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3.2.1.2.

Access to finance for SMEs

AdequatefinancialresourcesforSM Esarecrucialfort
heirdevel
opmentandt
hei
ncreaseoftheir
competit
iveness.
Thecreat
ionofafavourableenvironmentfort
heinvestmentsfinancingrepresent
sast
epforward,
comparedtotheapproachesmainlybasedondirectinvestmentsupport.

Theaccesst ocreditisgenerallydifficul
tforSM Es,creditgrantingcondi ti
onsimposedbybanks
arehardlyaccessibletothem duetothei rundercapitalization andtotheabsenceoftherequired
collaterals.Smallbusinessesfacemaj orobstaclesinthei ncreaseanddevel opmentduet othelack
oftangibleassetsthatcanbeusedascollateralandt otheconsi derableri
sksborne,whi chprevent
them from obt aining atypicalbank l oan orescalatethecostofsuch al oan.Therei saneed t o
overcometheseobstaclessincei nnovativeideas,productsandservices,businessmodelsareoften
generatedbystart-upsandnew companies.Att hesametime,astrongerinvol vementoffinancial
institut
ionsinrisk financingisneeded.Infact,t hefinancingofenterprises!project sbyfinancial
institut
ionsensuresqualifiedexpertiseandcompetenceintheselecti onandvalidationprocessof
compet it
ivebusinessmodels.
Although providing innovativefinancialinstrumentsiscrucialto exploitthegrowth potentialof
SM Es,theprogramming and implementati on oftheseinstrumentsrequestspecificknow-how in
theevaluation ofmarketfailuresand good financialmanagement.Therefore,Romaniahasbeen
working closely wit
ht heEuropean Invest mentFund in orderto i dentify marketfailuresin t
he
SM Esinnovativefinancesector.

In M arch 2007,a gap assessmentstudy wascarri ed outundert he JEREM IE (JointEuropean


ResourcesforM icro to M edium Ent erprises)ini
tiative,in orderto assisti
n choosi
ng t
he most
efficient i
nnovati
ve ways t o support SM Es access t o fi
nance in Romania.The study was
elaboratedbyateam ofindependentexpertscommissionedbyt heEuropeanInvestmentFundand
confi rmedtheexisti
ngproblemsont heaccesst ofinancemarketi nRomania.

The need i sto create a range offunding sources including micro loans t
o meetthe vari
ous
demandsfrom SM Es.Thenati onalandlocaladmi nist
rationhast ocreatetheenvironmentwhere
themarketcan fl ourish and t
hedesireisto att
ractthepri vatesect
orto supportt
heseactionsand
benefitfrom thesuccessandsharetherisksinvolved.Supportisenvisagedforanappropriatemix
ofinstrumentsasi dentifiedinthegapassessmentreport.

The Romanian Governmenthas decided to conferthe role ofJEREM IE hol ding fund to t
he
European InvestmentFund by t he award ofa granti n accordance wit
h art.44(b)ofCouncil
Regulat i
on 1083/ 2006 and subject t o specifi
c condit i
ons l ai
d down i n art. 43 and 44 of
Commissi onRegulationNo1828/2006.Tot hisend,t heM anagingauthorityintendstocontribute
with an indicative sum of100 million euro to t he holding fund.A funding agreementwillbe
concludedbetweent heM anagingAuthorit yandt hehol di
ngfundandwil lmakeprovi sionforthe
compet itive-basedappraisal,selecti
onandaccreditationoffinancialintermediaries.

Theefficiency oftheJEREM IE inst


rumentshallbeevaluated by t
henat
ionalauthoritiesafter3
yearsofimplementation.

SOP IEC Ministry of Economy and Finance 83


The Romanian authorities wi llcont
inue t
o monitorand encourage t
he devel
opmentofot
her
instrumentsaimingatfacilitati
ngSM Esaccesstofi
nance.
W it
hinthisarea,resourceswillbeprovidedalsoforanawareness/
promotioncampai
gnregarding
theopportuniti
esofenterprisesaccesstofinance.

