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The European project “CrossEUWBA” pursues the overall objective of facilitating the funding of women entrepreneurs (WE) through women business angels (WBAs) and contributing to the creation of a sustainable base of private investment in Europe.

CrossEUWBA is structured around the three activity blocks:

  • “Information, awareness raising and communication activities”, that will bring about a change in mindsets and even out the current lack of awareness on existing and new WBA networks, their funding opportunities and role models.
  • “Training and mentoring activities” that shall prepare novice WBA through peer-learning and practical training as well as help WE to train pitching skills and relevant business strategies.
  • “Community-building, matchmaking and networking activities” under which novice WBAs will be recruited, WE and WBAs will be effectively matched (facilitating also cross-border matching), and peer-learning among WBA networks/ clubs/associations shall be enhanced for sustainable community building.


Main objectives:

  • To better understand the success factors, obstacles and challenges that women are facing to become WBAs to increase the number of WBAs in Europe, particularly in countries with low participation.
  • To increase the diversity of WBAs and the number of sectors that benefit from WBA investment.
  • To increase the number of ready-for investment women entrepreneurs’ projects.
  • To effectively match WBAs and WE, also through cross-border investments.
  • To network, build a community and contribute to promoting a favourable and sustainable environment for the emergence of WBA networks/association/clubs. 
  • To create at least 5 new WBA clubs/associations or networks, recruit and prepare at least 85 novice WBAs and train 200 WE.

The project brings together the expertise of 1 WBA club, 2 Chambers of Commerce and 3 business support organisations with expertise in WE from 5 European countries, namely: Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Greece.




Lead partner/coordinator Partners
koordynator   partner innogatepartner fpkpartner heraklionpartner sbapartner parp




Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) conducts research activities in the areas of enterprise, innovation, the condition and development of human resources, business-related organisations and enterprise support services, all of which are referred to in Article 4 of the Act of 9 November 2000 on the establishment of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.

The aim of the research works that are carried out is to prepare motions and recommendations for the purposes of Polish economy development policy and in particular those directed at stimulating enterprise and innovation of the SME sector. On-going research activities and surveys that are commissioned are aimed at gaining the knowledge necessary in the context of the programming of support instruments. At the same time, the Agency is carrying out activities with a view to preparing informational materials for the central and regional administration (at voivodeship level, e.g. for the purposes of developing Regional Innovation Strategy), as well as for entrepreneurs, scientists and students.

Four PARP units are in charge of research projects (Enterprise Support Department, Innovation and Technology Department, Human Resources Development Department and Institutional Support System Department) as part of the Enterprise Research Centre, which shares the same responsibilities. PARP Enterprise Research Centre was established on the basis of a decision of 26 November 2008, issued by the PARP’s Chief Executive Officer. The Centre’s activities involve:

  • coordination of PARP’s research activity,
  • dissemination of information on on-going research projects and promotion of research findings,
  • cooperation in terms of research activities with external bodies, including research centres and public administration units.

The Centre is supported by the Research Advisory Board of the Centre which acts as a consultation and advisory body and its members are representatives of the academia having the necessary qualifications and experience in research projects.

The majority of the PARP research projects usually consist of several components: initial research (usually in the form of a literature review), empirical research (qualitative and quantitative methods are used) accompanied by a report or of an information and promotion part of the project (in the form of a publication, an e-book, or a conference which sums the project up).

In the course of project implementation, the main focus of interest is taken on both the horizontal aspects, such as innovation and competitiveness, and more specific areas related to enterprise, e.g.: family companies, microenterprises, high technology companies. In the context of projects of this kind, the Agency is responsible for:

  • identifying research areas to be investigated,
  • conceptualisation of planned research activities,
  • establishing the goals and scope of particular research activities and surveys,
  • conducting public procurement proceedings,
  • project implementation supervision,
  • promotion of research findings.

The findings of the research projects in question are always published and are also usually available in the form of e-books on the Agency’s website and on the Innovation Portal. All publications are available free of charge and PARP makes every possible effort to ensure widespread availability of survey and research findings. To this aim, press conferences, nationwide specialist conferences and seminars are organized for both experts in given areas and for the general public as well.

Innovations are not out of the blue. They need a favourable environment, as creating them is a team game. An entrepreneur is a playmaker, has an idea for an product, service, technology, however, it would be good for it to make use of midfielders, defenders and maybe even a coach. The PARP helps the entire team through direct support for entrepreneurs, as well as for Business Environment Institutions.

