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Profilul antreprenorului roman

Profilul antreprenorului roman

Profilul antreprenorului roman

The European Commission defines Entrepreneurship as the mind set and process needed to create and develop economic activity by blending risk-taking, creativity and/or innovation with sound management, within a new or an existing organisation[1].

SMEs and start-up companies are the backbone of the Romanian economy, providing jobs for millions of citizens and are the basis for economic innovation. Structural changes lived by Romania and the rest of the world in the last years, make entrepreneurship even a more relevant factor of socio-economic progress. The Internal Market, accessible after the accession of Romania to the European Union, facilitates trading in a market of almost 500 million consumers. Globalisation increased competitive pressure on manufacturing firms, which led to increasing productivity by using technological inputs and innovation. Information and Communication Technologies gave rise to new markets which revolutionised production processes in many industries and led to growth of the service sector. All these changes generate opportunities for new entrepreneurial initiative, particularly in the area of services. Additionally, the reduced costs of transmitting knowledge across space makes inputs by external providers relatively cheaper and helps Romanian entrepreneurs to operate on a more European or worldwide scale. For all these reasons, entrepreneurship should play an essential role to foster Romanian economic recovery and employment growth in the recent global crisis (See Box 4.1.a).

Box 4.1.a. Dynamic and social entrepreneurship.

Survival is not the most relevant issue to analyze the role of start-ups as an engine for economic and social development in Romania. Most of surviving new firms just evolve to become a self-employment or micro/small company, meanwhile only a few of them are able to grow as medium enterprises in a short period of time. This second group of companies, called dynamic entrepreneurial projects or less formally ‘gazelles’, are responsible of the largest volume of employment creation, innovation and value addition in their socio-economic environment. Policies supporting entrepreneurship should distinguish among those traditional and dynamic projects and provide the mechanisms to create and develop ‘gazelles’, specially in the less developed areas of the country.

There are some characteristics that may help to differentiate ‘gazelles’ from other more traditional start ups:

Value adding by using innovation: the enterprise is created by provide added value products or services for a market segment applying new techniques or technologies. They often make an intensive use of information and communication technologies.

Born to be global: dynamic companies often acts in international markets from its very beginning.

Managerial expertise: many ‘gazelles’ are created by entrepreneurs with experience in launching other companies or having previous managerial experiences as employees of other firms.

Creative socio-economic environment: ‘gazelles’ use to be created in some specific geographic areas where dynamic entrepreneurship is already present. Representative instances of this clusters of ‘gazelles’ are Silicon Valley in USA or Medicon Valley (Copenhagen/Malmö) in Europe. Such areas are characterized not only by a technology-based economy but by progressive social environment.

Social orientation: most dynamic entrepreneurs are not just trying to make the best out of a transient business opportunity simply for the sake of profits, but they are also motivated to create authentic and sustainable added value, by introducing something that has a positive impact on society. Then, dynamic entrepreneurship is also related to social entrepreneurship.

However, entrepreneurial culture in Romania is not as favourable[2] as in some other areas. For instance, Romanian citizens are less inclined to become entrepreneurs, and more risk-averse than their American counterparts. Romanian youths strongly prefer employment in a large corporation, while Americans aspire to self-employment. Once a new company has been created, it also tends to grow at a slower rate than in the US.

In this framework, government analysts and policymakers need to achieve a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon in Romania, in order to promote the creation of fast growing dynamic enterprises capable of generating added value and economic growth. The design and monitoring of such policies require indicator systems on the evolution of entrepreneurship in the country (See box 4.1.b).

Box 4.1.b. Good practices to provide information on entrepreneurship

The need of reliable information for policy making on entrepreneurship is being progressively fulfilled by a series of initiatives such as the Kauffman Firm Survey or the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme:

A) Kauffman Firm Survey

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsors the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS)[3], a panel study of new businesses founded in 2004 that have been tracked annually and will continue to be tracked through 2011, allowing the follow-up of business evolutions. The KFS dataset provides researchers and scholars around the globe with the opportunity to study a panel of new businesses from start up to sustainability or exit, with longitudinal data covering topics such as (1) how businesses are financed, (2) the products, services, and innovations these businesses possess and develop in their early years of existence and (3) the characteristics of those who own and operate the start up. The Baseline Survey was conducted between July 2005 and July 2006. Interviews were completed with principals of 4,928 businesses that started operations in 2004. The fourth and more recent follow-up occurred in 2009 about 2008 business activities.

B) OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP)[4].

The goal of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP) is the development of sound statistical indicators on entrepreneurship comparable across countries to provide a solid foundation for policy formulation and monitoring in this area. Official statistics on business demography provided by OECD countries are compiled from information from various administrative records and surveys. The production of quality data from such sources takes time and often quality is achieved at the expense of timeliness. However, events such as the global economic crisis demand immediate access to up-to-date indicators which may support policy analyst to understand the impact of such events on entrepreneurship and respond promptly with policy initiatives.

