WHO WE ARE
CEED ROMANIA strives for economic and social development through human capital development, promote economic and cultural entrepreneurship.
CEED ROMANIA facilitates non-discriminatory access of all citizens to the know-how and the contacts they need to help create jobs and increase employment, thus increasing economic prosperity. Building a community of entrepreneurs is paramount in our approach.
CEED ROMANIA promotes development of human capital and economic culture through training programs tailored to the individual needs of different social groups, enhanced by professional support through counseling, mentoring and networking.
To promote entrepreneurship, CEED ROMANIA provides the know-how needed by existing and potential entrepreneurs, through its programs aimed to initiate and accelerate business development and thtrough creation of communities of entrepreneurs, mentors, potential partners and donors.
The holistic combination of market connections, community involvement, capacity building and access to capital set CEED apart.
SEAF is an investment management group that provides growth capital and business assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging and transition markets underserved by traditional sources of capital. Through our network of investment funds around the world, we invest in entrepreneurs seeking to build successful businesses, hoping to realize both returns to our investors and strong development impact in local communities.
With over 20 years of experience in SME investing, +500 SME investments and 1000 technical assistance interventions in frontier and emerging market SMEs, SEAF is intimately aware of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the management of their businesses. SEAF found that entrepreneurs were generally not as equipped to deal with rapid business growth. They frequently lacked knowledge and tools to assess new markets and struggled to gain access to capital. Entrepreneurs also lacked the right networks with other entrepreneurs who had experience entering regional and international markets bringing their businesses to scale. CEED was created to address these challenges by enlisting successful entrepreneurs to mentor those looking to grow their businesses. CEED was developed using a peer to peer model where entrepreneurs would share their experiences, help others overcome challenges, and develop trust in others in the network.
Deputy Director, CEED Romania
Cristina Manescu took the leadership role of CEED Romania in 2006 and brought extensive knowledge and experience to this position.
She has started business training and consulting activities in 1991, with the first programme for promotion of SMEs established in Romania by UNDP.
Since then, she gained a wide experience in various areas of SME development, both in Romania and abroad. She provided business consulting, prepared business plans, feasibility studies and documentation to obtain financing, trained hundreds of entrepreneurs, consultants, NGO members, designed, raised funds for, and implemented various SME development projects both in Romania and abroad, contributed to establishment of new SME support organizations and launching of new financing schemes for SME.
She also trained a variety of types of clients in areas related to Project design & Project Management and EU Structural Funds.
Cristina worked as a national and international consultant for UNDP, UNIDO, UNOPS, ITC in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, Caspian Sea area and Central Asia, and in various projects funded by UNDP, World Bank, USAID and EU.
She has served as the Task Manager of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bucharest, in charge with SMEs and the business environment, coordinating the whole portfolio of ongoing and pipeline projects for SMEs.
Cristina is a member of TEAM EUROPE, a network of independent trainers and speakers established by Delegation of the European Commission.
Cristina Manescu holds an University degree from the Cybernetics Faculty of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, a Master of Business Administration from Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers – CNAM Paris, and a Master degree from The National Institute for Economic Development, Bucharest.
Deputy Director, CEED Romania
Mihaela Popescu joined CEED Romania in 2008, sharing her wide experience in the areas of small business development, management training, project management, public relations and human resources, thus helping to develop the SMEs sector in Romania. She has worked for many years at USAID Romania, United States Peace Corps, National Credit Guarantee Fund for SMEs and National Agency for Privatization of Romania.
In her professional career, she developed and conducted management training programs for over 300 entrepreneurs, managed over $15 million SME development programs, created a national network of business consultancy centers with EU-PHARE, British Know How Fund, and USAID financing, prepared various surveys related to the SME sector, including entrepreneurs need assessments, created a network of pilot tele-centers which provide access to a complete set of IT and communication services in economically deprived areas of Romania as a model to Universal Service policy implementation, supported over 20 business organizations develop advocacy skills, improve quality of services, and increase membership.
She assisted business associations in the areas of ITC, tourism, and micro-lending create nation-wide coalitions able to lobby for related industries’ benefits and also assisted creation of Express Finance, a profitable, self-sustainable micro-finance institution under the USAID Enterprise Development and Strengthening program.
Mihaela Popescu holds a University degree in Psychology, a PHD in Economy from the Romanian Academy and a Professional Certification in Project Management issued by US Learning Tree International, Washington DC.
Financial Manager, CEED Romania
A chartered accountant and fiscal consultant with extensive experience and a wide range of business and financial skills, Valentina Salajan has particular experience in accounting, capital management and efficiency and financial reporting. She has worked for seven years as a financial manager at SEAF ROMANIA MANAGEMENT S.R.L., the Romanian office of SEAF Trans-Balkan Romania Fund LL, an investment fund that built the capacity of SMEs to reach wider markets, increase profits, and achieve long-term commercial sustainability. Valentina Salajan holds a University degree from the Cybernetics Faculty of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Certifications issued by ASEBUSS and Romanian Banking Institute.