Securing Growth: How State Aid and EU Funding are Fueling Romanian SMEs in 2024

The European Union is providing funding for Romanian micro, small, and medium-sized companies until 2024. These companies, located in six counties undergoing a transition away from polluting industries, can receive grants ranging from 200,000 to 8 million euros through regional state aid and de minimis aid.

 The submission period for the “Development of Enterprises and Entrepreneurship” program started on December 20, 2023 and will remain open until March 20, 2024. The total budget for this program is 775 million euros. In addition, micro-enterprises in these counties can also apply for separate grants of 50,000 to 200,000 euros through another line of European funds. This program has a budget of over 200 million euros and is divided among the six counties. The grant covers 90% of eligible expenses, with entrepreneurs responsible for the remaining 10% and any non-eligible expenses. In the new 2021-2027 programming period, each of Romania’s eight development regions has a regional program that includes funding for SMEs.

The funding schemes for each region vary, with some already closed and others opening in the future. For example, the Bucharest-Ilfov Region has a budget of 75.2 million euros for the “Support for sustainable growth and technological modernization of micro-enterprises” program, with the submission period opening in July 2024.

The Central Region offers grants for technological investments and digitization for SMEs, with different submission periods for each program. The North-West Region also has funding opportunities for micro-enterprises, with grants ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 euros.

Additionally, the South-East Region has plans to launch a call for increasing the competitiveness of micro-enterprises in the third quarter of 2024, while the North-East Region has a program for sustainable growth of SMEs with a budget of 30 million euros.

Finally, the PNRR grant program, scheduled to open in February 2024, offers grants of up to 3 million euros for advanced digitization and research projects, specifically for non-IT companies in partnership with IT companies.

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