The sixth Interregional policy learning workshop & peer review of the STOB regions project took place on 26th and 27th of September 2018, in Bucharest, Romania and organized by project partner Ilfov County Council. The first day was dedicated to introducing the participants to the thematic workshop topic: Matchmaking.

The workshop began with an introduction and welcome speech by Ionel Scriosteanu, Public Manager of Ilfov County Council. The first thematic lecture of the day, delivered by Dan Crivat of TradeX, a national business transfer platform, explored the intricacies of the transfer environment in Romania as well as an overview of the TradeX platform. The second thematic lecture presented by Gabriel-Alexandru Tolomey, Senior Business Development Advisor at Soft Tehnica, offered his viewpoint and experiences of national mergers and acquisitions.

In succession and also from Soft Tehnica, Business Development Manager Catalin Profir offered key ingredients towards the ideal structure of a matchmaking platform, including required information from the seller side, pre-identified selection criteria for buyers and continuation consultant services offered and /or linked to the platform.  

For the final thematic lecture, Miriam Constantin Public Sector Services Coordinator at PwC, provided an overview of various exit and other investment scenarios. The presentation explored transactional key points – across the full spectrum of exit options including full exit, succession and mixed ownership.

All of the STOB regions partners presented their contributions towards the workshop focusing on the topic from the perspective of their own region. Standout presentations included German partner’s presentation on the matchmaking platform, representing both the seller and buyer side.

Finnish partner's stakeholder Mr. Mika Haavisto, Project Manager at the Federation of Finnish enterprises provided an overview of national level experiences and methods of matchmaking in Finland, as well as an introduction to the national level Business Transfer project.

Following the partners' contributions, the group assembled to discuss and further develop the additional output of the STOB regions project, in the form of the RSS-guidebook.

The peer review on day two began with introduction of the regional situation regarding business transfer, presented by Doina Marin from the Ministry of Business Environment,Commerce and Entrepreneurship. Good practice examples from Romania were offered for discussion. Dan Crivat detailing the TradeX -  business transfer matchmaking platform. The final good practice example, courtesy of Mihai Rotaru founder of Clever Taxi, the leading taxi application in Romania provided a step-by-step description of his exit from the company in the form of an 100% acquisition by mytaxi in 2017, Europe’s largest taxi e-hailing company.

A panel discussion with focus on Romania followed, the topics discussed included: 1) Feeling the pressure but not knowing what it is 2) Existing structures 3) Entrepreneurial spirit in Romania. Key outcomes were the need at all levels to focus on the topic of succession, lack of awareness of business transfer (start-up centric mindset) and the opportunities provided by high innovation potential in Romania.

A regional-SWOT analysis and recommendation session finalized the day and the two-day event, with a collection of inputs for development and continuation to be used by the Ilfov region to strengthen the business transfer environment. For more info on the outcomes of these sessions visit our successionwiki.

The sixth workshop provided the project partners a deeper understanding of the business transfer process in Romania and explored in great detail the theme of matchmaking whilst developing new ideas and recommendations for policy learning. The next IPL is to be held in Seville, Spain on 13th and 14th December 2018.

Presentations from the IPL meeting in Romania, and previous meetings can be found through our successionwiki here.