Pro-innovative services of BEI for SMEs

Developing and implementing innovations is a difficult challenge. Assistance is offered by accredited Business Environment Institutions, such as innovation and technology transfer centres, technology incubators or technology and science parks. An entrepreneur may establish cooperation with up to three of them and submit an application for the co-financing. It will receive assistance consisting in the support for the implementation of product or process innovations of technological nature. The pro-innovative service will help develop and implement an innovative idea. It consists of two types of assistance: innovation support service and counselling with regard to innovation.

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Innovation vouchers for SMEs

The best innovations are made across the boundaries of business and science, practice and theory, enterprise and knowledge. An innovation voucher is a simple mechanism of support. An entrepreneur has a business idea for innovation and a scientific or research  institute – the knowledge and technical resources necessary to develop the details of the solution. The PARP helps combine these two forces through „Innovation vouchers for SMEs”.

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Protection of industrial property

Having a legally protected industrial property means prestige, repute but also specific profits. The industrial property right gives many various of tools of protection. Within the framework of the co-financing for the industrial property protection, an entrepreneur gets support for obtaining the protection of its invention, utility model or industrial design. The mechanism is intended for the projects whose objective is to protect innovation in foreign markets selected by entrepreneurs.

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Support for SMEs in accessing the capital market – 4 Stock

Prosperous companies wishing to develop but having no money to invest may use support in accessing the capital market. Entering the stock exchange requires appropriate and expensive preparations. 4 Stock provides the resources to prepare the documentation necessary for the functioning in:

  • Warsaw Stock Exchange market;
  • New Connect;
  • foreign regulated markets;
  • Catalyst bond market.

4 Stock is a tool prepared to meet the needs of each company from the SME sector, which thinks about a stock exchange debut.

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Space Technology

No matter which national market one zooms in the Space Technology has an impact on economic development and it is a main source of innovations. Polish Entrepreneurship in this industry involves many activities involving upstream and downstream segments with a great capability in the first one. Main undertakings of Polish companies are in Telecommunication and Earth Observation areas. Since Poland became a member of the European Space Agency new opportunities arose, for e.g.: 100% funding for research and new projects, knowledge sharing and professional support in developing new products.

Polish Agency for Economic Development severs space industry with research and analysis, merit support provided for public administration endeavors (but not only), project controlling, workshop and bilateral meetings organization. The role and responsibilities are based on the National Activities Program for Space Technology Development and Satellite System Usage.

Space technology is a website created for companies to keep them tuned about new possibilities, conferences and workshops, as well as space programs downed by ESA, European Commission and other actors. Moreover, the aim of the website is to inform about Polish economic operators and their accomplishments as well as technological achievements.

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Sustainable urban transport

A shorter time of travelling by public transport, smoother traffic in the city centre, integration of public transport and solutions for pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers. Better use of environment-friendly public transport, adaptation of the means of transport to the needs of people with disabilities and new connections in urban areas which so far have been unsupported. These are the effects of the projects for which support may be applied for by 5 voivodeship cities of Eastern Poland (Białystok, Kielce, Lublin, Olsztyn, Rzeszów) along with their functional areas or areas of implementing the Integrated Territorial Investment strategy. Investment projects aimed at developing or creating new, integrated and ecological urban transport networks will be co-financed under the activity „Sustainable urban transport”.

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Road infrastructure

Through the implementation of the projects „Road infrastructure”, the capitals of the voivodeships in Eastern Poland and their functional areas as important labour markets will gain good connections with the network of national roads, including the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T. Support may be applied for by the voivodeship cities: Białystok, Kielce, Lublin, Olsztyn, Rzeszów and self-governments of the following voivodeships: Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie, Lubelskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Podkarpackie. The co-financing may be obtained for investment projects involving the construction or reconstruction of national and voivodeship roads, providing the connection with the network of national roads, including TEN-T.

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Entering the foreign markets with own products and services opens up new possibilities and allows to increase profits, but also constitutes a serious challenge, especially a financial, organisational and marketing one. The PARP facilitates the foreign expansion through a number of various activities:

Enterprise Europe Network

The Enterprise Europe Network is the world's largest support network for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with international ambitions. It has 3,000 experts across 600 member organisations in more than 60 countries. Member organisations include chambers of commerce and industry, technology centres, and research institutes. Network consultants offer comprehensive services for SMEs, which help to fully develop companies’ potential and innovative capabilities.

