The Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development in Romania – CEED Romania is implementing the project Rural Economic Education and Development (REED), funded by the Romanian-American Foundation.
The REED project is a key component of the program Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Association, an ample development plan through entrepreneurship and association for rural areas in Romania, initiated and funded by the Romanian-American Foundation. The program aims to encourage rural entrepreneurship by enabling small and semi-subsistence farmers to acquire business and management skills and to gain access to capital. This goal is being addressed by providing business development support to farmers, by piloting four rural associations and by contributing to the elaboration of the 2014-2020 Romanian National Plan for Rural Development.
Rural Economic Education and Development (REED) aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills or small farmers in Romania, leading to job creation and development of human capital and businesses in rural areas. The project provides training, advisory support services and networking opportunities to economically active farmers from 40 communities throughout Romania. The selected communities will start from the proposal of Microfinance Institutions and will be done by CEED based on rigorous criteria, including the number of active farmers, their interest in business development and growth potential, the support of local authorities, pursuing a balanced geographical distribution.
800 economically active farmers will be trained, and 1500 persons will be assisted via direct, individual advisory services to improve the economic results of their farms and to access microfinance or other sources of capital for farm development. In addition, they will have networking opportunities with their peers from the target regions that will enable them to expand their horizon, learn about and replicate best practices.
All services will be provided directly in the rural communities, are practical, hands-on, and adapted to the specific needs of the farmers. Several of the most active Microfinance Institutions in Romania have already agreed to support the project activities on-site, on a voluntary basis.
The services will involve 40 local resource persons that will be trained and coached so as to be able to continue providing similar services in their communities after the program closure.
It is expected that the local producers will be able to increase product sales, reduce production costs and improve product quality, thus increasing the sustainability of their farms, improving their access to markets, and creating new jobs. This will generate a beneficial impact in their communities.
The pilot project started in September 2012 with the careful selection of the 40 target rural communities throughout Romania, and it will be implemented during the next three years. The selection took into account a balanced geographical coverage as well as Microfinance Institutions coverage for potential access to capital.