EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Poland: comparative analytical report on Public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 12 January 2012



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Marta Trawinska
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In the political debate, a lot of attention is devoted to the issue of instruments of public support for micro-enterprises, since micro-enterprises comprise 96% of all active enterprises in Poland. When designing the support instruments, the most important issues seem to include, on the one hand, reduction of administrative burdens, on the other hand, providing direct financial assistance for start-up and development of one-person companies or micro-enterprises. Most of the state financial assistance in Poland comes from European funds and the support instruments are available within the framework of operational programmes (Innovative Economy, Human Capital). Whereas legislative action is undertaken by the government. All the instruments presented below are available at the national level.

Article Text

Part 1: Overall policy context

This section aims at giving a brief overview of the general development and status quo of the policy discussion and thereof resulting instruments, measures or initiatives in the field of fostering self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises (less than 10 employees). Focus is mainly on the developments during the last decade, that is before the global recession. In addition we are asking for your indication of change of policy focus since the recession.

1. General policy approach in the area of self-employment, one-person and micro enterprises at the national level

1.1. Has there been a policy focus/debate on the specific challenges facing entrepreneurship as tool for job creation before the global recession? If so, since when and for how long?

Table 1: Presence of policy focus/debate on entrepreneurship as facilitation for job creation before the crisis
 

Yes, continuously since xx? (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Yes, has been in focus, but since xx it is no longer part of the policy focus (Please indicate year)

No, it has never had policy focus before the recession

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Self-employment  

X

   
Hiring the first employee      

X

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises  

X

   


1.2. What is the main focus in policy documents or strategies in relation to public or social partner based support instruments for fostering self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises? (Please indicate ‘X’, multiple answers possible)

Table 2: Main focus in the policy documents or strategies
 

Entrepreneurship (Business development in general)

Job creation (Employment)

Growth (Competitiveness)

Others (please specify)

Self-employment

X

X

X

 
Hiring the first employee        
Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

X

X

X

 

1.3. Please elaborate on the answer given above (with a focus on those developments aimed at employment creation and growth) and indicate if the financial recession has caused a change of focus:

Table 3: The policy content and significance of the financial recession
Self-employment
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

In the main strategic documents related to the social and economic development of Poland, self-employment is treated primarily as a tool for increasing employment and activating unemployed people. Such an approach is presented explicitly in the strategic documents such as: „National Development Strategy 2007-2015”, „National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013”; „National Employment Strategy for the years 2007-2013”. This approach has been consistently presented, especially after the Polish accession to the EU. In the above mentioned documents, self-employment is also, implicitly, treated as a tool for the development of entrepreneurship in general.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes:

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Hiring the first employee
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

Hiring the first employee has never been a subject of public debate, either before or during the recession.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes:

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

In the strategic documents („National Development Strategy 2007-2015”, „National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013”; „National Employment Strategy for the years 2007-2013”, „Directions for granting public assistance in the years 2007-2013”, „Operational Programme Innovative Economy”) the issue of hiring additional employees in micro enterprises is not mentioned explicitly, as they concern mainly the development of SME and the related increase in employment.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes:

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

2. Disincentives for self-employment and job creation

The following two questions will investigate whether there has been a change in the political agenda which has forced new political initiatives that may result in disincentives for job creation and business development (e.g. considerations regarding public budget).


2.1 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises before the financial recession? (Please briefly describe the major developments/initiatives (max. 300 words)

Over the last decade, and especially after the Polish accession to the EU in 2004, support for entrepreneurship has been one of the main priorities of the socio-economic development of Poland discussed in the political debate and in the binding strategic documents. Support for entrepreneurship, and particularly self-employment and micro enterprises, has been treated as a labour market instrument that will help reduce unemployment (that is why public employment services are involved in activities supporting the development of self-employment). Some EU funded support instruments focus on promoting self-employment among the underprivileged groups on the labour market (first of all women, young people and 50+ people).

