Green startups on the rise in Romania, report finds
Eco-innovation is on the rise in Romania, with green startups doubling in number since 2020, according to the Green Startup Ecosystem report, which mapped environmental initiatives in Romania and Bulgaria.
The report, put together by Impact Hub Bucharest and Bulgaria-based partner Innovation Starter, found a growing number of newly-founded startups willing to tackle environmental issues. Roughly 39 such initiatives took shape last year, the same number as in 2020. Overall, the report identified 150 green startups active in Romania.
“This year's mapping shows a growing interest in circular economy and zero-waste initiatives, targeting both mass production practices, consumer education and purchasing habits,” said Raluca Grigore, Sustainability Program Manager at Impact Hub Bucharest. She also added that many of the new initiatives are active in agriculture and the food and beverage industry.
The same report, backed by Raiffeisen Bank and OMV Petrom, showed that almost half the environmental startups in Romania are concentrated in Bucharest, with smaller clusters in cities like Cluj and Timișoara.
In terms of actors, two main types are identified: the highly-active NGOs and non-profits, which partner with or advise private businesses, and programs dedicated to environmental startups. The latter are rarer, but increasingly promising.
Financing, however, is rather scant. Unlike their European counterparts, local investment funds are not eager to back green startups. At the European level, sustainability startups raised almost EUR 11 bln in 2021. Green tech startups alone doubled in value since 2020, and are now worth over USD 100 bln, being the sector with the second-fastest growth, after fintech.
(Photo source: Impact Hub Bucharest)