Polish Agency for Enterprise Development
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) is involved in the implementation of national and international programmes financed from the EU structural funds, state budget and multiannual programmes of the European Commission. As a key authority responsible for creating a business-friendly environment in Poland, PARP contributes to the creation and effective implementation of the state policy related to enterprise, innovation and staff adaptability. Pursuant to the principle “Think Small First”, in all its activities the Agency puts a particular emphasis on the needs of the SME sector.
Entrepreneurs starting up their activity have original business ideas and the ability to refine them. However, each start-up comes to a moment at which the skill, creativity and belief in success are no longer enough. PARP offers funds which make it easier to take another step. New entrepreneurs can benefit from:
Poland Prize is an initiative which aims at including foreign startups in the Polish ecosystem so as to feed the Polish startup ecosystem with external energy, organisational culture and know-how. This is a highly specialised programme combining the idea of incubation and acceleration and putting a special emphasis on preparing a foreign startup to operate in Poland, its development here and outlining the further path of being successful, by using all available resources. Following in the footsteps of countries such France, Chile or Estonia, Poland sees the value from the cultural diversification of the startup community, which allowed to prepare a tailor-made solution. Core of the programme consists of 6 operators searching for startups in the selected countries covering almost whole Europe, Asia and North America.
Scale UP – Start In Poland
Scale UP is a pilot programme focused on acceleration, i.e. speeding up the development of start-ups. It is dedicated to micro- or small entreprises which can get involved for 3 to 6 months. The programme offers advisory and mentoring support, as well as financial support. The acceleration process results in a product or service being prepared for commercialisation, and includes cooperation with large companies which can then use that product or service.
This activity targets persons up to 35 years old who have ideas for innovative products or services, and would like to start their business adventure in Eastern Poland. The three Start-up Platforms, i.e. Hub of Talents, Connect and TechnoparkBiznesHub help start-ups create a product or service based on a professionally developed and verified business model. For each business idea which qualifies for the programme in the selected platform, a supervisor prepares a detailed plan of incubation.
Development of start-ups in Eastern Poland
Companies supported under a Start-up Platform, which have successfully completed the process of incubation, may apply for co-financing for the initial activity of their business. The project should involve placing a product on the market (the first sale) and implementing the business model developed under the Start-up Platform. The funding may cover costs related to the implementation of innovation and the development of business activity.
CrossEUWBA - Women Business Angels
The European CrossEUWBA programme facilitates the funding of women entrepreneurs through women business angels (WBAs), and contributes to the creation of a sustainable base of private investment in Europe.
Training and skills improvement
PARP offers training and other services which help 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 and committed employees. Entrepreneurs who want to advance their professional development, improve their skills or retrain can use our Database of Development Services, available at uslugirozwojowe.parp.gov.pl. The portal contains a wide and comprehensive offer of training courses, postgraduate studies and counselling (coaching, mentoring).
Support for strategic management of enterprises and building competitive advantage on the market
Successful companies know what they want and how to achieve it. They have a thought-through development strategy. Therefore, we support entrepreneurs who need to diagnose the development needs of their company and build a corresponding strategy, thus gaining a competitive advantage. They can apply for co-financing of three types of projects:
Type 1 – Strategic Management: diagnosis and analysis of the development needs of the company. Entrepreneurs receive support for identifying development barriers and drawing up a development plan for their company. The advisory services are proviced by experts provided by employers’ organisations, trade unions and business self-government organisations.
Type 2 – Public Procurement: specialist training and counselling activities concerning the public procurement market. These activities are carried out in 5 geographical areas by selected contractors.
Type 3 – Public-Private Partnership, which covers training and counselling on public-private partnerships (PPP). Many entrepreneurs in Poland are still not aware of this form of investment oportunity. The national PPP database contains 102 projects of over PLN 0.5 billion in total, while the PPP market potential is much larger. Companies to be trained on PPP will be selected in competitions organised by PARP.
Sectoral Skills Councils
The Sectoral Skills Councils allows entrepreneurs to influence the education services of schools, universities and training institutions. Entrepreneurs know what qualifications and skills are needed in their industries and the Sectoral Councils enable them to share this knowledge. As a result, education and economy learn about their mutual needs, and the skills acquired at schools, universities, and training courses are more likely to respond to the real needs of employers.
Investment in innovation
What are customers looking for? Something attractive, trendy, unique and surprising, iin a word – innovation. Companies investing in innovation are ahead of their competition because they are reaching where nobody has reached before. Therefore, PARP offers support for entrepreneurs wishing to implement innovation.
Research to the Market
Under Research to the Market programme, entrepreneurs receive funds for implementing the results of R&D work carried out by their companiesor on their behalf. The effect has to be placing new or significantly improved products (goods, services) on the market. In a nutshell – from an idea to the market. TTo be co-financed, the invention has to be either protected or submitted for patent or utility model protection.