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The ClusterFY Project

ClusterFY aims to improve regional and national policy instruments seeking to intensify Key Enabling Technologies (KET's; in Polish case Smart Specialisation – KIS) relation to clusterization processes, as well as fostering interregional cooperation between and among clusters and business networks and encourage their integration into innovative value chains. These developments advance the implementation of regional innovation strategies.

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Internationalisation of SMEs

A micro-, small or medium-sized enterprise operating in Eastern Poland may receive support for placing its products or services on new markets. Under the activity, it is possible to finance the purchase of counselling services, which will allow to analyse the company’s export opportunities, to select target markets and to develop a concept of entering the selected market (business model of internationalisation). An entrepreneur receives support for activities leading to the implementation of this model.

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Promotion of ICT sector

The Polish ICT sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Polish economy. Polish companies specialize in such products as consumer electronics, customized software production, electronic games, and mobile solutions. The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, together with the Ministry of Economic Development, launched a program aiming at promotion of the sector among the foreign investors, buyers, end-users etc. We will participate in the most important trade fairs and conferences around the world, presenting innovative offer of Polish companies.

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Go to Brand – support in promotion

Polish companies have many innovative, attractive and unique products, services or technologies which they may offer to foreign customers. They have been divided into various sectors, for which the common denominator is the high export potential. The industries with the greatest export potential (selected by the Ministry of Development) are:

  • medical equipment,
  • cosmetics,
  • IT/ICT,
  • yachts and boats,
  • furniture,
  • Polish food specialties,
  • health-oriented services sector,
  • machinery and equipment,
  • biotechnology and pharmaceutics,
  • Polish fashion,
  • construction and finishing of buildings
  • automotive and aircraft spare parts.

For each of the export-oriented industries, a special promotion programme has been prepared which indicates non-EU, prospective markets where companies may promote their products, as well as specific events serving this purpose. The individual promotional activities will be linked with the national strategy of building repute and prestige of the brand of the Polish economy abroad.

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Internationalisation of National Key Clusters

Clusters are one of the best formulas for implementing the idea of smart growth. In the 21st century, a source of technological progress, innovative solutions and thus profits is cooperation. Clusters allow entrepreneurs to implement large projects based on cooperation, combining their resources, joint offering, etc. In Poland, there are more than 130 clusters, among them, 16 are of particular importance. They are the National Key Clusters – organisations of vital importance for the entire economy, high international competitiveness and high potential for innovation. The National Key Clusters, due to their high potential for innovation and competitiveness, have the greatest chance of international success, therefore, the activity called Internationalisation of National Key Clusters is addressed to them. An entity authorised to submit an application for support is the cluster coordinator, and the final beneficiaries are all entities forming the cluster.

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Information Point for International Public Procurement

Information Point for International Public Procurement is a project launched by Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, a government agency that has been providing support to Polish entrepreneurs in the implementation of competitive and innovative projects for over 10 years. The project is highly recommended by the Polish Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. The mission of the Information Point is to provide an introduction to global tender marketplace, including public procurement in the European Union, the United Nations System, the World Bank Group, other countries and institutions.

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China and Central-Eastern European Countries Business Council

Established during the 3rd Summit of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Belgrad on 16th of December 2014 and appointed by virtue of the Belgrade Guidelines. In order to promote economic cooperation, trade and investment between participants of the „16+1” formula the parties decided to: Welcome and support the establishment of the executive body of the China-CEEC Business Council in Warsaw, Poland, and invite relevant Chinese and CEEC business associations, organizations and businesses to join on a voluntary basis. Objectives and tasks:

  • To network and to promote economic cooperation between enterprises, chambers of commerce and other public and private business environment organisations (including trade and investment promotion agencies) from China and Central and Eastern European countries
  • To exchange information on actions taken by Council members for the development of investments and trade between China and Central and Eastern European countries

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Erasmus for young entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange program which gives future and beginning entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs managing small companies in other European Union Member States. The exchange of experience takes place during the stay of a young entrepreneur in an experienced entrepreneur helping acquire the skills necessary to manage a small company. For both young and experienced entrepreneurs, the activity brings important added values: knowledge sharing, opportunities to build a network of contacts throughout Europe, establishing new business relationships and exploring foreign markets.