That is why one cannot say that there exist any public measures that would lead to disincentives for the development of micro entrepreneurship. At least since 2004, we have seen the implementation of legislative changes and designing of instruments that seem to reduce the barriers in the creation and development of micro enterprises. They include measures aiming at reducing administrative burdens, reducing the fiscal burdens for enterprises (taxes, social insurance costs, job creation). The designers of public support instruments more and more often realise that micro enterprises comprise about 96% of all active enterprises in Poland (this indicator practically has not changed since 2003) and they also see the necessity to support this sector in particular. Analyses show that the main problem Polish micro-enterprises struggle with is the introduction of innovative solutions and lack of financing for R&D. That is why a significant part of the instruments is linked to different forms of subsidies, loans, credit facilities for the above purposes.


2.2 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises as a result of the financial recession? (Please describe – max. 300 words)

In Poland we have not noticed the negative impact of the financial recession on public support instruments for the self-employed or for micro enterprises. We can even state that the promotion of and support for entrepreneurship, especially in the form of self-employment and micro enterprises, are perceived in the public debate and in the planned public support instruments as a way to cope with the possible negative impact of the crisis on the Polish economy. One of such tools is the “Stability and Development Plan” – a government document facilitating access to loans for micro entrepreneurs and introducing a higher investment tax credit for new companies. Also, the survey carried out by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development „Raport o stanie sektora małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw w Polsce w latach 2008-2009” [Report on the condition of small and medium enterprises in Poland in the years 2008- 2009] shows that the financial crisis has not made any significant impact on the condition of the MSME sector. In 2009, the number of businesses registered in the REGON register was 3,880,237, which constitutes an increase by 0.3% compared to 2008. In 2008, the number of enterprises according to the REGON rose quite significantly (by 1.9% compared to 2007). It was the highest increase in the years 2003–2007, which also significantly exceeded the annual average increase in the same period (1.0%). Whereas in 2009 the increase of the number of enterprises evidently slowed down (to 0.3% compared to 2008). In the group of micro enterprises, the increase, which in 2008 amounted to 1.9% compared to the previous year, lowered and in 2009 amounted only to 0.2%. In 2008, there were 1,862,462 actively operating enterprises, of which 1,787,909 were micro enterprises, 54,974 – small enterprises, 16,327 – medium and 3,252 – large enterprises. In 2008, the number of actively operating enterprises grew (by 4.8% compared to 2007). That result was significantly above the annual average for the years 2003–2007 (0.7%).

Most of the entrepreneurs (including the self-employed and micro entrepreneurs), as the survey „Procesy inwestycyjne i strategie przedsiębiorstw w czasach kryzysu" [Investment processes and business strategies at the time of crisis] shows, say that the financial crisis in Poland has been more of a “media-created factoid” and has not had any significant impact on the condition of their businesses.

3. Representation of/lobbying for self-employed and micro enterprises


Are self-employed and micro enterprises in your national context explicitly or implicitly (e.g. entrepreneurs or SMEs in general) represented by the following types of organisations (e.g. for lobbying, defending their interest etc.)?

Table 4: Representation of self-employed and micro enterprises
 

Self-employed

Micro enterprises

Employers’ organisations

Yes, implicitly (Business Centre Club, Polish Confederation of Private Employers Leviathan; Polish Chamber of Commerce; Polish Craft Association, Employers of Poland – for all the employers’ organisations, the target group are entrepreneurs in general)

Yes, explicitly (Business Centre Club, Polish Confederation of Private Employers Leviathan; Polish Chamber of Commerce; Polish Craft Association, Employers of Poland )

Employees’ organisation

No

No

Not-for-profit organisations

Yes, explicitly (Academic Business Incubators)

Yes, explicitly (Academic Business Incubators; European Forum of Women Business Owners’); implicitly (Civil Development Forum)

Others

   

Part 2: Identification and description of relevant recent support instruments

The following section asks for the identification of public or social partner based support instruments initiated during or after the recent economic crisis (that is, 2008 onwards). These measures might have, but must not necessarily have been triggered by the recession. Measures may also have been initiated earlier, but changed in order to adapt to the recession or other recent developments. Rather than a comprehensive list of all instruments available at national, regional or local level, the most important, most innovative, most interesting and most effective tools are to be described. Thereof, a selection of up to three ‘Good Practices’ to be described in more detail is to be made.