Alternatively, the EIP produces and disseminates a new set of timely indicators of entrepreneurship with a focus on timeliness. The indicators are based on monthly and quarterly data on enterprise creations and failures that are available through the internet. For most countries, a single source is exploited:

The source for firm creation is normally an administrative file or a register from a chamber of commerce

The source for firm closures is mainly bankruptcy records.

Since EIP only considers a single data source the population of enterprises is often incomplete. Moreover, concepts of enterprise creation and failure reflected in the data series differ across countries. To address these two issues, a number of adjustments are made to the series. In addition, the monthly and quarterly data have been seasonally adjusted. While indicator levels are not strictly comparable across countries in the timely series, comparisons in terms of trends and growth rates are valid and provide a useful tool for policy making and monitoring.

Creation of enterprises in Romania

During 2000-2008, new enterprises have been launched at an increasing rate (excepting a reduction in 2006) as can be appreciated in the following graph:

Graph 4.1.a. Number of new enterprises created per year

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010)

The trend of enterprise creation in Romania is different to the general international trend. The number of new enterprises exhibits a significant decrease in 2008 or earlier in most of the European and OECD countries[5], due to the recent economic and financial crisis, However, these reduction has not taken place in Romania.

To create a new company in Romania, entrepreneurs need manage six different procedures with an average duration of 10 days[6] (see table 4.1.a). The costs of the procedures to launch the start up are 2.6% of income per capita in Romania and the amount that the entrepreneur needs to deposit in a bank or with a notary to complete the registration is 0.9% of income per capita. Based on these indices, Romania is ranked in 2011 in place 44 of 183 world economies. The difficulties to create new companies, in relation with other countries, have increased in the last year (Romania was ranked in place 41 in 2010). Start up procedure is easier in other 12 EU member states than in Romania (see Table 4.1.B).

Table 4.1.a. Procedures to start a new business in Romania (June 1, 2010)



Associated cost

Obtain a certificate from the Trade Registry proving the availability of the proposed company name and make a reservation of the name

1 day

RON 56

Deposit funds in a bank and obtain a document confirming bank deposit of sufficient funds

1 day

Bank commission ranges from zero to 0.5% of capital.

Obtain a fiscal record for the company associates and the legal representatives from the public finance department of the municipality

1 day

RON 20

Register with the One-stop shop (Biroul Unic) of trade registry Registrul Comertului (BASC), Bucharest Tribunal; obtain court registration, publication of notice, and registration for statistical purposes and social security

3 days

RON 120 (registration fee) + RON 30 for each mandatory element of the basic information of the company to be registered, such as social capital, firm, associates, administrators, headquarters, main object of activity + RON 100 for each 2,000 characters publication fee in the Romanian Official Gazette + RON 30 for filing with the Trade Registry ('ascertaining certificate') + liquidation fund fee (20% of taxes applied by the Trade Registry offices) + RON 10 (Single Registration Code) + bulletin fund tax (5% of taxes applied by the Trade Registry offices) + RON 10 (fee for Trade registry to send the documents that need publishing to the Romanian Official Gazette)

Register for VAT

3 days

No charge

Register the employees contracts with the Territorial Labor Inspectorate (TLI)

1 day

No charge

Source: WB and IFC (Doing Business 2011)

Table 4.1.B. Difficulties to create a company in the other EU member states[7] according to WB-IFC index (June 1, 2010)

EU members where starting a company is easier than in Romania

Country (WB-IFC ranking)

EU members where starting a company is more difficult than in Romania

Country (WB-IFC ranking)


United Kingdom













Slovak Republic








Czech Republic



Source: WB and IFC (Doing Business 2011)

Socio-economic profile of Romanian entrepreneurs

The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs has been improving since 1995 in terms of equality between women and men, education level and technical qualification and experience of the entrepreneur. Specifically:

  • From a gender perspective, almost two thirds (63.4%) of the entrepreneurs starting up their business in 2008 are men. Being still to high, the inequality between percentages of women and men entrepreneurs are slowly reducing in Romania. For instance, in 1995 a 70.9% of the entrepreneurs were male (7.5% more than in 2008).

Graph 4.1.b: Distribution of new active enterprises created by sex of the founder / manager (%) from 1995 to 2008.

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010) . Trends obtained by own calculation.

  • Entrepreneurs are in general young people, mainly in their thirties. Up to 61.4% of the new active companies have been created by entrepreneurs younger than 40 years.

Graph 4.1.c: Distribution of new active enterprises created by age of the founder / manager (%) from 1995 to 2008.

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010) .

  • As regards education level, 53.9% of the entrepreneurs have completed high school or university, 1.7% of them having finished only primary education. (figure 4.1.c).