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Poland at EXPO

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The PARP offers training and services helping entrepreneurs answer the strategic questions: What is the company going to be like in several years? What will I produce? To whom do I want to sell it? What skills and resources do I need?

Database of Development Services

The greatest asset of a company are competent, professional and committed employees. For entrepreneurs who want to take care of their professional development, improve their skills or retrain, we have prepared the Database of Development Services. The database is available at the Internet address uslugirozwojowe.parp.gov.pl. The portal contains a wide and comprehensive offer of: training, courses and professional skills, postgraduate studies and counselling (coaching, mentoring).

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Support for strategic management of enterprises and building the competitive advantage in the market

The best companies have an idea for themselves and a development strategy. They know what they want and how to achieve it. We would like entrepreneurs to diagnose the development needs of their own company, to build a corresponding strategy and thus to gain the competitive advantage. Therefore, we offer the co-financing for three types of projects:

Type 1 – strategic management. This applies to a diagnosis and analysis of the development needs of the company. Entrepreneurs will receive support for identifying development barriers and drawing up a plan of developing their own company through employers’ organisations, trade union organisations and economic self-government organisations.

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Type 2 – public procurement. These are specialist training and counselling activities addressed to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, concerning the public procurement market. They are carried out in 5 geographical areas by contractors selected during an open competition procedure. 10% of the

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Type 3 – public-private partnership. It covers training and counselling on public-private partnerships (PPP). In Poland, many entrepreneurs of the SME still do not know this form of implementing investment. The national database of PPP projects contains 102 projects, whose total value is more than PLN 0.5 billion. The potential of the PPP market is much larger. Resources for training on PPP will be granted to the entities selected in the competitions organised by the PARP.

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Sectoral Skills Councils

The Sectoral Skills Councils will allow entrepreneurs to influence education services of schools, universities and training institutions. Entrepreneurs know what qualifications and skills are needed by their industries and the Sectoral Councils enable sharing this knowledge. As a result, education and economy learn their mutual needs and the skills acquired at schools, universities, during courses and training will respond to the real needs of employers.

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Human Capital Balance

The Human Capital Balance tool is an application allowing to measure the value of the company’s personal resources. It allows to collect and interpret data, while giving the organisation the basic guidance as regards the meaning of the results obtained.

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What are customers looking for? The answer is simple – something attractive, trendy, unique, surprising. In one word – innovation. Companies, by investing in innovation, are ahead of the competition because they reach where nobody has reached before. Within the framework of its activities, the PARP offers support for entrepreneurs wishing to implement innovation.

Research to the market

As part of the “Research to the market”, entrepreneurs from the SME sector will receive support for implementing the results of R&D work carried out either by themselves or on their behalf. Their effect must be placing new or significantly improved products (goods, services) on the market. In short – from an idea to the market. In order to receive the co-financing, it is not enough just to carry out or outsource R&D work. It is required to have an invention which is either protected or submitted for patent protection or a utility model, which will be implemented in the project.

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Implementation of innovation by SMEs

A micro-, small and medium-sized company belonging to a supraregional cooperative relationship that has been working for at least one year (at least 5 companies cooperating with each other in related industries, from at least two voivodeships, including one from Eastern Poland) may obtain the co-financing for the preparation and implementation of an innovative product or service. Support is allocated for, inter alia, purchase of patent rights, technologies, know-how, carrying out adaptation work, implementation including investment in production lines.

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Creating networking products by SMEs

Consortia composed of at least 10 micro-, small or medium-sized enterprises may receive the co-financing for the creation, in Eastern Poland, of a networking and innovative product consistent with the Regional Smart Specialisations, common to at least two voivodeships. The project must be based on the distributed structure of entities, attractions, places, structures, functioning as one consistent concept with a common brand name of the product. It is required to create 20 new jobs.

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Formula for the competition

A micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise operating in one of the five voivodeships of Eastern Poland may apply for support as regards the use of design in business. The project under the activity “Formula for the competition” is divided into two stages:

  • design audit – diagnosis of the company’s situation and formulating recommendations (design strategy),
  • implementation of the design strategy – implementation of the recommendations.

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