1. Selection of region(s) when total coverage of the entire regional and local level is too comprehensive

When providing the brief overview and the three ‘Good Practices’ in this section of the questionnaire, measures and instruments at national level have to be included. We would in addition ask you to include regional and local level initiatives where relevant. Nonetheless, a complete coverage of regional and local levels may not be possible for all countries (e.g. because of a high degree of decentralisation resulting in a wide range of respective measures characterised by considerably heterogeneity). At the same time, it can be assumed that for instruments targeting at supporting self-employment and the creation of employment in one-person and micro enterprises the local administrative level is of considerable importance. If so, such measures will be designed to fit to the local characteristics and needs, resulting in a wide variety of different approaches. In this case, one or few local areas or regions may be selected to be covered in this report. Details on the selection are given in table 5.

Table 5: Administrative level/region(s) covered for the following research (max. 50 words per region)

Administrative level relevant for the rest of the questionnaire

National level

If a specific regional/local are is selected, please provide the following information

Name of region

 
Motivation for selecting this region

Facts about the region e.g.

- Geographic location

- No. of inhabitants

- Business structure (sector, size)

- Labour market

- Specific characteristics if applicable

 

2. Brief overview of recent instruments to foster self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises


2.1. Please provide a brief description (max. 800 words) of public or social partner based instruments recently initiated (2008 onwards) to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises.

Measures covered by the European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are to be omitted to avoid duplication (see Part 3 of this questionnaire).

Table 6: List of recent instruments

Title

In national language and English Akademia PARP / PARP Academy

Aim/objective

The aim of the PARP Academy is to popularise free access to business knowledge with the use of e-learning.

Description of support

PARP Academy is an educational portal for small and medium enterprises with a system of free Internet training.

Target group

Micro, small and medium enterprises and individuals planning to start their own business activity.

Initiator and other actors involved

Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) is a government agency reporting to the Ministry of Economy.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Since 2006, the training projects have been carried out in a continuous manner. Since 2008, they have been cofinanced from the Operational Programme Human Capital.

Title

In national language and English Portal internetowy www.web.gov.pl “Wspieramy e-biznes” / Internet portal www.web.gov.pl “Support for e-business”

Aim/objective

The aim of the portal is:

To promote e-entrepreneurship;

To provide access to knowledge about e-entrepreneurship;

To promote innovative solutions for e-business

To assist in obtaining public support

Description of support

The Portal offers: data base of articles, papers, e-books on the electronic market and business in Poland, legal and economic advice.

Target group

Micro, small and medium enterprises and individuals planning to start their own business activity on the Internet.

Initiator and other actors involved

Polish Agency for Enterprise Development is a government agency reporting to the Ministry of Economy. The implementation of the project is supervised by the Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The Portal was launched in December 2008 and has been run as a part of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy.

Title

In national language and English „Jedno okienko” i „zero okienka” – zmiany w ustawie o swobodzie działalności gospodarczej / „Single Window” and „No Window At All” -- changes in the Act on the freedom of economic activity.

Aim/objective

The purpose of the legislative changes is to reduce and eliminate the administrative barriers in the registration of economic activity.

Description of support

- „Single Window” – that solution was expected to simplify the process of starting business activity by making it possible to file a single registration application in the gmina [commune] office.

- the „No Window At All” solution has been in force since 1 July 2011. It is the last stage of developing the integrated Central Register and Information on Economic Activity, which operates only in a virtual manner – an entrepreneur fills a single form on the System’s Internet site.

Target group

Entities starting business activity (in general)

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of the Economy

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The solutions have been implemented since December 2008, but not because of the recession.

Title

Działanie 3.1 “Inicjowanie działalności innowacyjnej” Programu Operacyjnego Innowacyjna Gospodarka (Measure 3.1” Initiating of innovative activity” Operational Programme Innovative Economy)

Aim/objective

The objective of the measure is to increase the number of enterprises operating on grounds of innovative solutions.

