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EU grants to small business in Poland-advice needed

randompal 7 | 306
23 Apr 2008 #1
Hello, does anyone know what kind of grants are available to small businesses, particularly in the lodging/services category? Any help or info appreciated....(obviously this topic pertains to small business grants in Poland)
ss13 2 | 19
16 May 2008 #2
Hey randompal,

This might be of use to you:
SeanBM 35 | 5,812
16 May 2008 #3

did you get a grant?
ss13 2 | 19
16 May 2008 #4
Hi SeanBM,

No, but I know few people from other EU countries (not Poland) that have used this site before and it has helped them in their search.

SeanBM 35 | 5,812
16 May 2008 #5
Hello ss13,

What kind of things did they get a grant for?
I know people who have got grants for studies all over Europe, but nobody for business.
It is of course interesting for people setting up their own company that might get some extra help.

Best regards
ss13 2 | 19
16 May 2008 #6
Hi SeanBM,

First: a common misunderstanding is that EU grants for small businesses are only “grants”. In many cases these subsidies can be also subsidized loans (fixed low APR financing options) backed by Euro funds or by the respective country itself. In the case of grants, it is usually very hard to get these, since they are pretty much “free money” and many people are competing to get them. Usually, really innovative projects and undertakings that would in some way have a direct positive impact on that country’s socio-economic or cultural development are awarded the grants. A much better option, and a much better chance of receiving a subsidy for small businesses are the subsidized loans.

Regarding the nature of business activity that the grants or loans are usually awarded for: That can vary greatly from country to country, but in general the following are quite common:

- A new business that would provide employment to people in a high unemployment rate area of that country (in this case, many countries also offer corporate income tax breaks for the employer);

- A new business in any of the strategic industries of that country [e.g. oil, energy (perfect example here is small size wind/solar energy farms), telecom, tourism (mainly in Southern regions of the EU or Eco Tourism in some of the CEE countries), etc]

- A new farming business
- A new business in the BFSI sector that would contribute in the improvement of the economic conditions in the country and improving the general economic welfare of the citizens of that country (good example is Micro Insurance/Banking/Loans or Rural Insurance/Banking/Loans)

- A new business in a developing for that specific country industry. These grants/loans are given mainly to reduce or offset the risk of opening such new businesses, since the level of uncertainty in a new industry is usually higher than the level of uncertainty in a mature industry.

- A new business in the field of education or culture (e.g. Folklore Dance School or Cinema that plays only movies from that specific country)

- A new business in the life sciences area. In this case, you have to have some pretty extraordinary idea/project to get the funding.
- A new business in the IT field (this is only true for countries where the IT industry is just starting up…while I wouldn’t say Poland is one of these countries, the EU recently decided to provide a good amount of money to some CEE countries for exactly that reason and Poland is among those countries)

- A new business that is taking over a troubled business (here, you have to have a very good, detailed plan of how you’ll take that troubled business out of the mud, and of course have realistic projections, etc)

- Any new business that will improve the movement of goods/services inside/outside of that specific country. I don’t know much about this….
- Any new “green” business (meaning businesses that are eco friendly)
- etc…..

There are many more probably, but these are the ones that I know people in or heard about.

Hope this helps.

SeanBM 35 | 5,812
17 May 2008 #7

Thank you for your time
Wroclaw Boy
17 May 2008 #8
Getting money out of anybody in Poland is like trying to draw blood from a stone. You need to lie, scheme and plan your move carefully, every detail has to be covered extremely carefully if you were promised 50% you'll be lucky to get 5% and even then you need to scheme and lie your ass off.

When in Rome.
jezmilligan - | 4
16 Jul 2008 #9
That's pretty negative Wroclaw Boy - what do you base this theory on? We're talking about EU grants here - the money is there to be claimed and there's an EU standard process to go through. There are many different schemes suitable for different levels of business. The key requirement is that you will create jobs, and that your business idea is innovative.
jworlledge 5 | 13
10 Feb 2010 #10
I would like to bring this thread back to life, it is very old I can see...

