Unbelievable Opportunities Await Romanian Companies with EU Funding in 2024


In the regions undergoing a just transition, micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can receive grants ranging from 200,000 to 8 million euros for projects aimed at mitigating the negative effects of polluting industrial activities. These grants will be provided as regional state aid and de minimis aid. The "Development of Enterprises and Entrepreneurship" program, specifically the component for "Investments for the development of SMEs promoting sustainable growth and job creation," is currently accepting project proposals through the MySMIS2021 online portal. The submission period opened on December 20, 2023 and will close on March 20, 2024 at 24:00:00. A total budget of 775 million euros has been allocated for the seven calls. The target recipients are SMEs located in the Just Transition Program counties, including Gorj, Hunedoara, Dolj, Galați, Prahova, Mureș, and the Jiului Valley with integrated territorial investments (ITI).

The European Union has allocated a range of EUR 50,000-200,000 for micro-enterprises in 6 counties. This is a separate program from the one for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Under the Just Transition Program (PTJ), micro-enterprises in the designated counties can receive grants ranging from EUR 50,000-200,000 through a different line of European funding. The budget for the "Support for the sustainable growth of micro-enterprises and job creation" program is over 200 million euros and is divided among the following priorities: • Gorj: EUR 49,306,293 • Hunedoara EUR 38,601,700 • Hunedoara, ITI Valea Jiului: EUR 9,650,423 • Dolj: EUR 36,446,155 • Galati: EUR 22,569,050 • Prahova: EUR 27,873,431 • Mureș: EUR 22,374,330

The grant will cover 90% of eligible expenses, with the remaining 10% to be covered by the entrepreneurs, along with any non-eligible expenses. The Ministry of Investments and European Projects has estimated that the application process will begin in February, though there may be a delay.

Regional programs for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized companies will provide funds during the 2021-2027 programming period in Romania's 8 development regions. Each Regional Development Agency (RDA) has included financing for SMEs in their programs, with some already closed and others yet to open. Examples of regional funding for 2024 include:

  1. In the Bucharest-Ilfov Region, a budget of 75.2 million euros is allocated for the "Support for sustainable growth and technological modernization of micro-enterprises" scheme. The project submission period will open in July 2024 through the MySMIS2021 system, according to the latest ADR BI indicative calendar.
  2. The Center Region (Alba, Brașov, Covasna, Harghita, Mureș, Sibiu counties) offers grants of 250,000-1.5 million euros per project through funding for technological investments in SMEs (1.4.1). The project submission session is currently open until February 12, 2024 at 12:00 through the MySMIS2021 system.
  3. Digitization grants for SMEs of 15,000-200,000 euros per project are also available in the Central Region. Registrations are accepted between December 15, 2023 and May 15, 2024 at 12:00.
  4. Micro-enterprises in the startup or scale-up stage in the Center Region can apply for grants of 25,000-200,000 euros for IT businesses, accommodation, car washes, medical offices, and other activities. The project submission period is from February 20, 2024 at 12:00 to May 20, 2024 at 12:00 for Intervention 1.4.2: Scale up for start-ups and micro-enterprises, within the Center Region Program 2021-2027.
  5. In the North-West Region (Bihor, Bistrița-Năsăud, Cluj, Maramureș, Satu Mare, Sălaj counties), grants of €20,000 to €200,000 are available for micro-enterprises through Measure 131.A - Innovative productive investments. The project submission period will open on February 1, 2024 at 10:00 and close on March 28, 2024 at 10:00 through the MySMIS2021 system.
  6. The North-West Region also offers "Digitalization of SMEs" grants of €10,000-100,000 per project from February 1, 2024 at 10:00 to April 11, 2024 at 10:00. These grants aim to support the digitization of activities.
  7. Regional Intervention 1.3 B - Support for SMEs (PRV/1.3B/1) will be available in the West Region (Arad, Timiș, Hunedoara, Caraș-Severin counties) with a maximum of €4 million for production companies and €1 million for service companies. The registration session will be announced by ADR Vest.
  8. The South-East Region (Brăila, Buzău, Constanța, Galați, Tulcea, Vrancea counties) has several European funds for SMEs scheduled for the third quarter of 2024, according to the latest indicative calendar from ADR SE. Micro-enterprises can receive grants of 20,000-200,000 euros through a call for increasing competitiveness.
  9. In the North-East Region (Bacău, Botoșani, Iași, Neamț, Suceava, Vaslui counties), financing opportunities for SMEs were launched last year and ADR NV has scheduled more for 2024. One of these is the "Sustainable growth of SMEs" funding with a budget of €30 million. The session will open in October 2024.
  10. In the South-Muntenia region (Argeș, Călărași, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Ialomița, Prahova, Teleorman counties), there are two SME grant lines of 50,000-200,000 euros and 300,000-3 million euros per project. Registration for funds for micro-enterprises and small firms will begin on March 15, 2024.

Under the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), grants are being offered to support the digitization efforts of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). These grants, with a maximum amount of 3 million euros, are specifically targeted towards non-IT companies who partner with IT companies. The aim of these grants is to assist in the implementation of advanced digitization and research projects. The final guide for this program is expected to be published by MIPE (Ministry of Investment and European Projects) in January 2024, according to their proposed timeline which has been extended multiple times. The PNRR electronic system will be open for project submissions from 01.02.2024 to 29.03.2024. The total budget for these grants is estimated to be 150 million euros (equivalent in lei).

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