Description of support

The measure includes the support regarding the establishment of new enterprises on the basis of innovative ideas including spin off companies, through providing consultancy in regard of new enterprises, availability of the infrastructure and services necessary for newly founded enterprises and their capital reinforcement.

Target group

Newly founded entrepreneurs (SMEs)

Initiator and other actors involved

Initiator: Polish Government; Managing Authority: Ministry of Regional Development, Intermediate Body: Ministry of Economy, Implementing Authority: Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Others: Institutions supporting the establishment of innovative enterprises e.g. incubators, including academic initiatives, technology transfer and innovation centres, technology 18. accelerators, scientific and technological parks.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Approved in October 2007, implementation started in 2008 and will last till 2015. Measure has not been initiated due to the recession.

Title

Działanie 6.2. “Wsparcie oraz promocja przedsiębiorczości i samozatrudnienia” Programu Operacyjnego Kapitał Ludzki (Measure 6.2 ”Support and promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment” Operational Programme Human Capital)

Aim/objective

Promotion of and support for initiatives and solutions to establish new jobs and establishment of creative attitudes to develop entrepreneurship and self-employment.

Description of support

Support for people intending to initiate businesses by means of the following instruments: advisory as well as trainings, granting financial resources for enterprise development

Target group

persons intending to set up businesses

Initiator and other actors involved

Initiator: Polish Government; Managing Authority: Ministry of Regional Development, the Voivodeship Self-government,

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Approved in October 2007, implementation started in 2008 and will last till 2015. Measure has not been initiated due to the recession.

Title

Ustawa deregulacyjna (Act on Deregulation)

Aim/objective

The aim of the Act is to eliminate the barriers limiting the economic freedom as well as to improve and facilitate the citizens’ contacts with the state administration and reduce the costs that entrepreneurs have to pay in connection with such contacts.

Description of support

The Act introducing the so called “declaration culture”, that is, it reduces the administrative duties, in other words, reduces bureaucracy and costs by introducing the institution of a declaration in lieu of an obligation to submit various certificates. It eliminates almost 200 certificates. In addition, the Act contains provisions which aim at: extending the list of options to change the form of carrying out business activity, introducing the institution of consumer leasing and reducing the court fees for entry (change of entry) into the Entrepreneurs’ Register of the National Court Register KRS.

Target group

Entrepreneurs and citizens

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Economy.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Adopted on 25 February 2011, entered into force 1 July 2011. The measure has not been initiated due to the recession.


2.2. In-depth description of ‘Good Practices’

Please choose up to three examples from the above list that can be considered as ‘Good Practice’ (e.g. because of their effectiveness, innovative character or beneficial cooperation among different stakeholders) and describe them in detail.

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

„Jedno okienko” i „zero okienka” (zmiany w ustawie o swobodzie działalności gospodarczej) / „Single Window” and „No Window At All” -- changes in the Act on the freedom of economic activity.

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

   

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

Before the legislative changes, a future entrepreneur went through the economic activity registration process himself by personally visiting four different offices (gmina office, statistical office, tax office, Social Insurance Board [ZUS]), filing a number of different applications. The legislative changes are expected to simplify and shorten the administrative procedure.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

The changes are introduced in order to reduce the administrative burdens (Simplification and reduction in administrative burdens) during the registration of business activity. The changes are intended to make life easier particularly for one-person enterprises, although the instrument will apply to all entities registering new businesses.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)  
Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

The instrument applies to all entities registering new business activity. However, the authors of the legislation have emphasised that the adopted solutions are particularly beneficial for the very big group of the self-employed.

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

Domestic funding.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The legislative changes have been implemented in two stages. Since 31 March 2009, the so called “single window” system has been in force – a future entrepreneur registers business activity at one place, that is, at the gmina office. The entrepreneur submits a single registration application and the gmina office transfers the relevant information to the other offices. The next stage is the so called “No Window At All” stage, that is, the electronic registration of business activity by filing one electronic application. The electronic registration is carried out by the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity, launched on 7 July 2011.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

Data concerning the number of the new enterprises registered under the “Single Window” system is not available.

