The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PAED) is a government agency reporting to the Minister of the Economy, Labour and Social Policy. The agency was created pursuant to the Act on the establishment of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (Journal of Laws of 2000, No. 109, item 1158 and of 2002 No. 25, item 253 and No. 25, item 596). PAED is tasked with managing the European Union and the State budgetary funds earmarked for enterprise and human resources development, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.
The objectives of the Agency include the implementation of economic development programmes, particularly in the areas of:
small and medium-sized enterprise development,
utilisation of modern technologies,
job creation, human resources development, and combating of unemployment.
These objectives are executed through the following activities:
granting of subsidies for SMEs and institutions supporting enterprise development, as well as providing loans for innovative initiatives,
provision of consulting and expert services,
provision of training for entrepreneurs, SME employees, the unemployed, central, regional and local government, as well as social partners,
facilitation of entrepreneurs’ access to know-how, economic information, studies and analyses.
PAED activities are overseen by its Supervisory Board. Members of the Board are comprised of Representatives of the Ministry of the Economy, Labour and Social Policy, as well as representatives of key entrepreneurship trade organisations (Confederation of Polish Employers, Polish Confederation of Private Employers, Polish Crafts Association, Polish Chamber of Commerce, and National Association of Trade and Services). A representative of the regional government is also present on the Board.
PAED operates an infoline, which provides information in Polish and in English on the following issues:
assistance programmes available to companies,
sources of financing business activity,
commencement of business activity in Poland and abroad,
export operations by Polish companies,
access for small and medium-size enterprises to the public procurement market,
access to new technologies,
access to financial and other institutions specialised in providing support to the SME sector,
attracting foreign business partners.
tel +48-22-6997001, 6997018, 6997180, 6997188
Information is also available in English.
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development assumes an active role in the implementation of the "Government Policy Guidelines for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the years 2003–2006". PAED actively pursues a number of action plans for the promotion and support of SMEs, which include, inter alia, making grants available to SMEs and providing indirect assistance for entrepreneurs via the promotion of a business environment. The rules for providing grants for or assistance to enterprises are set forth in the Ordinance of the Minister of Economy of 21st May 2001 on the conditions and procedures for the awarding of grants by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (Journal of Laws of 2003, No. 39 item, 336).
The purpose of direct assistance for SMEs is to increase competitiveness of the sector. Entrepreneurs may obtain co-financing for the following types of activities:
implementation and certification of quality management systems,
introduction of new technologies and innovations,
acquisition of finance,
occupational health and safety.
Assistance is provided in the form of grants for training, information and advisory services, as well as investment grants (for the purchase of machinery and equipment).
Utilisation of new technologies is particularly important for the development of the SME sector. The loan programme for innovative activities was introduced in 2003. Moreover, PAED organises an annual competition "Polish Product of the Future" under the auspices of the office of the Prime Minister. The aim of the competition is to promote and disseminate Polish innovative technologies, as well as to facilitate the process of their implementation into industry.
Indirect assistance for the SME sector includes the following activities:
Detailed information concerning specific programmes, as well as application forms and other documents are available online at: www.parp.gov.pl. The PAED website also includes information on current deadlines for applications and contact information for regional and local institutions involved in enterprise development.
expansion and enhancement of the loan and guarantee fund system for SMEs through the increase of the capital of these institutions,
providing financing for the network of Consulting and Advisory Centres, ensuring free access to information for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses,
co-financing of training for small enterprises and their employees, organised by universities and other educational institutions, as well as by non-profit training organisations,
cooperation with regional and local government in the field of preparation and evaluation of programmes for development of the SME sector,
provision of grants to support initiatives that promote entrepreneurship development and entrepreneurial attitudes in society.
NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND
As a member of the European Union, Poland will benefit from assistance within the framework of Structural Funds. The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the four Funds with the common goal to reduce the disparity in the level of development between EU regions. The main objective of the ESF is to finance projects that actively combat unemployment, develop human resources, and promote employability, entrepreneurial attitudes and equal opportunities. The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development operates the National Training Centre for the European Social Fund (KOSzEFS). Detailed information on ESF and activities aimed at preparation for absorption of its resources are available through the KOSzEFS website: www.koszefs.pl.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development has been carrying out initiatives designed to enhance the vocational skills of SME managers and employees as well as development of human resources based on the model applied within the framework of the European Social Fund. The majority of the projects are co-financed by the PHARE Economic and Social Cohesion Programme – Human Resources Development. Job seekers are offered training and professional advisory services and vocational re-training for individuals facing redundancy is offered as well. Some projects target specific social groups such as: the employed in branches of the economy undergoing restructuring, youth or graduates. Moreover, the programme offers assistance for start-up businesses. The objective of another project within the programme is to improve the quality of human resources within SMEs through general and specialist training. The programme also provides assistance in the field of local development, combating unemployment and promotion of the spirit of entrepreneurship. Voivodship Labour Offices are the Agency’s regional partners in the process of implementation of HRD programmes. They are responsible for providing information on available training and directing those interested in particular activities to the relevant institution that manages a given project in a region.
