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The missing link- Growing a solid entrepreneurial culture

Within a developing yet solid market where the necessary factors are on the table - investors, strong academic life, work force, skills and private companies operating countrywide - it seems that the evolution of all the components of a healthy labour market should be in place.

2018-11-06 14:15:27

However, some of the benefits that once positioned Romania as a "first choice" for investors - such as the low-costs of labour - are not on the agenda anymore. "What once was an advantage is not there anymore. Even in cities such as Timisoara, Cluj or Iasi, the labour costs are not low anymore. Also, foreign languages as an advantage is starting to be outdated. The costs of labour have increased, making labour in Romania just too costly right now for investors. You need to fully specialized and deliver the extra value to sustain the cost of labour. If, say, an engineering project in Craiova enjoys labour cost as an advantage, it is not necessarily also the case in Timisoara," said Sergiu Negut, Board Member of the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation.

Unsettling as this is, another issue is that Romania needs a certain confidence at all the levels of local businesses, entrepreneurship and personal careers that employees and business representatives in other countries have. As Negut says, trusting and working together is less common in Romania compared to other markets. Also, the concept itself of entrepreneurship is seen as a very romantic and idealized image. "Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Even if the young people are mobilized and enchanted by building their own business, alternatives are still strongly explored. Romanian lacks the solid infrastructure to build a solid entrepreneurial component. We have subsidies, grants, investments, all kind of accelerators, but the missing link is the corporate angel. There are hackathons, workshops, preoccupation at the board level to tap into the innovation potential of the people. There is only a need to create a layer in between these concepts to bring them to innovation." Negut added.

Romania currently doesn't own an ecosystem for creating and developing large business projects born locally, and that could cascade backwards into the economy. To build an efficient business ecosystem, according to Sergiu Negut, the local market needs to become entrepreneurial, to develop more into this segment. For instance, Negut details how Sofia, Bulgaria - compared to Bucharest - shows a more dynamic pace for developing entrepreneurial businesses. "We need to know how to build innovation, develop a greater way of thinking, improve our abilities in dialogue, storytelling, cooperation, and understand strategy to create long term sustainability. We need to bring minds, hearts, and actions together into something valuable," Negut stated. As a basic consequence of these shortfalls, Romania also lacks the experience of large projects, the manager added.

Sergiu Negut is an expert in business growth. He is a frequently-awarded speaker on topics related to innovation, growth, future trends and acts as Associate Dean with the Maastricht School of Management in Romania. Negut is an active Business Angel, with a number of local investments. He is also an initiator of mentorship programs, and a board member in various companies and associations including Romanian Business Leader.


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