchase of photovoltaic panels with an installed capacity of at least 27 kWp and at most 150 kWp;
  • the cost of purchasing at least one car charging station;
  • the cost of purchasing heat pumps.

The costs of connection to the electricity grid are not eligible.

  1. Recycling Factories – NRRP

Responsible authority: Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests (MWAF), through the Administration of the Environment Fund

Total budget: EUR 220 mln.

Objective: construction of waste recycling facilities

Maximum grant: EUR 8.4 mln.

Co-financing: min. 25%

Eligible applicants: SMEs, large enterprises

Open call: 14 June - 13 September 2024

Another long-awaited funding programme is the recycling one, managed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, and originally scheduled to open over a year ago.

Originally planned with an allocation of €286 million, the scheme's budget now stands at €220 million, where the maximum allocation for a project is €8.4 million.

In order to score competitively, the project must have a hall/expansion component and also include production from recycled materials.

Eligible applicants are economic operators who are authorised to carry out at least one of the activities corresponding to the following NACE codes:

  • 3821 - treatment and disposal of non-hazardous waste;
  • 3822 - treatment and disposal of hazardous waste;
  • 3832 - recovery of sorted recyclable materials;
  • 3831 - dismantling (disassembly) of disused machinery and equipment for the recovery of materials;
  • 3811 - non-hazardous waste collection;
  • 3812 - hazardous waste collection.
  1. Regional Programmes 2024 - SME investment funding

Responsible authority: Ministry of Investment and European Projects (MIEP)

Total budget: EUR 540 mln.

Eligible applicants: micro, SMEs

Eligible expenditure: construction of premises, purchase of equipment, software, etc.

Financial support: EUR 20,000 - max. EUR 3 million

Co-financing: approx. 30%

Call calendar:

South-West Regional Programme

  • SME digitisation / call: 25 June - 24 August 2024 / allocation: EUR 21 million;
  • Improving competitiveness and innovation in micro-enterprises / call: 25 June - 25 July 2024 / allocation: EUR 49 million.

South-Muntenia Regional Programme

  • Enhancing sustainable growth and competitiveness of micro and small enterprises / call: 5 March - 14 July 2024 / allocation: EUR 47 million;
  • Enhancing sustainable growth and competitiveness of micro and SMEs / call: 30 April - 31 July 2024 / allocation: EUR 144 million.

West Regional Programme

  • Support for SMEs / call: 1 - 31 August 2024 / allocation: EUR 43 million;
  • SME digitisation / call: August - September 2024 / allocation: EUR 15 million.

South-East Regional Programme

  • Supporting the development of micro-enterprises / call: 29 May - 28 June 2024 / allocation: EUR 43 million;
  • Support for innovation and increased competitiveness of SMEs / call: 28 August - 28 September 2024 / allocation: EUR 87 million.

Center Regional Programme

  • Idea to market - support for SMEs / June - November 2024 / allocation: EUR 9 million;
  • Development of private RDI capacities / July - December 2024 / allocation: EUR 13 million.

North-West Regional Programme

  • Digitisation of SMEs in the North-West Development Region / session: 30 July - 7 October 2024 / allocation: EUR 16.7 million.

Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Programme

  • Support for sustainable growth and technological upgrading of micro-enterprises / August - September 2024 / allocation: EUR 75 million.

"Accommodation, medical industry or manufacturing establishments can access up to €3 million in South-Muntenia or €1.5 million in South-East Region of non-reimbursable funds for development, expansion and new investments through the Regional Programmes open during this period. We encourage entrepreneurs and business decision-makers not to miss these opportunities, especially as we are talking about a considerable budget of more than €500 million allocated only to SMEs, and we will not encounter these opportunities again in the coming years", Roxana Mircea added.

  1. GD 300/2024 - Support for regional development through investments

Responsible authority: Ministry of Finance

Annual budget: EUR 150 mln.

Objective: Regional development through investments ensuring Romania's trade balance in eligible sectors

Maximum grant: EUR 57.75 million (70% - Gorj county)

Call open: 27 July - 9 September 2024

Mandatory condition: the value of the investment must exceed RON 50 million (equivalent to more than EUR 10 million).

List of sectors of activity for which State aid is granted

Crt. no. NACE

class CAEN code name

1 109 Manufacture of animal feedingstuffs

2 11 Beverage manufacturing

3 16 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials

4 17 Manufacture of paper and paper products

5 20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products

6 21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations

7 23 Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products

8 25 Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment

9 26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products

10 27 Electrical equipment manufacturing

11 29 Manufacture of road transport vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers

12 30 Manufacture of other transport equipment

13 31 Furniture manufacturing

14 32 Other industrial activities n.e.c.

15 38 Waste collection, treatment and disposal; recovery activities of recyclable materials

  1. Start-up Nation 2024

Responsible authority: Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MEET)

Total budget: EUR 446 million

Objective: to set up more than 7,000 SMEs and create more than 15,000 new jobs

Maximum grant: EUR 50,000 (RON 250,000)

Co-financing: 10%

Call launch: summer 2024

The Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MEET) will soon launch the fourth edition of Start-up Nation, one of the most successful support programmes for young entrepreneurs in Romania.

The scheme has been divided into two sub-programmes - one dedicated to young people under 30 and the second - for people between 30 and 35 years old or those looking for a job.

A condition for applying will be that young entrepreneurs who wish to access the funds made available by MEET must attend 40 hours of entrepreneurial courses offered by specialised firms, which will be paid for by the state. Only after completing the mandatory courses will applicants be able to apply for funding.

"We encourage young people to access the funds made available by MEET. Previous editions have proved a success and we are seeing companies that have obtained funding from the first editions of the programme going from strength to strength. If you've worked in a company or have an entrepreneurial spirit this is the best way to get off to the right start in business. As a novelty, in 2024 the Start-up Nation programme will also fund the Diaspora, with support for Romanians abroad who want to return home to invest in a business", Roxana Mircea, Managing Partner REI Grup, added.

  1. Woman Entrepreneur 2024

Responsible authority: Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MEET)

Total budget: RON 200 million (approx. EUR 40 million)

Maximum grant: 200.000 RON / project (approx. 40.000 EUR / project)

Co-financing: min. 5%

Call launch: summer 2024

A new edition of the "Woman Entrepreneur" programme will be launched in the coming period by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MEET), as part of the authorities' strategy to boost the development of the business environment in our country.

Unlike Start-up Nation, the "Woman Entrepreneur 2024" programme will have a strict scoring grid, where the seniority of the shareholder in the company, the value of the investment contribution, the duration of job retention, the company being managed by a woman or the profitability of the business in 2021 and 2022 will be essential for a higher score, so access to funding will be somewhat more rigorous.

"The condition for being able to access non-reimbursable funds through the Woman Entrepreneur programme in 2024 is that the applicant must obtain at least 50 points, according to the grid provided by the authorities, but we recommend projects with a maximum score of 100 points in order to hope for funding. Competition on the funding programmes made available by the authorities has intensified in recent years, and our experience with the funds has shown us that a complete project with maximum points has a much better chance, regardless of its complexity or the innovation it could bring to the market", Roxana Mircea concluded.