I am interested in grants or funding of any sort for small businesses, I have a business currently and we are looking to expand from an internet store only to a traditional brick & mortar location (possibly 2 locations). We have some private equity to invest in our ideas, but we need more to make them work. Lets say it is in the restaurant industry, or gastronomy without being too specific here.

My questions would be:

1. does anyone know any grants or additional resources other than the website previously mentioned?

2. Has anyone worked with a firm that specializes in the application process for these grants? What are the costs? What are the typical results? Impressions generally?
dadesign - | 5
5 Mar 2010 #11
TQs Ss13 for the sharing these information.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,331
5 Mar 2010 #12
we are looking to expand from an internet store only to a traditional brick & mortar location

In all honesty, forget it. There is some degree of funding available, but competition is fierce - and funds are scarce. You might have a degree of luck if you were based in economically deprived areas, but barely any money is going towards businesses in cities - they're just not a priority at all. The powers that be are also much more likely to fund manufacturing rather than services - partially because there's something tangible involved that can provide work for skilled, unemployed workers. A factory can also be bought and production carried on - whereas a restaurant that fails can have a black mark against it for years.

What qualifications do you have in running the kind of business that you're interested in? They do place emphasis on qualifications - just like Polish society as a whole.

2. Has anyone worked with a firm that specializes in the application process for these grants?

Waste of money and time - if we're speaking EU money, there are funded (by the EU) organisations that deal with helping people apply for grants. Anyone claiming in Poland that they can obtain funding for a small business is a scammer - unless it's for general assistance. My business does help people apply for grants, but this is more to do with those inexperienced in business than those who already know and understand business. I'd also say that the chances of success are very very slim - everyone wants EU money, and many good projects aren't being funded.

Now - if you produce food, you're far more likely to obtain grants and funding.
Tony2462 1 | 12
9 Mar 2010 #13
I have plans to start a small business in poland, at this point I don't want to give too much away however it is in the food production categorie. I would like to apply for EU funding can you offer any help or advice please.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,331
9 Mar 2010 #14
Can you give me an idea of turnover and number of employees, as well as location?
Wroclaw Boy
9 Mar 2010 #15
We're talking about EU grants here - the money is there to be claimed and there's an EU standard process to go through.

The money is not there well it hasnt been for the last three times ive applied. They keep cancelling the application dates through lack of funds.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,331
9 Mar 2010 #16
Likewise here - the money just isn't there. There is money getting wasted, but this is in terms of big infrastructure, not small businesses.
Tony2462 1 | 12
9 Mar 2010 #17
Can you give me an idea of turnover and number of employees, as well as location?

At the moment all is a bit sketchy as I have to find premises but hopefully in Krakow, to start with I would hope to employ up to 5 people as for turnover that all depends on whether the product will sell over there but I hope that after about a month of operating over in poland i will be making profits in the region of pln 6000 a month this is of course based on the assumption that the product will sell. I realise that this does not give you much to go on but I believe in the product and am reluctant to disclose too much on public forums at this time.
AnneStuart - | 2
10 Jun 2014 #18
Merged: Can an EU citizen apply for a loan from EU to open a small business in Poland?

Hi everyone,

Need you help! Me and my partner (both EU citizens) are planning to move permanently to Poland near Wroclaw.
We are very keen on opening our own business which will be trading in Dolny Slask.

I know that there are some loans available for entrepreneurs and were wondering if we are eligible for such help in setting our own company in this region.

I would really appreciate your help as I can't find any straight forward info on the matter.

Looking forward to hear your thoughts!
11 Jun 2014 #19
I don't see any contraindications. Foreigners living in Poland and conducting business activity can benefit from EU structural funds.
AnneStuart - | 2
11 Jun 2014 #20
Thanks for your answer. Much appreciated.
I was looking for some hands on answer as Internet is full of misleading information.