3.2.1.3. Sustainable entrepreneurship development

Importantfact orsin fostering entrepreneurship are an adequate busi


ness culture,a favourable
environment for enterprise creati on, the availabilit
y of qualified services, hi
gh degree of
interacti
on and cooperat ion between ent erprises to disseminate knowl edge and strengt
hen
potentials.
Romaniaenvisagestosupporttheprocessofenterprisecreati onthrough:availabilityofadequate
busi nessinfrastructures,devel
opmentofmanagerialskillsandbusi nesssupportservices.

A key elementofbusinessdevelopmentist he avail


abil
ity ofvalue added consulting servi
ces.
Thesupportforconsul
tancytoSM ES willallow them tobecomemorecompetitiveonthemarket
andtodiversifyt
hei
rproductsandservices.
Assistance to existi
ng and emergi ng clusters is also importantt o consolidate the i
nteraction
processamong fi rmsfavouri
ng knowledgespread,i ncreased externaleconomies(l owercost sof
production factorsand raw materials,lowertransacti on costs),higherproducti vit
y ofactivities,
increase t
he numberofsuppl iers and cli
ent s oft he clusters.The financing ofsoft and hard
investmentsisenvisaged,tunedwit hSM Esneeds.
Thus, they will benefit of an i ntegrated approach including t
he advantages of corporat e
management , of proper fi nancing sources, associat
ed guarantees, t echnical advantages of
information societ y servi
ces and ofthe act ive cooperati
on with differentact ors:compet it
ors,
organisations,instit
utions,includingR&D entities.

Theindicative operations envisagedareasfollows:


a)Development of business support structures of nationalandinternationaldimension
Theoperati on,complementaryt otheoneinROP (support inglocalbusinessinfrast
ructures),will
focus on supporti
ng business infrastructures ofnat ionaloreven internationaldimension with
selecti
on intermsof:partnership (clusterpotential),nationalorinternationaldimension,and the
qualityofthedevelopmentstrategy.
Busi ness supporti nfrastructures financed underSOP IEC wil lconsi stboth ofhard activit ies
(building ofnew infrast ructuresand consoli dati
ons,refurbishi ng and modernization,equipment s
acquisition)and softones(servicesaiming atrei nforcing the entrepreneurship culture such as:
disseminati on and i nformation,best practices exchange,mentoring and coaching act ivities;
know-how transfer;seminarsand workshops).The presence ofbusinessinfrastructuresable to
compet ei n thenationaland i nternationalmarketsisavitalfactorin t heincreaseofRomania!s
compet it
iveness,wi thintheframeworkofan enl argedEuropeanUni on,andwil lcreat ethebasi s
fora bet terintegration ofthe nati onaleconomy wi t
hi nt he European economy.To t his end,
availability of appropriate busi ness structures essentially contribute t
o enhanci ng Romania' s
attracti
venessasl ocationfori nvestmenti neconomicact ivi
ties,andakeyt oolforst imulatingt he
busi nessenvironment.
SOP IEC Ministry of Economy and Finance 84
b)Consultancysupport30 for SMEs
SM Es wi ll be supported for the acquisi ti
on of consul tancy in fields like: elaborat
ion of
projects/businessplans;products/servicesandenterprisestrategiesdevelopment;i nvestmentsand
financialissues;market ing and promotion activities;HR management ;information technology
ande-busi ness;innovationandi ntellectualpropertyrights.

c)Support for enterprisesintegration in supplier chains and clusters


The aim of the operation is to strengthen networking and cooperation relati
ons between
enterprises,rei
nforcingval uechainsandsupportingtheprocessofclusterdevel
opment. Support
willbegrantedforthedevel opmentofjointprojectsi
nthefieldsofproduction,consul
tancyand
specializedservices,logistics.
Toimprovetheeffectivenessofthepri orityaxi s,acti
onsfallingwit hinthescopeofassistanceof
the ESF may be fi nanced in the limitof10% ofCommuni ty funding forthis pri
ority axis,
accordingtotheflexibi
litymechanism (art.34(2)oftheCouncilRegulation(EC)No1083/ 2006).
Assistance will mainly concern highl y-qualifi
ed trai
ning related t othe needed skil ls and
knowledgeforprojectsfinancedunderthispriorityaxis.