Implementation of innovation by SMEs
Co-financing for the preparation and implementation of an innovative product or service can be granted to a micro-, small or medium-sized company involved in cross-regional business cooperation (at least five companies cooperating in related industries, from at least two regions - voivodeships, including one from Eastern Poland). The costs qualified for funding are: the purchase of patent rights, technologies or know-how, carrying out adaptation work, and implementation including investment in production lines.
Creating networking products by SMEs
Consortia composed of at least 3 micro-, small or medium-sized enterprises (located in at least two voivodeships in Eastern Poland,) may be granted co-financing for the creation of an innovative network product which has to be covered by the Regional Smart Specialisations system. The network product has to have a common brand name for a set of products and/or services, and include attractions, places and facilities functioning as one consistent concept.. The project is required to create 20 new jobs.
Formula for Competition
Enterprises operating in one of the five voivodeships of Eastern Poland may apply for funding related to the use of design in business. Under the“Formula for Competition” programme projects are divided into two stages:
- design audit – diagnosis of the company’s situation and formulating recommendations, i.e. adesign strategy,
- implementation of the design strategy.
Norway grants can be used for development, implementation and commercialisation of innovative technologies, solutions, processes, products (goods and/or services). The collaboration on innovation and exchange of knowledge between Polish and Norwegian companies, research unit and other entities that lead to greening industrial and maritime companies as well as green, blue, and welfare product development shall be the subject of proposed projects. The programme involves a call for proposals in three thematic areas, i.e. submitted projects should be eligible in at least one of following scheme:
- Green industry innovation – The support should introduce innovations in technological solutions to SME’s to increase their competitiveness and value creation with less overall environmental impact.
- Blue growth – applicants of the projects concerning blue growth should operate in the maritime or inland water sector. The projects should concern the development of such enterprises by introducing innovative processes and/or products for maritime and/or inland waters and coasts, including environmental improvement.
- Welfare technologies – these projects should focus on developing and launching products that facilitate functioning the everyday life of vulnerable social groups, such as the elderly.
Services for enterprises
Innovations are not out of the blue. They need a favourable environment, as is a team game. An entrepreneur is a playmaker who has an idea for a product, service or technology, however, the product would benefit from some help from midfielders, defenders and maybe even a coach. PARP helps the entire team by supporting the entrepreneurs directly, as well as Business Support Organisations.
Pro-innovative services of BSOs for SMEs
Developing and implementing innovations is a difficult challenge. Assistance is offered by accredited Business Support Organizations, 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 apply for co-financing. It may receive support for the implementation of a product or process innovation of technological nature. The pro-innovative service will help develop and implement the innovative idea throughfunding and counselling with regard to the innovation.
Innovation Vouchers for SMEs
The best innovations are made across the boundaries of business and science, practice and theory, enterprise and knowledge. The Innovation Voucher is a simple mechanism of support. The entrepreneur has a business idea for innovation and a research institute ready to cooperate, i.e. the knowledge and technical resources necessary to develop the solution. PARP helps to combine these two forces through „Innovation vouchers for SMEs”.
Protection of industrial property
Having a legally protected industrial property means prestige, reput and tangible profits. The industrial property right offers many instruments of protection. PARP offers financial support for obtaining the protection of an invention, utility model or industrial design. The mechanism is intended for projects targeted at the protection of innovation in foreign markets selected by entrepreneurs.
Support for SMEs in accessing the capital market – 4 Stock
Fast-developing small and medium companies with little money to invest may use support in accessing the capital market. Entering the stock exchange requires costly preparations. 4 Stock provides the resources needed to prepare the documents required for entry to:
- 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.
At Inno_LAB, we work at the interface of science, business and public institutions. Together, we create innovative services. We assume the perspective of users in our projects. We test new solutions together. As a result, our services are created tailored to both the needs of the recipients and the strategic goals of the organization.
Entering foreign markets with products and services opens up new possibilities for companies, but it also constitutes a serious challenge of financial, organisational and marketing nature. PARP facilitates foreign expansion of SMEs through a number of various activities:
Enterprise Europe Network
It is the world's largest support network for small and medium sized businesses 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
The ClusterFY Project
ClusterFY aims to improve regional and national policy instruments seeking to intensify clusterization processes related to Key Enabling Technologies (KET's; in Polish: NationalSmart Specialisation – KIS)foster interregional cooperation among clusters and business networks, and encourage their integration into innovative value chains. These developments advance the implementation of regional innovation strategies.
Internationalisation of SMEs
Micro-, small or medium-sized enterprises operating in Eastern Poland may receive support for placing their products or services on new markets. The funding covers counselling services to analyse the company’s export opportunities, select target markets and develop a business model of internationalisation (market entry concept). Activities leading to the implementation of this model are also supported under this programme.