I was quite sure that it's possible but just in terms of getting a grant, thought that loan from EU would be more tricky to obtain.
11 Jun 2014 #21
I was quite sure that it's possible but just in terms of getting a grant, thought that loan from EU would be more tricky to obtain.

You are eligible to obtain such a loan, but the different question is whether you'll qualify for it or not.
You may ask for advise here in Poland about EU loans. Write email with specific questions and wait 3 days for a reply:
jafayas - | 1
2 Oct 2014 #22
Can anyone Help. i want to set up a very serious food manufacturing business. I have the option to set this up in Uk but would rather set up in poland and sell my goods in poland and UK.This is an everyday item in an industry that there is not much competion on,a product for the masses. I have got quotes for machinery that i need and I am raising funds against my property. I would be looking to employ up to 10 people to start and I expect turnover to be in region of 100,000 pln per week-which is a drop in the ocean compared to international based companies in this field. I would appreciate any help in obtaining a grant or subsidised loan from poland as this is the country I would like to set it up in. Any help very appreciated,
20 Oct 2014 #23
It is possible to obtain an EU grant for this type of company or a cheap loan, however it would be better if you set up this company in Poland first and THEN apply for an EU grant or loan. The chances of getting it would be much higher then.

I am a lawyer based in Poland, so I would be able to help with this: contact:
Stephen USA
7 Feb 2015 #24
My wife has received a EU grant. . Her small company was selected and she has hired employees but the issue is how can she be paid. The law and the strange rules in Poland appear too be be illogical. She is not an LLC but a small business. The law says she can not receive funds and write her self a check even if it's a reimbursement. The polish law appears too create schemes VS support those whom wish too be transparent. After reading about tax law and Buisness law I have found the most critical writer in this forum too be accurate. The USA has its own challenges but permotes business development While polish Law and tax system does as much damage as possible too the small business owner.

Is the law in Poland designed too protect big business or too foucus on taking as much revenue as possible. I think it's obvious. Yes. The rules for business are damaging Poland. An interesting analogy " if you have ever driven from one town in Poland too the other on bumpy roads that are too narrow and time consuming.

It's like that. You can have a new car fill it with gas be excited too get too work and the government makes the drive as difficult as possible. Vs. In the U.S. the roads are smooth open and you can accomplish more with far less damage too your car and focus on your business. The spirit of the law and government should be positive not punitive. The road too success for small business in Poland is hard for several reasons. High tax and mistrust.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
26 Nov 2015 #25
Merged: Eu grants for opening a language school in Poland

Can anyone tell me how you go about getting an EU grant for opening a languge school here? I've heard that the EU can even subsidise lesson cost so one can offer cheaper lessons to students without losing out.

I'd be really grateful for anyone's help
InPolska 11 | 1,821
27 Nov 2015 #26
@Welsh: considering that there are already too many language schools in Poland (most of which struggle since very little clients and rates going downhill), don't expect EU (= German, French and British taxpayers as per their contributions) to finance something that is not necessary (since already too many schools). If you want to apply for EU funds, you need another project...
delphiandomine 88 | 18,331
28 Nov 2015 #27
Can anyone tell me how you go about getting an EU grant for opening a languge school here?

Difficult. There are some funds, but nothing specifically for opening a language school. You could try and get funds for starting a business, but competition is *intense*. Best to assume that it's not even possible, even if you can apply.

I've heard that the EU can even subsidise lesson cost so one can offer cheaper lessons to students without losing out.

Yes, but they will have considerable conditions attached. For instance, my friend's school got around 120,000zł to provide language classes. The catch? They had to only provide classes to those over 50 in rural areas, and they had to supply considerable paperwork to prove that the funds were being used appropriately. For instance, they were required to have contracts with every student, with a rigorous attendance policy *and* they were required to sign a minimum amount of people up for each course. The money was only actually released once the conditions of the grant were met.

In short, EU grants are good if you already have an established business, but they're not really feasible for starting a business unless you have a significant amount of capital to invest yourself.

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