Fonduri-structurale.ro – Supporting Romanian Entrepreneurship in Every Shape or Form
Fonduri-Structurale.ro is one of the most important Romanian actors in areas like project management, funding, training, consulting, and many more. They are the “go to” people if you want to access funds for your startup, learn some new skills, or get that entrepreneurial dream of yours going!
With their journey starting in 2006, Fonduri-Structurale.ro is known by most entrepreneurs for their detailed and always up-to-date platform that collects all the latest news and advice regarding funding. If anything happens in this area, they are most likely the first you will hear it from.
But Fonduri-Structurale.ro does much more than providing information and consulting. It is one of the few organizations that have supported social entrepreneurs since the times when no one really knew what they were and what they were doing. As Raluca Preluca, Partner and Senior Consultant at Fonduri-Structurale.ro, describes it, there was quite a long journey to get to where we are now:
“There have been initiatives in this area starting with the early 2000s, but real growth only came with Romania’s accession to the EU due to the support we received as a member state. The beginnings were modest, but step by step, we have identified good practices that can be replicated. The growth is clearly visible. During the first Structural Funds Gala that we organized in 2014, we simply gave out awards to entities that invested in the social economy. During the second edition of the Gala however, in 2017, we were also able to organize a solid competition for social enterprises. This area of entrepreneurship has kept on developing and finally got legally recognized and regulated in 2015, thanks to the first law dedicated to the social economy. Even though there are improvements to be made, it was the first step towards giving legal recognition to a domain that attracts more and more attention from the community.”
The 2 Galas, organized by Fonduri-structurale.ro together with The European Commission Representation in Romania, were a milestone in the area of social entrepreneurship, not only by giving awards to more than 60 social enterprises, but also by changing mentalities:
“Unfortunately, we don’t talk enough in Romania about the success stories of projects financed by European money, which leads to a lack of trust from potential beneficiaries. Through our initiatives, we wanted to fight this current.” – explains Raluca.
And there is much more to come. In 2020, Fonduri-Structurale.ro will be running a Social Enterprise Accelerator together with Fundatia „Alaturi de voi” (the „Together With You” Foundation), another important actor in the area of social entrepreneurship. More projects targeting Romanian entrepreneurship and participative financing are in the making.
„We want to put the lessons we’ve learned in our previous projects to good use and thus offer more valuable insights to the future social enterprises that we are going to develop. We are looking for cool people who want to contribute to their community’s welfare and who connect with our values. We always describe ourselves as „NGO souls in entrepreneurial bodies.” – adds Raluca
Clearly, opportunities are knocking, but you still have to open the door. And Fonduri-structurale.ro is there to support those who want to try:
“I was reading these days about a mother who admitted to discouraging her high school aged daughter from joining a contest for fear that failure could traumatize her. Somehow, these things stay with us as adults and I’m sure many wonderful ideas never see the light of day simply because we are lacking education when it comes to being brave. I believe we need to learn to overcome our anxieties and dare more, especially when we have cool ideas and plenty of support.” – concludes Raluca.