Raiffeisen Bank in Romania has launched a startup program called Factory by Raiffeisen Bank. The primary purpose of the program is to encourage the development of startups, to support them with solid business plans, and to develop and implement viable business projects with added value for the economy that will lead to the implementation of innovative ideas to improve the position of SMEs in the market and increase their competitiveness.
A project competition will be launched on the platform (www.raiffeisenfactory.ro) on March 20. The submitted projects will be evaluated up June 29, when the most innovative and viable business ideas will be given loans worth up to 50,000 euros. The loans will be provided through the COSME program, with a guarantee from the European Investment Fund.
After projects are submitted, they will be checked to ensure that they comply with the eligibility criteria and then evaluated by Raiffeisen Bank specialists. The startups selected for the final stage will be invited to present their business plan in detail, and the final decision will be made to determine which projects will receive financing through the Factory by Raiffeisen Bank program.
Participants may be Romanian entrepreneurs and companies that may or may not be clients of Raiffeisen Bank when they submit their project. If selected for funding, winners will be required to open an account with the bank to receive financing.
The jury will determine the exact amount of funding to be granted to each project on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the request submitted and the needs of the participating entity, as outlined in the project uploaded to the platform.
Loans will be granted either in the form of overdraft or investment loans, with a repayment period of 12 months for overdraft and up to five years for investment loans. The loans will be granted with preferential interest rates. Also, the selected startup companies will not have to pay any upfront fees and will benefit from a grace period of up to six months.
Participants in the Factory by Raiffeisen Bank program may be small or medium-sized enterprises with no more than two years of business activity or entrepreneurs who have a business idea but have not yet established a business. By enrolling in this competition, entrepreneurs can test their business ideas and business plans, and they will also be mentored by Raiffeisen Bank specialists throughout the program until their business becomes sustainable.
The platform also offers a selection of news, video tutorials from successful entrepreneurs, a dictionary of business terms, and answers to frequently asked questions about the Factory by Raiffeisen Bank financing program.
Source: Press release by Raiffeisen Bank Romania from March 5, 2018, www.raiffeisenfactory.ro