Promotion of ICT sector
The Polish ICT sector is one of the fastest growing economy sectors. Polish companies specialize in consumer electronics, customized software production, electronic games, and mobile solutions. This programme aims to promote the Polish ICT industry among foreign investors, buyers and end-users. We organize national stands at the most important trade fairs and conferences around the world, presenting innovative offers of Polish companies.
Go to Brand – support in promotion
Polish companies have innovative and attractive products, services and technologies which they may offer to foreign customers. These have been divided into sectors, for which the common denominator is a high export potential. The industries with the greatest export potential (as indicated by the Ministry of Investment and Development) are:
- medical equipment,
- yachts and boats,
- 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.
Each of the export-oriented industries has a promotion funding programme which indicates specific events (usually trade shows) at non-EU markets, where companies may promote their products. Individual promotional activities are thus linked with the national strategy of building repute and prestige of the Polish economy brand abroad.
Internationalisation of National Key Clusters
The formula of cluster apprears to be best to implement the idea of smart growth. Cooperation is now a source of technological progress, innovative solutions and resulting profits. Clusters allow entrepreneurs to implement large projects based on cooperation, combining their resources, joint offering, etc. In Poland, there are more than 130 clusters, of which 16 are National Key Clusters – organisations of vital importance for the entire economy, with high international competitiveness and high potential for innovation. The programme called Internationalisation of National Key Clusters addresses these key clusters, as they have the greatest chance of international success The cluster coordinator is authorised to submit an application for financial support under the programme, and all the entities forming the cluster become its final beneficiaries.
Information Point for International Public Procurement
Information Point for International Public Procurement has been launched by Polish Agency for Enterprise Developmentto introduce domestic SMEs to global tender marketplace including public procurement in the European Union, the United Nations System, the World Bank Group, and other countries and institutions.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange program which gives newly established or potential entrepreneurs opportunities to learn from well-experienced managers of small or medium-sized companies in other European Union member states. The exchange of expertise is implemented by a stay of the new entrepreneur with the hosting entrepreneur who helps the former to acquire skills necessary to manage a small company.For both entrepreneurs, the activity brings important added values: fresh ideas, knowledge sharing, opportunities to expand their networks of business contacts throughout Europe, and exploring foreign markets.
Improving SMEs Access to Cross-Border Public Procurement. Public procurement is a critical factor for the success of SMEs. The aim of the SESAM is to put SMEs in the position where they can apply to relevant procurements confidently. To achieve these goals various tools are offered, e.g. trainings, seminars, webinars, publications and more. Project SESAM was initiated in 2017 and it will provide knowledge and support that are necessary for a successful participation in public procurement within European Union and in particular in France, Germany, Italy and Poland.
Infrastructure for development
Sustainable urban transport
Investment projects resulting in better use of environment-friendly public transport, adaptation of vehicles to the needs of people with disabilities and new connections in so-far unsupported urban areas can apply to be co-financed under the Sustainable Urban Transport programme. It may It is targeted at the administrations of 5 urban centres of Eastern Poland: Białystok, Kielce, Lublin, Olsztyn and Rzeszów.
Thanks to the Road Infrastructure programme, the capitals of voivodeships (regions) in Eastern Poland, being important labour markets, are gaining good connections with the network of national roads, including the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T. Support may be applied for by the cities of: Białystok, Kielce, Lublin, Olsztyn, Rzeszów, as well as self-governments of Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie, Lubelskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Podkarpackie voivodeships. Co-financing covers investment projects involving the construction or reconstruction of national or voivodeship roads which provide connection with the network of national roads, including TEN-T.
Polish Agency for Enterprise Development
The Agency's objective is to implement economic development programs that support innovation activities and research conducted by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), regional development, export growth, development of human resources and the use of new technologies in business activity.
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.
The aim of the research is to prepare motions and recommendations - and in particular those intended to stimulate enterprise and innovation of the SME sector - for the use in Poland’s economic development policy. On-going research activities and commissioned surveys bring the knowledge necessary forthe programming of support instruments. At the same time, the Agencyprepares informational materials for the central and regional administrations (also used for programming purposes, such as the development of Regional Innovation Strategis), as well as for entrepreneurs, scientists and students.
Most of PARP research projects consist of the following components: initial research (usually a literature review), empirical research conducted by contractors (using qualitative and quantitative methods) and resulting in a report, and informational/promotional activities (a publication, an e-book, or a conference which sums the project up). Each projectputs focus is on both horizontal aspects, such as innovation and competitiveness, and more specific areas related to enterprise, such as family businesses, microenterprises, high technology companies.
The findings of PARP research projects are available in the form of e-books on the Agency’s website, and some of them are published. All the 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 both for experts in given areas and for the general public.