Students in Romania will be able to obtain European funds with maximum values of 40,000 Euros – 100,000 Euros to open small businesses, within the new Innotech Student 2021 funding program, according to the official proposal of the Applicant’s Guide.
The Ministry of European Funds has put up for public debate the draft Applicant’s Guide for the Innotech Student 2021 financing line, within the Human Capital Operational Program 2014-2021.
The total allocated budget will be 20 million euros, of which 14 million euros will be the total value of the de minimis aid scheme that will be granted to students entering business.
The money will be available in almost the whole country, except for Bucharest and Ilfov County.
From the budget of the de minimis scheme, non-reimbursable funds will be granted to some students, based on business plans, depending on the number of jobs created, as follows:
- De minimis aid less than or equal to 40,000 euros – minimum 2 jobs created;
- De minimis aid with a value of more than 40,000 euros but less than or equal to 60,000 euros – minimum 3 jobs created;
- De minimis aid with a value of more than 60,000 euros but less than or equal to 80,000 euros – minimum 4 jobs created;
- De minimis aid with a value of more than 80,000 euros but less than or equal to 100,000 euros – at least 5 jobs created.
The state estimates that about 350 new companies will be created. This means that, on average, each company will receive 40,000 euros according to MFE estimates.
The de minimis aid will be granted in two installments, as follows:
- initial installment of up to 75% of the de minimis aid amount, as approved on the basis of the business plan and provided for in the grant agreement concluded.
- final tranche representing the difference up to the total value of the de minimis aid, after the beneficiary of the de minimis aid proves that he has occupied the minimum jobs assumed by the business plan in proportion to the total value of the approved de minimis aid. If in a maximum of 6 months the beneficiary of the de minimis aid does not occupy the minimum jobs assumed by the proportional business plan with the total value of the de minimis aid approved on the basis of the business plan and mentioned in the grant contract, the second tranche of aid de minimis is no longer granted and the legal procedures for recovering the subsidy tranche I granted are no longer granted.
The new Innotech Student program resembles the old Romania Start-Up Plus program or the even older Romania Start-Up program, and the student’s journey to European money will be long, 8-20 months.
If the financing line is launched this year, students will end up making companies and taking the European money of a maximum of 100,000 Euros per business in 2021.
The proposed guide provides 2 major stages of projects, with 10 activities in total, of which we mention:
– Grant administrators will first be selected – eligible applicants with their projects, under this program.
These can be:
- Accredited public and private universities;
- Doctoral and graduate schools with legal personality, including partnerships between them and the private sector / research-development-innovation centers;
- Accredited research institutes / centers, including research institutes of the Romanian Academy
- Romanian Academy;
- Professional associations;
- Chambers of Commerce and Industry;
- Institutions and member organizations of the Regional Pacts and Local Partnerships for Employment and Social Inclusion;
- Authorized continuing education providers, public and private;
- Trade unions and employers’ organizations;
- Members of Sectorial Committees and Sectoral Committees with legal personality;
- Partnerships between the above categories.
– These grant managers will carry out large projects, of a maximum of 2 million euros each.
– In these projects, grant managers will select the target group, ie the final beneficiaries, the future entrepreneurs.
The target group consists of:
- Students (ISCED 5-7) – enrolled, on the date of entry into operation, in the last year of study of the study cycle completed,
- PhD students in the cycle of doctoral studies,
- Postdoctoral researchers,
- Students (ISCED 4, qualification level 5, enrolled in colleges organized at the level of higher education institutions) – enrolled, on the date of entry into operation, in the last year of study of the study cycle completed.
– Future employers will take entrepreneurship courses. Students will receive 5 lei per class hour in which they participate.
– The students will draw up business plans, and at the end of the courses the best business plans will be selected to receive, possibly, financing. The selection will be made by a jury composed of entrepreneurs and various specialists.
– Students whose business plans have been selected will go into the phase of simulated enterprises and mentoring, for the development of entrepreneurial skills.
– These students will follow internships in existing companies on the market in the field in which they also want to do business. Following the internships and activities at the simulated enterprise, students will receive a grant of 750 lei each.
– Establishment of new companies and receipt of the first installment of the grant (75%). Certain sectors of activity, such as agriculture, for example, are excluded from the program. Instead, if we take the name of the scheme, the focus will be on technology and innovation businesses. More precisely, the financed areas will be those from the list of CANE codes related to the industrial policy directions mentioned in the National Strategy for Competitiveness 2014-2021. These include: Creative Industries, Information Technology and Telecommunications, Tourism and Ecotourism, Textiles and Leather, Wood and Furniture, Automotive and Pharmaceuticals, Health and Pharmaceuticals, Energy and Environmental Management, Bioeconomics, Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnologies, Construction and more.
– Implementing the business plan and hiring staff. Receipt of the second tranche (25%) of the de minimis aid will be conditional on the employment of the staff undertaken in the business plan.
– Ensuring the sustainability of new companies for at least 6 months.
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