The second stage (“No Window At All”) has only recently been launched.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

With the electronic registration of business activity, a serious challenge may be the lack of appropriate legal and economic knowledge and lack of skill in using the Internet among future entrepreneurs. A possible solution may be a widely available network of telephone and Internet consultations.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

The “Single Window” system has been assessed mainly by the media. This assessment has been very positive, however, the system has not functioned in practice in the manner provided for by the Act. In reality, a future entrepreneur still had to file some documents in 3 different offices instead of one. Therefore in the opinion of entrepreneurs, the “Single Window” system does not really exist.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

No data available.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

No evaluation documents.

Example 2:

Name of the programme/instrument

Akademia PARP / PARP Academy

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

X

X

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

The MSME sector comprises approximately 96% of all companies in Poland. E-learning offers an opportunity to develop widely available, free training, with the content tailored to the needs of this target group. Such a formula makes it also possible for people who may find it difficult to access any type of training (most businesses from the MSME sector do not take part in any training) to participate in the course.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

The purpose of the Academy is to popularise, free of charge, access to business knowledge through e-learning. The main objective of the Academy is to prepare training that combines knowledge with practical business examples. The training offer aims to provide comprehensive knowledge and includes various subjects related to running a business.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)
Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Representatives of micro, small and medium enterprises, representatives of large companies and individuals who intend to start a business.

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

The Academy is funded from EU funds from the Operational Programme Human Capital, and the budget for the years 2008-2013 amounts to approx. 46 million PLN (€11.5 million).

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

Currently, there are 27 courses available on the Academy website (for example taxes and accounting; labour code; setting up and developing of a company; public relations). Training participants may also consult their tutors over the phone or by e-mail. Apart from the Internet training, the Academy is also preparing classroom training courses to be held in different cities in Poland.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

- 40 classroom workshops carried out throughout the Academy’s life;

- by the end of 2009 the number of participants had exceeded 80,000;

- The PARP Academy is the biggest e-learning project of this type in Central and Eastern Europe.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

Even though the programme has been rather popular, it seems that the main challenge may be the reluctance to participate in training and the lack of knowledge on how to use the PARP offer among the self-employed and micro entrepreneurs. According to the report "Procesy inwestycyjne i strategie przedsiębiorstw w czasach kryzysu" [Investment processes and strategies of businesses at the time of crisis], representatives of the MSME sector have rather limited knowledge about the possible sources of support (including technical support) for their businesses. A solution to this problem could be, first of all, the effective promotion of the programme.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

Taking into account the number of people participating in the training courses (over 80,000 people), the programme should be assessed positively, however, it is very difficult to assess the effectiveness of the training courses whose aim is, primarily, to broaden the knowledge about running and developing a business in the MSME sector.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

No data.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

No evaluation document.

Example 3:

Name of the programme/instrument

Działanie 3.1 “Inicjowanie działalności innowacyjnej” Programu Operacyjnego Innowacyjna Gospodarka (Measure 3.1” Initiating of innovative activity” Operational Programme Innovative Economy)

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

 

X

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

The main motivation to introduce this instrument was a very low level of innovation and insufficient level of financing for innovative activities by entrepreneurs in Poland. It had been deemed necessary to introduce instruments to support both advisory services and financial support, creation of enterprises based on innovative ideas and thus, creation of jobs.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

The purpose of the measure is to increase the number of companies operating on the basis of innovative solutions. The measure includes support for creating new enterprises on the basis of innovative ideas, including spin-off companies, by offering advice on how to form an enterprise, providing access to infrastructure and services necessary for the newly formed enterprises and providing financing for the new entrepreneurs.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

Managing Authority: Ministry of Regional Development, Intermediate Body: Ministry of Economy, Implementing Authority: Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.

Others: Institutions supporting the establishment of innovative enterprises e.g. incubators, including academic initiatives, technology transfer and innovation centres, technology 18. accelerators, scientific and technological parks. These “other” institutions are responsible for providing two-stage support to newly formed innovative enterprises.