30
Excludingconsultancyservi
cesforcertificati
onsandexportpromotionandint
ernat
ionalizat
ion,coveredbythe
firstkeyareaofinterventionunderthisPriorityAxis

SOP IEC Ministry of Economy and Finance 85


3.
2.2.Priority Axis 2:Research,TechnologicalDevelopment and Innovation for
Competitiveness

Objective
x Increase of R&D capacity,st imul ation of cooperat
ion bet
ween RDI i
nst
itut
ions and
enterprises,andincreaseofenterprises!accesstoRDI.

Rational
e
Thelow leveloffunding(bothpubl ic,andprivate)forresearch,technologi
caldevel
opment,and
innovation(RDI)hadasdirectresultstheobsolet
eRDIi nfrastruct
ure,t
hedecreasi
ngnumberand
increasi
ngaverageageofresearchers,andthelow performanceofRDIactivities.

Thel
ackoffundi
ngalsohi
nderedent
erprises!accesst
oRDIact
ivit
iesandt
echnol
ogyt
ransfer.

These weak points t ogetherwith t


he low partici
pat
ion oft he pri
vate sect
ori n funding RDI
activitiesresul
ted in alargetechnol
ogy deficitofRomanian companiesand i n alow innovation
scorei nenterprises.

In order t o address these weaknesses t his priori


ty axis focuses on severali ssues meantt o
contribute tot he fol lowi ng aims: the i ncrease of research capaci t
y by i nvest i
ng i nt he
developmentofR&D infrastructure and attracti ng young researchersand high-levelspecialists
both in R&D instit utions(uni versitiesand research instit
utes)and in companieswit h research
departments;t hestrengt heningofknowledgesuppl yfrom universi tiesandresearchi nstitutes;the
stimulation ofthetechnol ogy transferbased on thecooperati on bet ween R&D i nstitutions,and
enterprises;thestimulation ofinnovation demand ofenterprises;thecreation and reinforcement
ofhi gh-techfirmsandthedevel opmentofpol esofexcellence/compet it
iveness.

Thecont ributi
onoftheR&D dedicatedaxiswithinSOP IEC tothei ncreaseofBERD,i norderto
reach t
henati onal2010 targetof1% ofGDP,isdoneby stimulating demand and wellt
argeting
theprivatesector,asfoll
ows:
x byprovidi ngadirectfi nancingofi nnovativeprivatecompanies
x by supporting part nerships triggered by demand and not by suppl y, as the direct
applicationofresearchresultintheproductivesectorisakeyselectioncrit eria
x by bridging a marketgap in terms of research infrastructure,in order t o all
ow the
development of cl usters and poles of excel lence, and the specialization of young
researchersand techni ci
anst hatwil llat eron migrate t o the busi
nesssect or.The 2006
Innobarometer on clusters rolein facilitatinginnovation in Europeshowsclearlythatt he
presenceofpublicresearchlabsisoneofthei ngredientsofclusterbasedresearch.

There are import


antsynergies between priority axis 2 and priorit
y axi
s 1.Some enterprises
supportedunderpriorityaxis2"RDIforCompetitiveness#couldalsogotopriorityaxis1toseek
supportforproductive investmentsand foraccess to new markets,ideal ly t
hrough i
ntegrated
projects.Likewise enterprisessupported underpri
orit
y axi s1 could getsupportunderpriority
axis2astheirdemandforknowledgegrows.

SOP IEC Ministry of Economy and Finance 86