The percentage of entrepreneurs with high school and university education exhibits an increasing trend since 1995. As a result of such a trend, two important issues should be highlighted:

o      High Schools and also Universities have become the education centres where most of the entrepreneurs are trained. However, entrepreneurs who attended University do not exhibit higher managerial skills[8] than those without university education. For instance, the use of formal planning techniques in their start-ups or the design of explicit career plans for their employees does not increase with entrepreneur’s education level. Hence, the importance and orientation of curricular contents devoted to the development of the entrepreneurial culture and skills needs to be improved in high education, no matter the field of knowledge (See Box 4.1.c).

o      The improvement in entrepreneurs’ education provides a chance to develop dynamic start-ups. Universities, specifically those with a technical and scientific orientation, should also play a key role at this point supporting the developing and commercializing of spinning off innovative technologies.

Graph 4.1.d: Distribution of newly created active enterprises by education level of the founder/manager (%).

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 20010) Trends obtained by own calculation

Technical qualification of Romanian entrepreneurs have also improved in the last years, the percentage unqualified workers before starting their own business decreasing until to one-third in 2008 from 2-thirds in 1995. However, the level of managerial experience of the founders/managers of enterprises is still very low: only 2.4% of the start ups in 2008 were launched by entrepreneurs with previous experience in managerial positions. This lack of managerial experience needs to be substituted by training programmes or, since most of Romanian entrepreneurs has a High School or University education, by the inclusion of managerial-oriented subjects in technical and scientific universities.

Graph 4.1.e: Distribution of the newly created active enterprises by previous socio-professional category of the founder/manager (%).

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010) Trends obtained by own calculation

Box 4.1.c. The role of universities to promote entrepreneurial culture.

Universities can play a relevant role if the promotion of entrepreneurship culture in three different fields[9]:

Providing entrepreneurship education and training for students, alumni and companies

Developing innovative technologies, particularly in technical and scientific universities, and promoting spinning off to allow such technologies to be applied in dynamic adding value entrepreneurial projects

Creating links between academia and business:

o       Serving as an intellectual hub in the community

o       Providing connections between innovators, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, companies and venture capital firms

o       Developing practically oriented course materials such as case studies

o       Attracting funding and building a critical mass of innovation and entrepreneurship

It is important that the Romanian higher education system benchmarks its entrepreneurship education  with international good practices. As an example, Red Motiva (Motiva Network) is an instance of good practice of the promotion of entrepreneurship from the University . The goal of this network of universities is the promotion of entrepreneurial culture in Spain and eight Latin American countries. Red Motiva coordinates a wide agenda of activities on academic research, transference of knowledge and training in all these areas related to entrepreneurship, as well as effective support for spin offs and start ups launch by students of the universities in the network.

Main problems faced by entrepreneurs

The impact of the recent economic and financial crisis on the problems faced by the entrepreneurs is clearly shown in Graphs 4.1.f and 4.1.g.

As regards the supply side, the crisis has increased difficulties related to access to financial resources and credits: in 2008 the percentage of new companies facing a lack of resources has reached 77.1%, those with problems for being paid by their costumers on time 49.7% and those with limitation in their access to credits 47.2%. The gap between financial difficulties and other kind of problems related to the supply has become wider: less than of 20% the entrepreneurs faced problems related to lack of technology, access to qualified employees or lack of primary materials during 2008.

Financial constrains are then the most important supply-related difficulty for new enterprises. To cope with this problem should become a key axe in the design of policies to support and promote dynamic entrepreneurship in Romania during the next years.

Graph 4.1.f: Difficulties related to the supply (% of active companies)

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010)

The impact of the crisis on demand-related difficulties is also clear. Due to the economic and financial crisis, the lack of economic resources of their potential clients (70%) has become the most important difficulty in 2008, although is importance is very similar to that of the high intensity of market competition (69%). The prevalence of difficulties associated to low awareness of the new company in the market (50%) and the marketing inabilities of the entrepreneur (30%) are lower in 2008 than in pre-crisis years.

Graph 4.1.g: Difficulties related to the demand (% of new active companies)

Source: NIS (The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs, 2010)

This findings highlights that the crisis has modified entrepreneurs’ perception on the main difficulties for business development. Responsible of start ups in 2008 become more worried about the financial difficulties faced by the company and its customers and less concerned of less urgent problems such us the management of company’s market positioning (awareness, marketing abilities, etc.) or access to new technologies. This fact may have a negative impact during next years, since these second group of issues plays a key role in chance of the company to survive and become dynamic.

