Roma investment fund

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Country/partner countries
Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Roma Initiatives Office

Contact person: Petrica Dulgheru

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
In the initial phase we will focus on businesses with high growth and expansion potential and will therefore create jobs in Roma communities and fight unemployment. Although we will not specifically target start-up initiatives, we will consider all applications on a case-by-case basis. The medium to long-term vision is to provide Roma people with opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills. After initially finding jobs, for example,
Roma employees might learn more about the business and with time some of them might gain the skills needed to start and run their own businesses. We may also provide training for aspiring entrepreneurs. Because the fund will provide debt, the final decision for awarding the loan will be taken by the microfinance institution after the consultation with the management team and the country support teams.
The long term vision is that the mainstream financial institutions will come to understand that the Roma are credit-worthy customers and will begin to make credit and other financial products more widely accessible to Roma businesses and families.

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
• Existing entrepreneurs in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia working in Roma communities and employing the Roma and requiring € 5 000 - € 25 000 to expand their business.
• Employees of mainstream financial institutions involved in lending to the Roma.

Sources of funding
• CoopEst
• Soros Economic Development Fund
• Council of Europe development Fund approx