CEED Romania continues to catalyze and drive entrepreneurial opportunities in Romania. CEED just successfully concluded (December 2015) two major European funded projects – one focused on supporting women in business (locally called ‘Strengthening womens’ skills for the labor market’) and a second focused on doing what CEED does best — providing entrepreneur support, business knowledge and capital to help create and grow job creating businesses. This latter program was entitled ‘Intelligent investment in economic development and job creation (“IDEAL”)
Between the two programs, 1500 ambitious individuals – including 1000 women and 250 youth (under 25) from the economically challenged Southern Romania region – had access to a mix of business, management and vocational training, pre-start-up business consulting, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Key results of these programs include:
- Strengthening womens’ skills for the labor market: Over 1,000 women improved their access to employment and career opportunities. Specifically, more than 600 women gained new skills as IT operators or Sales agents, while more than 400 women developed skills in management and entrepreneurship. Additionally, 21 women started their own business and created new jobs. Importantly, all of the participants joined the virtual network of professional women that was created within the project.
- Intelligent investment in economic development and job creation (“IDEAL”): This program offered entrepreneurial training to more than 450 would-be entrepreneurs, and more in-depth pre-start-up consulting to more than 250. As part of the program CEED managed a seed fund grant that, through a business plan contest, funded 47 entrepreneurs with up to Euro 25,000 each to start and operate their businesses. The awarded startups have already created 117 jobs.