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StartUp NATION Program

What is the StartUp Nation Program?

The “Start-up Nation – Romania” Small Business Start-Up Program was launched within the Ministry of Business, Trade and Entrepreneurship to encourage and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of citizens to engage in private economic structures.

In view of increasing the number of businesses and revitalizing the economic environment, increasing the number of employees, reducing the number of unemployed and increasing consumption, the program for stimulating the establishment of SMEs, called “Start-up Nation – Romania” offers 100% non-refundable financing for up to 200.000 lei/project for a maximum number of 10.000 beneficiaries annually This means that the entrepreneur will have a 0% personal contribution in terms of eligible expenditure.

According to officials from the Ministry of Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the Romania Start-Up Nation program will be operational in the coming period, with entrepreneurs applying for funding from December 27, 2018 to February 12, 2019.


Although this program offers the opportunity to finance 10,000 business plans, the following areas of activity are encouraged: production activities and IT programming activities; creative industries; services; trade and other activities. You need to know that the most profitable areas are: fashion and clothing, HoReCa, IT and agricultural production. But It is not enough for the domain to benefit you, there is also a need for innovation and products to be noticed and good branding.

The following eligibility criteria must be met to obtain funding:

  • The business must be established after 30 January 2017 and registered at the Trade Register Office as a company (including SRL-D) or cooperative society;
  • The CAEN Code authorized at the ONRC when submitting the expenses documentation;
  • Urban OR Rural implementation location, including the Bucharest-Ilfov Development Region;
  • Compulsory creation of a single job for non-refundable financing of 200,000 LEI and assuming the maintenance of the job/jobs created for 2 years.
  • The business may be established by individuals who are associated in other firms, provided that the other firms in which that person is assigned are NOT bankrupt, in insolvency;
  • Shareholders/Administrators of other companies may not apply with a new firm that operates on a CAEN code on which they previously had economic activity in the past;


Eligible expenditure categories financed by the programme Start-Up Nation-Romania are equipment and machinery, vans (passenger cars for Certain CAEN codes, 8 + 1 persons transport minibuses, vans of category N1, N2, N3, with the exception of land vehicles symbol G), air conditioning/heating equipment, equipment for obtaining an energy economy, IT equipment, furniture, office supplies, rents, salaries (will be eligible for a period of six months) web pages, promoting (possibly limited to 4000 lei), franchises, licenses, entrepreneurship courses, software and consultancy (possibly limited to 8000 lei).

Given that the business in which there will be allocations of at least 60% of the proposed investment for the purchase of equipment, a score will be given to those acquiring software, equipment, state-of-the-art technology (not to be older than 3 years and receive certification from the manufacturer). Second hand goods and leasing financing are not accepted.

Payments will be made after the mechanism of reimbursement of the expenditure incurred and the settlement of payment claims. The reimbursement will be compulsory for wage expenditures (which will be eligible for a maximum of 6 months at the maximum level of the average wage per economy). For the rest of the expenditure, the payment request will be used by which the contractor, on the basis of the contracts concluded, comes with unpaid invoices from suppliers and the state pays them. The non-deductible Value Added Tax will also be included in the eligible expenditure.

Under a new proposal, an advance of up to 30% of the total approved amount may be granted at the request of the beneficiary.


Production – 30 points
Creative services and Industries (e.g. editing, cinema, IT, engineering, market studies, medical services, education) without CAEN 6201 – 30 points
Trade and other activities – 10 points
Number of permanent new jobs created indefinitely, full time + 1 job, in addition to a minimum of 1 job which is the eligibility criterion – 10 points
At least one job occupied by a disadvantaged person/graduate after 2012/unemployed – 5 points
For localities (rural or urban) in counties* where the number of SMEs at county level/100 inhabitants < 4 – 25 points
For localities (rural or urban) in counties* where the number of SMEs at county level/100 inhabitants >= 4 – 5 points
Technological Equipment and software necessary to carry out the activity in the weighting greater than or equal to 60 of the value of the business plan – 10 points
Technological Equipment and software necessary to carry out the activity in the weighting greater than or equal to 50 of the value of the Business plan – 5 points
None of the applicant’s shareholders/associations had the status of a single administrator or associate in a commercial company that was declared in insolvency or bankruptcy – 25 points
TOTAL: 100 points**

Note: For the assessment of the number of SMEs / 100 inhabitants, Bucharest is assimilated and will be treated as a county.


Image Source National Commission Of Forecast

* * Note: Only the Counties of Cluj, Ilfov and Bucharest municipality have a number of SMEs at county level/100 inhabitants >= 4.


According to the scoring grid, each financing idea must obtain at least 50 points, according to the selection criteria mentioned above, in order to receive funding. The evaluation will be done in the order of the score, within the limit of the available budget. If, following the evaluation of the projects, there will be projects on equal scoring, the grading criteria will be as follows:

  • The number of jobs to be created under the programme;
  • Number of jobs occupied by persons in the category of disadvantaged persons/graduates after 2012/unemployed;
  • The score obtained in the criterion “the weighting of the value of the technological equipment from the total value of the project” (Section D of the evaluation criteria);
  • date and time of the registration for the project.

Although micro, small and medium enterprises represent a real source of entrepreneurial, innovation and job creation skills, there are times when they face market difficulties, especially in the project phase, when creating and developing the idea and the process of obtaining of credit or capital is difficult.

There are many people who have business ideas but because of bureaucracy they are not willing to take the risks of setting up a new business, so the SMART Development Center Association can offer you consultancy in order to succeed in obtaining funding. Below we have compiled a form for a pre-analysis of the business you are about to start. If you are interested in consultancy for StartUP Nation, completing this form is the first step:


For Other information contact a consultant in Bucharest (0318241590) or in Galaţi (0336 101177)