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development prepares and disseminates analyses related to the SME sector and economic processes. It publishes:
the annual Report on the Condition of Small and Medium-size Enterprise Sector, and
numerous guides and publications for entrepreneurs.
The list of all PAED publications, as well as the results of research and statistical data are available online at the PAED website: www.parp.gov.pl. Selected publications are available in electronic format. PAED also operates a reference library (an online catalogue is available on the PAED website).
REGIONAL FINANCING INSTITUTIONS
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development does not maintain regional offices. However, PAED cooperates with institutions chosen through competitive selection procedures – Regional Financing Institutions (RFIs), which act as the Agency’s partners in the process of implementation of policies towards SMEs. The RFIs are for the most part regional development agencies or other institutions that have an established record in the field of SME development. Every RFI runs a Consulting and Advisory Centres.
CONSULTING AND ADVISORY CENTRES
Consulting and Advisory Centres (PKDs) act as first-contact institutions for SMEs and start-up businesses. More than 150 units of this type have been established nationwide. PKDs provide an entrepreneur with 10 hours per year of free advice on the basic aspects of running and managing a business. The advisory services focus on the following areas:
PKDs are also responsible for providing SMEs with information on available assistance programmes and providing assistance to them in completing the appropriate application forms. The majority of PKDs operate within the National SME Services Network (KSU). In 2002 alone, approximately 31,000 entrepreneurs and start-up businesses received free advice provided by PKDs.
The National SME Services Network (KSU) has been in operation since 1996. After seven years of operation, it comprises almost 180 business counselling centres. The majority of the member organisations are regional and local development agencies, business support centres, industrial and commercial chambers, and local foundations or associations - all of them - not-for-profit entities providing services directly to SMEs. These institutions operate under an accreditation system, which ensures the maintenance of high standards in their advisory, training, information and financial services. KSU is an open system, with new centres joining the network every year.
Within the KSU network, a separate group of centres that supports new technology transfer services will be established to form the National Innovation Centres (KSI). KSI will be tasked with providing assistance in the realm of establishing conditions for the transfer and launching of new technological initiatives as well as implementing innovative undertaking in the SME sector. KSI will be comprised of institutions offering the services listed above to SMEs with the understanding that membership in the KSI is subject to receiving KSU accreditation in the area of technological services.
||Name and address
Wrocławska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.,
Pl. Solny 16,
tel. (71) 344 58 41,
fax (71) 372 36 85
Toruńska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.,
ul. Kopernika 4,
tel. (56) 621 04 21, 621 05 68,
fax (56) 622 28 99
Lubelska Fundacja Rozwoju ARR
tel. (81) 743 65 43, 743 63 56,
fax (81) 743 73 26
Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.w Zielonej Górze
ul. Chopina 14,
65-001 Zielona Góra
tel. (68) 327 05 04, 325 38 88,
fax (68) 325 38 88
Łódzka Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.
ul. Tuwima 22-26,
tel. (42) 632 18 92,
fax (42) 633 07 63l
Małopolska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.
ul. Kordylewskiego 11,
tel. (12) 411 46 03, 413 89 13,
fax (12) 412 43 79
Fundacja Małych i średnich Przedsiębiorstw w Warszawie
ul. Smocza 27,
tel. (22) 838 02 61, 838 01 72,
fax (22) 838 02 61
Stowarzyszenie "Promocja Przedsiębiorczości" - Ośrodek Wspierania Przedsiębiorczości w Opolu
ul. Damrota 4,
tel. (77) 456 56 00,
fax (77) 456 56 00 ext. 25, 29
Rzeszowska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.
ul. Szopena 51,
tel./fax (17) 852 06 00, 852 06 06
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rarr.rzeszow.pl
Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego MARR S.A.
ul. Szopena 18,
tel. (17) 788 18 50, 788 18 51
Podlaska Fundacja Rozwoju Regionalnego
ul. Starobojarska 15,
tel. (85) 740 86 83,
fax (85) 740 86 85
Agencja Rozwoju Pomorza S.A.
ul. Piwna 36/39,
tel. (58) 323 31 10, 323 31 22, 323 31 00, 323 32 00,
fax (58) 301 13 41
Górnośląska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.
ul. Wita Stwosza 31,
tel. (32) 201 40 56-7,
fax (32) 257 95 29
Staropolska Izba Przemysłowo-Handlowa
ul. Sienkiewicza 53,
tel./fax (41) 344 43 92, 368 02 78
Warmińsko - Mazurska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A.
ul. Kajki 10/12,
tel. (89) 534 90 10,
fax (89) 534 92 00
Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A. w Koninie
ul. ZakŤadowa 4,
tel. (63) 245 30 95,
fax (63) 242 22 29
Zachodniopomorska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A. w Szczecinie
ul. Stoisława 2,
tel. (91) 488 24 88,
fax (91) 488 26 26