From greening their business to training the next generation of entrepreneurs, from funding SMEs to bringing an ailing company back from the brink, some players on the local market defied the tough trading conditions to shine in 2015. This year’s Business Review Awards celebrate these high achievers. Who are they, and what did they do?
Judging Criteria: Environmentally-friendly products or services; proven social impact of the business (community impact); developing long-term programs or projects for the local community (long-term commitment to the local community); program’s practices meet a real need of the community (education, social intervention, health, environment)
Association for Community Relations (ARC) for Supporting CSR and sustainability practices in the Romanian society
The NGO has 20 employees and has raised some USD 4.8 million in donations over the past ten years in Romania. Since 2002, ARC has been looking at how various companies approach CSR and philanthropy and came up with practical instruments and tools to increase their impact. In 2015, it organized the 13th edition of its People for People Gala, it consolidated a donation platform, donatie.ro, run in partnership with four mobile phone companies and six major banks to offer citizens the opportunity to donate easy and safely through SMS and direct debit and helped NGOs develop and implement fundraising strategies that allow them to work together with companies and individual donors towards the common good.
The Bucharest Stock Exchange for Fluency in Finance
In Standard & Poor’s 2015 Global Financial Literacy Survey, Romania ranked last in the European Union, with only 22 percent of the society being considered financially literate. Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) considers this result alarming and one that needs to be addressed urgently. During 2015, it has significantly strengthened its efforts that aim to improve the level of financial literacy in Romania. The project called ‘Fluent in Finance’ aims to support and serve the financial education efforts in Romania. The core idea is to organize seminars for particular company employees with the purpose of allowing these professionals to gain new skills and knowledge relating to investing, accumulating wealth and proactively supporting Romanian companies and the real economy.
Renault Group Romania for preparing the new generation of toolmakers (“sculeri matriţeri”) partnership with the Vocational High School for Car Manufacturing in Mioveni.
A partnership agreement was signed between Dacia, Argeş County School Inspectorate and Mioveni Town Hall in establishing and supporting some vocational classes in the field of mechanics for the toolmaker puncher qualification, within the Vocational High School for Car Manufacturing in Mioveni. Dacia thus supports vocational education by creating two classes with mechanical profile within this high school. The 42 pupils will combine theoretical and practical training by attending as interns within Dacia Plants in Mioveni. According to the internship contract, Dacia will provide each young intern monthly scholarships of RON 200, awarded on performance criteria.
Holcim Romania for Holcim Workshops project
It is a program that supports vocational education among pupils from the Alexandru Roman Technical College in Alesd and the Technical College in Campulung Muscel.
The purpose of Holcim Workshops is to support the pupils from the technical high schools in Holcim communities in Romania to acquire technical capabilities through practice, to develop personal skills and to become more familiar with the industrial environment.
Last year 88 pupils from both high schools benefited from specific theoretical training delivered by Holcim mentors and soft skills program, and 33 of them were selected for the practical phase in Holcim plants. The total investment in this educational program (2015 courses – pilot phase and the investments in the new technical equipment made in 2016) amounts to EUR 110,000 from the company’s own resources.
Microsoft Romania for BizSpark program
Startups that are less than five years old and are developing software that will become its core business can apply for Microsoft’s BizSpark program. Thus, they can use for free all of Microsoft’s software products and its cloud computing platform, Microsoft Azure.
After the three years within the program, startups can carry on using the Microsoft technology at a discounted price or they can simply quit, without having to pay anything to Microsoft. Microsoft BizSpark is a free program that every startup can apply for and get access, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
MOL Romania for “Green Belt” initiative
MOL Romania has financed 47 environment projects, in 18 counties across the country, as part of the “Green Belt” initiative that was launched in 2006.
Last year, the activities financed under this project included the plantation of over 4,000 trees and saplings and approx. 7,500 flowers on 27,690 square meters of green areas.
In the first ten years since launch, MOL Romania has allotted RON 4.8 million (more than EUR 1 million) for this initiative, which was used to finance 424 programs.
Here are the other categories from the BR Awards: Online Strategy for Business Development, Innovation in Technology, Best Startup Supporter, Best SMEs Financing Line Program, Best Turnaround Strategy, Best Employment Initiative, Entrepreneur of the Year, Deal of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, Excellence in Business, Best International Expansion.