BrexitToRemainia Newsletter #27

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Luckily, we (BTR) were not affected by WannaCry over weekend. But other 200.000 computers in 150 countries have been. So if you need to close this newsletter to update your Windows system, we will understand. Other than that, the past 2 weeks have been pretty quiet in terms of entrepreneurship and investment scene in Romania. One notable exception is Startup Nation, the grant scheme for SMEs that seems to come closer to launch … but (there are some BUTs, which you will find below).

Be savvy: know what`s happening right now in Romania. News from politics, economy, business, various industries and social life.

WannaCry and what to do about it

Until 2 days ago, WannaCry would have sounded more like a song name or a drama movie. Now it’s on all media homepages as probably the most virulent ransomware global attack seen to date. WannaCry uses a breach in security of Microsoft operating system and spreads across computers without users needing to do anything … meaning it goes global without our help :(.

It is believed that the worm infected about 200,000 computer systems in 150 countries on Suday. Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan are the top targets but Romania is placed #9, with public system and some corporate databases being most hit.

What can you do to protect your computer and your company`s database from the attack:

  1. Update your Windows urgently. Microsoft seems to have cleaned the breach in March, therefore computers not updated since then are most vulnerable
  2.  Make sure you have an antivirus system and that you have updated it, too
  3. Wish for some luck ;). As with everything else in life, success is where work (talent) meets opportunity

Take action: grasp opportunities for advancing business in (and/or with) Romania. What others think & do. What business events to attend.

Startup Nation and the 200.000 lure


One of the priorities of current Romanian government is boosting entrepreneurship. And one way to do that is (of course) to provide funding to local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Startup Nation aims to do just that: roughly 50.000 EUR (200.000 RON) would become available to up to 10.000 local entrepreneurs. The program is planned to run until Dec 2020 and 1.7 Bn RON are out for grab in total. All nice and rosy with few notable exceptions, as always …

  1. The launch of the program has been delayed for several times since beginning of the year. Latest thinking is for application to come in end of May and first reimbursements to happen in August
  2. The eligibility criteria has narrowed since the launch of the program. Applicants should not have worked in the area of funding before, whereas originally any idea could have been submitted
  3. There is still debate over the list of sectors of activity to be funded, it seems. IT and creative sectors still get the highest scores, though
  4. The system works via reimbursement of expenses. So even if entrepreneurs don`t need to contribute co-funding, they need to have enough cash to cover operating expenses. Then, whether they get their money back in 1-2 months remains to be seen

The most updated information on the program seem to become available via Facebook. Have a look at the page of Ilan Laufer, secretary of State from Ministry of Business and entrepreneurship.

Know your game: Build your Aces for when you meet a Romanian business partner for coffee. What we (might) like to talk about.

Simona Halep wins again

We introduced you to Simona Halep, our start tennis woman in this newsletter. Now she’s back in the public attention with her victory in Madrid over weekend. This is the last of her 15 tournaments won, a good performance for #8 worldwide player. However, she used to be much higher up in the top, but (as she herself acknowledges) … she still needs to fight with her demons.


PS: this is a shorter than usual newsletter, as it is written from the Highlands of Scotland. Internet is scarce, but what a better sign that life needs to be enjoyed away from technology? See you back in 2 week’s time.

Romanian Overview Report: In this comprehensive report you will find information about: macroeconomic landscape, industries and investments, infrastructure and technology, taxation system, human capital, governmental support and last but not least quality of life in Romania (if you decide to move over here ;)).

Investor Guide Romania: In this well-structured guide you will find information about: investment climate in Romania, economy in general and the business ecosystem in particular, availability of financing, employment and labour law, fiscal policies, as well as how it is for an expat to live in Romania (not too bad, we can assure).