Programe cu finantare de la bugetul de stat in sprijinul dezvoltarii culturii antreprenoriale

Dezvoltarea conceptului de cultura antreprenoriala a inceput sa se dezvolte in Europa in contextul implementarii Strategiei de la Lisabona privind cresterea si locurile de munca, subliniandu-se astfel necesitatea unui climat antreprenorial pozitiv si a unor conditii care sa faciliteze incurajarea spiritului antreprenorial. Spiritul antreprenorial se refera la capacitatea unei persoane de a-si pune ideile in practica; aceasta implica inovare, creativitate si asumarea unor riscuri, precum si capacitatea de a planifica si de a gestiona proiecte pentru realizarea unor obiective.

Importanta acordata antreprenoriatului la nivel european, ca element cheie in procesul de dezvoltare armonioasa a intregului teritoriu al Uniunii, a determinat includerea acestui concept in cadrul strategiilor promovate de catre Guvernele statelor membre in domeniul educatiei. Astfel, in Romania, dezvoltarea culturii antreprenoriale a fost introdusa pe lista obiectivelor principale ale “Strategiei dezvoltarii invatamantului preuniversitar 2001-2004” si, ulterior, in Strategia Invatamantului superior romanesc 2002-2010”. Aceasta din urma subliniaza necesitatea si importanta promovarii conceptului de universitate antreprenoriala si a initiativei antreprenoriale.

In acelasi context, au fost initiate si o serie de programe cu finantare de la bugetul de stat, in scopul dezvoltarii culturii antreprenoriale, si anume:

- Programul national multianual pe perioada 2005-2012 pentru dezvoltarea culturii antreprenoriale in randul femeilor manager din sectorul intreprinderilor mici si mijlocii, al carui obiectiv it constituie promovarea unui sistem de informare si de instruiré care sa faciliteze mobilitatea femeilor pe piata fortei de munca si dezvoltarea aptitudinilor antreprenoriale ale acestora in scopul implicarii lor in structuri economice private, in contextul problemelor legate de mentinerea echilibrului dintre obligatiile familiale si cele profesionale si al prejudecatilor existente la nivel local.

- Programul pentru dezvoltarea abilititilor antreprenoriale in randul tinerilor si facilitarea accesului acestora la finantare START(demarat in 2004), prin care se urmareste stimularea infiintarii de noi microintreprinderi, imbunatatirea performantelor economice ale celor existente, cresterea potentialului de accesare a surselor de finantare si dezvoltarea aptitudinilor antreprenoriale ale tinerilor in scopul implicarii acestora in structuri economice private.

La aceste programe finantate din bugetul de stat, se adauga schemele de finantare din fondurile structurale si de coeziune, si anume: DMI Dezvoltarea Durabila a Antreprenoriatului – POSCCE si DMI Promovarea culturii antreprenoriale – POSDRU[11].

Main conclusions:

  • In contrast to the general international trends induced by the recent economic and financial crisis, the rate of creation of new enterprises in Romania has not suffered any reduction in 2008.
  • The profile of Romanian entrepreneurs is improving since 1995 as regards equality between women and men, education level and technical qualification and experience of the entrepreneur.
  • A 53.9% of the entrepreneurs have High School or University education. In this framework, Universities can play a key role in promoting and improving entrepreneurial culture and skills.
  • The economic and financial crisis has changed entrepreneurs’ perception on what are the main problems they need to face. As regards the supply, the crisis has increased difficulties related to access to financial resources and credits. In the demand side, the lack of economic resources of their potential and the high intensity of market competition are entrepreneurs’ main concerns.  

European Commision (2005): ’Enterpreneurship in Europe’.

See, for instance, E. M. Lafuente and O. Driga (2007): ’First Report on Entrepreneurial Activities in Romania’. Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Research or the results provided by ’St. Gallen Leaders of Tomorrow Global Perspectives Barometer 2010’.

See for additional information on the Kauffman Firm Survey.

M. Lunati, J. Meyer zu Schlochtern and G. Sargsyan (2010): ’Measuring Entrepreneurship. The OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme’. OECD Statistics brief (15). See also ’’ for a presentencion of EIP methodology.

OECD Statistics Brief, November 2010

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation:. ’Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneur’. The information refers to June 1, 2010.

WB and IFC do not estimate this index for Malta

I. Chivu, C. Arteine, D. Pospecu, A. Ciocarlan and D. Popescu (2009):’The Profile of the Romanian Entrepreneur and its Compatibility with the Characteristics of a Learning Organization’. Review of International Comparative Management.

K. Wilson and B. Twaalfhoven (2007): ’ Dynamic Entrepreneurship: The Role of Universities in Regions’. European Union Regional Policy Conference 2007: Regions for Economic Change.

For additional information on Red Motiva see

Pentru o analiza detaliata a acestor programe si masuri, a se vedea subcapitolul 5.4.1 Accesul IMM la surse de finantare in conditii de criza, sectiunile 5.4.2, 5.4.3 si 5.4.4, ale prezentului raport.


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