3.9 Start-up funding for young entrepreneurs
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Access to information
Information on how to set up a business and source funding is widely available, and can be located on various websites, including those of the Ministry of Development (Ministerstwo Rozwoju) and the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy (Ministerstwo Funduszy i Polityki Regionalnej) , the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (Ministerstwo Rodziny, Pracy i Polityki Społecznej) the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (Polska Agencja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości) Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (The National Development Bank), Employment Offices, Student Career Centres, business incubators, regional and local entrepreneurship support centres, entrepreneurship foundations and associations.
Many of those entities provide information and support upon personal contact.
The website of the Ministry of Development (Ministerstwo Rozwoju) includes information on loan and guarantee funds, grants, economic zones and Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy has launched the Youth Guarantee Initiative website.
Information regarding the forms of assistance when starting a business is available on the websites of provincial and district Employment Offices and through the Green Line service (i.e. electronic and telephone service centre for clients of Employment Offices from all over Poland):
The website of Academic Business Incubators (Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczości) provides information and a contact form for interested parties.
The website of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego contains extensive information about the loan scheme for young people provided by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy - “First Business – Start-up Support”:
Access to capital
The access to capital to start business is available from several sources:
The “First Business – Start-up Support” scheme of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy is implemented by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.
The aim of the scheme is to develop entrepreneurship and create new jobs. Funds for the implementation of the scheme come from the Labour Fund.
A loan for starting a business may be granted to:
- Final year students in higher education institutions
- Graduates of a higher education institution within 4 years from the date of graduation or receiving their vocational qualification
- Registered unemployed
The loan amount is PLN 91 604 (as of 1 December 2018). These are low-interest loans. Repayment period is up to 7 years. Borrowers who have obtained a business start-up loan may benefit from free consultancy and training services.
Academic Business Incubators (Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczości)
Academic Business Incubators were established in 2004. The goal was to create a place in Poland where one could start a business and acquire support without huge risk. The offer is mainly for students, but can also be availed of by other people.
Academic Business Incubators offer the possibility of setting up a Trial Company, without registering a business. The pre-incubation model (Non-ZUS Business) involves using the legal personality of Academic Business Incubators by first-time entrepreneurs for the purpose of setting up their business.
In addition to accounting and legal support, the offer includes using the offices of Academic Business Incubators, consultations with experts, training, mentor support, and other support.
In 2005, the nationwide network of Academic Business Incubators had 12 incubators, while in 2015 there were 56.
In 2006, there were 300 start-ups in the Incubators. In 2015, there were 2,300.
Academic Business Incubators is Europe’s leading start-up organisation, setting trends in Poland and abroad, which, together with the Business Link network and the Seed Capital fund, forms a start-up ecosystem comparable to the Google ecosystem.
Since 2004, thanks to Academic Business Incubators, more than 12,000 companies have been created, including well-known brands such as PhotoBlog.pl, Chomikuj.pl, MISBHV, Key2Print, and Glov.
Employment Offices offer funding support for starting a business (see 3.9) – this is a form of support provided to the unemployed. The amount of funding is specified in a contract, but cannot be higher than 6 times the average salary,(i.e. PLN 25 533 as at December 2017, PLN 29 035 as at September 2019). The aid is non-repayable, provided that the conditions specified in the contract are fulfilled.
Those who meet the criteria set out in the Act of 13 June 2003 on Social Employment (Journal of Laws (Dz.U.) of 2003, No. 122, item 1143, as amended) may receive funds for the establishment of a social co-operative (e.g. persons coming out of homelessness, alcohol and drug addicts, mentally ill persons, long-term unemployed, disabled).
Some Employment Offices run schemes which offer funding to young people (aged 18 to 30) for the running of a business. An example is the scheme “Activation of unemployed young people in Warsaw (II)” co-financed by the European Social Fund under the Knowledge Education Development Operational Programme, Sub-measure 1.1.1.