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Newly founded entrepreneurs (SMEs)

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

European sources: from the European Regional Development Fund and the state budget.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The implementation of the measure includes the selection of the institutions that shall provide the two-stage support to the newly founded innovative enterprises. The institutions will seek and select innovative ideas, help form a new enterprise (the so called pre-incubation), and then make an investment in the newly formed enterprise.

Cofinancing of the project consists of two components: support for the pre-incubation and capital reinforcement of the newly founded enterprise.

The capital investment takes place when the results of the action taken during the pre-incubation period indicate that the business activity is economically viable. Such an investment may apply only to the businesses that have gone through the pre-incubation stage.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

Since the projects are still at the stage of implementation, it is not possible to describe their results.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

Measure 3.1 has raised a lot of interest as compared to other measures of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy, and its implementation so far has not indicated any threats to the achievement of the adopted goals.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

An analysis of the estimated achievement of the indicators on the basis of cofinancing agreements has shown the implementation of the measure to be close to the original assumptions. What is particularly interesting is the high support indicators of the innovative ideas incubation (395% of the target value, that is, 1,185 ideas) and capital reinforcement of the incubated enterprises (213%, that is, 427 entities).

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

Since the projects are still at the stage of implementation, it is not possible to describe their results.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

http://www.poig.gov.pl/AnalizyRaportyPodsumowania/poziom/Documents/Sprawozdanie_POIG_II_polrocze_2010_29042011.pdf

Part 3: Annex: Update on recent self-employment study

The recent European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities provides insight into support instruments for self-employment. To avoid duplication of this information, we ask you as National Correspondent to omit these measures already covered in your research (Part 2 of this questionnaire), and only update or add any additional details or measures that exceed the information already provided in this report.

Table 8: Additional information on specific instruments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Title of the instrument

Package for Entrepreneurship

Additional information

The Pact for development of entrepreneurship is a legislative initiative of the Ministry of Economy under which amendments have been prepared to a number of acts. Recently, as a part of the Pact, the statute has been adopted, “Act on special principles governing the responsibility of public officials for gross violation of law”. Personal financial liability of public officials for official acts has been introduced. The Act entered into force on 17 May 2011.

Work is also in progress on the „Act on reducing administrative barriers for entrepreneurs and citizens” – the so called "big clean-up" Act – it is the biggest act of the package, with the widest scope of changes, an act of a deregulation, derogation nature, removing a number of legal restrictions.

Title of the instrument

InnovationToken

Additional information

The Programme is continued by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development in the year 2011 as the 4th Edition of the Programme. The submission of applications ended in June 2011.

Table 9: Please add any other comments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Table 10: Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to provide

 

Commentary

Considering the long-term perspective, it should be noted that until the end of the 1990s most of the public support instruments focused on the restructuring of the big state-owned enterprises (mainly in the mining and steel industry). At the beginning of the new century, public support began to be redirected towards promotion of and support for entrepreneurship, especially micro and small enterprises. An important turning point was the establishment, by the Act passed in 2000, of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, which, as a government agency, implements programmes supporting the MSME sector. The current shape of the public support in Poland has also been influenced by the Polish accession to the EU and the EU structural funds disbursed within the framework of operational programmes. Currently, the main elements of public support include: subsidies (for instance, for starting business activity), loans, training as well as legislative changes which aim at eliminating administrative burdens related to establishing and developing an enterprise.

The above mentioned change, related to the focus and form of public support, is an integral element of the most important strategic documents concerning the socio-economic development in Poland. The documents promote entrepreneurship in general, but very often, what is explicitly supported is self-employment and micro and small enterprises. The authors of the development policy appreciate the fact that micro enterprises constitute about 96% of all active enterprises in Poland. That is why most of the public support instruments in Poland are addressed to them. The authors of the instruments have noticed that companies from the MSME sector often lack financial means to introduce innovative solutions and to carry out R&D activities, which, in turn, may make Polish economy in general more competitive.

In addition, in the strategic documents, support for self-employment and micro enterprises is explicitly treated as an important labour market instrument, especially in the context of unemployment reduction.

Marta Trawinska, Institute of Public Affairs



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